UAE attracts the richest across the world: New World Wealth Report

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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The latest New World Wealth Report reveals that as much as 1,300 millionaires made the UAE their home last year with Dubai continuing to attract the most ‘high net worth individuals’ (HNWIs).

The UAE is one of the top 10 countries that last year experienced the largest inflows of millionaires and also it is the richest country in the region, followed by Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

By June 2020, 79,000 millionaires, 3,400 multimillionaires with over $10 million in wealth and 12 billionaires were in the UAE. Their total wealth was $825 billion (Dh3.02 trillion). Meanwhile, Dubai housed 49,500 millionaires, 2,300 billionaires and 9 billionaires, with an estimated income of $490 billion (Dh1.8 trillion) during the same period.

Similarly, Dubai was among the top five cities that last year reported the highest inflow of high net worth individuals.

Andrew Amoils, head, research at New World Wealth said, “Over the past 20 years, the UAE has been one of the world’s biggest recipients of migrating millionaires. We estimate that over 25,000 HNWIs have moved to the UAE over the past decade [2010 to 2020]. Many of these individuals have come from India, the Middle East and Africa”.

He said that the rich prefer to UAE for its safe-haven status in the Mena region, high income, first-class healthcare system, low tax rates, international business hub, luxury hub with top-class shopping malls, top-end apartments and villas and good international schools.

He even pointed out that in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic, expat-dependent countries might see the migration of overseas employees, but this would be a short-term phenomenon.

“There are concerns that countries with large numbers of wealthy expats such as the UAE may see an HNWI exodus in 2020-21. This is a possibility in the short term [one to two years]. However, we expect the UAE – Dubai specifically – to remain a popular destination for migrating HNWIs in the long-term due to its status as the only real safe-haven in the Mena region”.

Not many HNWIs have migrated to the UAE due to travel restrictions in the aftermath of the pandemic, according to Amoils.

Last year, Australia attracted 12,000 millionaires worldwide, followed by the US (10,800), Switzerland (4,000), Canada (2,200), Singapore (1,500), Israel (1,400), New Zealand (1,400), the UAE (1,300), Portugal (1,200) and Greece (1,100).

Among the cities, followed by Geneva, Melbourne, Singapore and Dubai, Sydney is the largest recipient of millionaires.

China, India, Russia, Hong Kong, Turkey, the UK, France, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia recorded the highest flows last year. The influx of billionaires has also increased in Iran, Qatar, the Philippines, Pakistan, Lebanon and Thailand.