As more affluent individuals will migrate out of some Mideast countries, UAE will see its millionaire numbers rise

Dubai: The UAE is becoming increasingly popular as a haven for the rich, with thousands of millionaires moving into the country over the last few years alone, according to the latest data.

The country’s millionaire numbers are only set to rise over the next decade, as more high-net-worth individuals are expected to leave the neighbouring hubs like Turkey due to “serious political and economic problems.”

According to the Middle East 2016 Wealth Report, high-net-worth individual (HNWI) inflows into the UAE reached 10,000 between the later part of 2007 and 2015, especially during the time when the local real estate markets were performing really well.

As of the end of December 2015, the UAE is home to around 72,000 residents with net assets of $1 million (Dh3.7 million) or more.

Over the next ten years, the number is projected to rise by 50 per cent to 108,000. The report showed that theUAE will be among the fastest growing countries in the Middle East for HNWIs.

Andrew Amoils, head of research at New World Wealth, said the growth in the UAE’s millionaire numbers can be attributed to the “strong projected growth in the local financial services, real estate, construction,” and healthcare, among other sectors. “We also expect a large number of HNWIs to move to the country, especially from North Africa,” Amoils told Gulf News.

Jordan topped the overall list with a 75 per cent growth rate, followed by Iran (70 per cent), in the second place.

Trailing behind the UAE is Qatar, at 45 per cent, followed by Saudi Arabia (40 per cent), Lebanon (30 per cent) and Turkey (20 per cent). The study did not include other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries like Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman.

Between 2007 and 2015, the UAE posted a 60 per cent growth in millionaire population, just behind Qatar (80 per cent) and Jordan (70 per cent). The UAE has recently benefited from the migration of more than 10,000 HNWIs into the country “during the review period and well performing local real estate markets,” according to the report.
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However, some factors will pose as a threat to the growth of HNWI population. For certain countries like Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Turkey, ongoing political and religious tensions could be some of the constraints.

“Declining oil prices are also a factor – crude oil prices declined heavily in 2014 and 2015, which will deter further business formation and construction in these countries going forward,” the report said.

“We expect millionaire migration out of certain countries in the Middle East to increase over the forecast period. In particular we expect a large number of millionaires to leave Turkey. Turkey is suffering from serious political and economic problems. It is also being negatively impacted by terrorism and a rising level of religious violence.”

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