UAE attracts more millionaires, billionaires during Covid-19

Dubai - Data shows wealth of high net worth individuals grew by Dh165 billion to Dh3.2 trillion in second half of 2020.

By Waheed Abbas

Published: Tue 16 Feb 2021, 4:41 PM

Wealth of millionaires and billionaires in the UAE increased by $45 billion (Dh165.15 billion) in the second half of 2020 despite Covid-19 pandemic taking toll of its economy.

Data from the New World Wealth showed that the wealth of high net worth individuals grew from $825 billion ($3 trillion) from June 2020 to $870 billion ($3.2 trillion) by the end of December 2020.

The UAE added 4,276 millionaires with a wealth of $1 million-plus and one billionaire during the six month period.

The UAE is home of 87,000 millionaires and 13 billionaires, controlling $870 billion (Dh3.2 trillion) wealth at the end of December 2020. At the end of June 2020, the UAE was home to 82,724 millionaires and 12 billionaires.

The study also found that Dubai is the richest city while UAE is the richest nation in the Mena region.

Andrew Amoils, head of research at New World Wealth, said a number of HNWIs moved to the UAE owing to its status as top safe haven in the region, high-income economy, first-class healthcare system, low tax rates, international business and luxury hub, top-class shopping malls and restaurants, top-end apartments and villas and good international schools.

It estimated that over 35,000 HNWIs have moved to the UAE between 2000 to 2020. Many of these individuals have come from India, the Middle East and Africa.

People in the UAE enjoy per capita income of $89,000 (Dh326,630) followed by Israel ($86,500), Qatar ($71,300), Saudi Arabia ($15,800), Turkey ($5,800) and Iran ($4,800).

The UAE is followed by Israel where millionaires and billionaires own $784 billion assets, followed by Saudi Arabia ($542 billion), Turkey ($482 billion), Iran ($395 billion) and Qatar ($202 billion).

The UAE is the largest wealth management centre in the region with assets under management (AuM) of approximately $110 billion, followed by Israel at $95 billion.

Most of the HNWIs have acquired wealth in the fields of finance and professional services; real estate and construction; transport and logistics; hotels and leisure; healthcare; technology and telecoms; retail and fashion; manufacturing, FMCG and Media.

Romika Fazeli, founder and managing director of Emirates World Club, said the UAE is the only country in the Middle East where all kinds of religions and cultures are welcomed and respected.

“I truly believe that as a millionaire and billionaire, you have the financial power and freedom to choose a country as your home where you live a comfortable lifestyle, considering the safety of your family, importance of work-life balance and religious freedom. Dubai is a multi-national and cultural city which makes it also one of the most metropolis cities in the world,” said Fazeli.

“When it comes to lifestyle and safety, Dubai is the best place to live a great life and second to none,” she added.

Dubai richest city

The New World Wealth study data showed that Dubai is the wealthiest city in the Middle East and the 30th worldwide with a total wealth of $517 billion (Dh1.9 trillion) held by 54,540 millionaires and billionaires.

The emirate was home to 52,100 millionaires with $1 million-plus wealth, 2,430 high net worth individuals with over $10-million wealth; and 10 billionaires by the end of December 2020. In June 2020, 51710 millionaires and nine billionaires had made the emirate as their home, controlling $491 billion wealth. The HNWIs assets grew by $26 billion.

“Dubai is the main luxury hub in the Middle East. The Dubai luxury sector generates revenue of around $7 billion per year. Most of this is generated via luxury cars and luxury hotels. The luxury fashion sector in Dubai is also very large, with most of the top global luxury clothing brands having stores in the Dubai Mall and the Mall of the Emirates,” said Andrew Amoils.

In addition, Dubai is also the most popular local holiday destinations for millionaires followed by Istanbul, Bodrum, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. While emirate’s famous landmark and ultra-luxurious hotels Burj Al Arab and Atlantis Palm are the most popular hotels in the Middle East among the high net worth individuals.

Tel Aviv is the second wealthiest city where millionaires and billionaires where 43,290 millionaire and 12 billionaires control $304 billion (Dh 1.11 trillion) wealth.

Other wealthiest cities in the region are Istanbul ($176 billion), Abu Dhabi ($145 billion), Riyadh ($136 billion), Doha ($125 billion), Jerusalem ($116 billion), Tehran ($89 billion), Herzliya ($31 billion) and Netanya ($30 billion).

Sharjah is the 14th richest city with $21 billion wealth and home to 2,780 millionaires. While 18,545 millionaires and three billionaires control $145 billion (Dh 532.15 billion) wealth in Abu Dhabi.


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