UAE is home to 17 billionaires now; 5 relocate to Emirates in 2023

Total wealth of UAE billionaires jump 157 per cent to nearly $100 billion


Waheed Abbas

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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Published: Sun 3 Dec 2023, 12:11 PM

Last updated: Sun 3 Dec 2023, 10:06 PM

According to UBS Billionaire Ambitions Report 2023, 5 billionaires moved to the Emirates in 2023 while 2 joined the billionaire club as the wealth of the UHNWIs has grown immensely in the past couple of years, driven by strong growth in the key strategic sectors such as real estate, travel and tourism, retail and overall economy as well.

The total wealth of the billionaires has grown by 157 per cent to $99.4 billion in 2023 as compared to $38.7 billion in the previous year. Its economy grew sharply in 2022 after the pandemic, with GDP expanding by 7.6 per cent.

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This comes as New World Wealth revealed that around 1,500 millionaires have relocated from the UK to Dubai in the past 10 years. 250 more will relocate this year.

The Henley Private Wealth Migration Report 2023 released earlier projected that 4,500 millionaires will relocate to the UAE this year, the second highest migration after Australia.

According to the UBS Billionaire Ambitions report, the UAE is home to the second highest number of billionaires in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region after Israel (26). The UAE is followed by Saudi Arabia (6), South Africa (5), Egypt (4), Nigeria (3) and Lebanon (2), UBS said in its latest report on ultra-high net worth individuals. There are approximately 63 billionaires in the MEA region, adding 9 to the list this year.

The study revealed that the number of billionaires rose by 7 per cent globally in the study period over the 12 months to April 6, 2023, increasing from 2,376 to the end of the period at 2,544. Wealth recovered by 9 per cent in nominal terms from $11 trillion to $12 trillion, led by Europe’s billionaires for the first time in the history of the study. The billionaire community remains smaller than at its 2021 peak.

As many billionaire entrepreneurs age, more than 1,000 of them are expected to pass $5.2 trillion to their heirs over the next 20 to 30 years. While this great wealth handover has long been anticipated, data suggests that it is now gathering momentum.

A total of $150.8 billion was inherited by 53 heirs in 2023. That exceeds the 84 new self-made billionaires’ total of $140.7 billion. Altogether, 137 people became billionaires for the first time with a total wealth of $291.5 billion.


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