UAE: 350 millionaires move from Africa to Emirates every year, says expert

The country houses 116,500 millionaires, 308 centi-millionaires with $100 million in wealth, and 20 billionaires, according to Henley and Partners


Waheed Abbas

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Reuters file photo
Reuters file photo

Published: Wed 24 Apr 2024, 12:16 PM

Last updated: Wed 24 Apr 2024, 10:17 PM

Approximately 3,500 millionaires have migrated from Africa to the UAE in the past 10 years, averaging 350 every year.

Andrew Amoils, head of research at New World Wealth, said most of these individuals migrated from Africa's Big 3 wealth markets — South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria — as well as large numbers from Tanzania and Algeria.

“There are a number of possible reasons for migration from Africa to the UAE, such as business opportunities as Dubai is one of the world's top business and financial centres; safety and security concerns in Africa; and lower taxes in the UAE,” Amoils told Khaleej Times after the release of 2023 Africa Wealth Report.

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“We definitely see this trend of migration from Africa to the UAE continuing beyond 2024 especially as Dubai continues to surpass London and Paris to become the key millionaire wealth hub in the Europe - Middle East region,” said Amoils.

Andrew Amoils
Andrew Amoils

According to Amoils, 18,700 high-net-worth individuals have left Africa between 2013 to 2023, mostly to the UK, the US, Australia, and the UAE. Significant numbers have also moved to France, Switzerland, Monaco, Portugal, Canada, New Zealand, and Israel.

According to Henley and Partners, the UAE houses 116,500 millionaires, 308 centi-millionaires with $100 million in wealth and 20 billionaires. The wealth of the high net worth individuals grew by 77 per cent between 2013 and 2023, the highest among the BRICS countries.

While Dubai houses 72,500 millionaires, 212 centi-millionaires and 15 billionaires.

A large number of high and ultra-high-net-worth individuals have been attracted to the UAE in the post-pandemic period after the government successfully handled Covid-19, boosting confidence among global investors. In addition, many new business-friendly policies were introduced to attract the best talent from around the world.

In addition to Africa, 1,500 millionaires migrated from the UK to Dubai in the past 10 years.

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

Amol Prabhu, CEO for South Africa and market head for Africa at Barclays, said Dubai and Singapore are among the top relocation destinations of ultra-high-net-worth families globally, especially those with business interests or looking to establish family offices in either hub.

“In the UAE, a relaxation of business regulations and its attractive golden visa programme are helping drive the popularity of cities such as Dubai,” he said.


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