UAE: Why the world’s millionaires are moving to the country

Here’s what the Emirates has been doing to enhance its reputation as the best place to live in


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Published: Sat 17 Jun 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Sat 17 Jun 2023, 10:45 PM

The UAE is expected to welcome 4,500 millionaires this year, having emerged as one of the preferred global destinations for high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs), according to the recent Henley Private Wealth Migration Report 2023.

An article on the Henley & Partners website, titled “Where and Why Millionaires are Migrating in 2023,” looked at what is making the UAE the “foremost wealth hub” in the Middle East. The firm identifies itself as the global leader in residence and citizenship by investment.

It pointed out that before the pandemic, the UAE traditionally saw net inflows of around 1,000 HNWIs per year, while the expected inflow this year would be around 4,500 millionaires — one of the highest on record. In 2022, the UAE attracted 5,200 HNWIs, the highest globally.

The article cited above listed some of the key “reasons millionaires are drawn to the Emirates”.

It spoke of the UAE’s highly diversified economy, with strong financial services, healthcare, oil and gas, real estate, technology, and travel and tourism sectors.

“…along with Bermuda and Monaco, the UAE has the most competitive tax rates in the world,” it added.

Next, the article looked at the UAE’s top-notch healthcare system and the country’s status as a luxury hub with shopping destinations and restaurants, while pointing out that the country offers leisure activities all year round thanks to it “beaches, water parks, and yachting marinas”.

Finally, the article also mentioned the “top-end apartments and luxurious villas” that are available throughout the country and stressed that there “are over 200 international schools in the Emirates” — factors that contribute in making the UAE an attractive destination for HNWIs.

Another article on the Henley & Partners website titled “UAE Moves to Enhance Regional Position and Global Status” highlighted that the UAE government has taken a series of steps to steer the country towards greater economic growth and development over the past few years.  It went on to underline the following points in the UAE’s success story.

‘The Project of the 50’

It is a series of developmental and economic projects aimed at accelerating the UAE’s development and transforming the country into a “comprehensive hub in all sectors and establish its status as an ideal destination for talents and investors”.

Dubai Economic Agenda

The government has approved the Dubai Economic Agenda, or D33, in January, with the goal to double the size of the economy in the next decade and establish it as one of the top three global cities.

The agenda has 100 transformational projects, which include launching Dubai's plan for green and sustainable manufacturing, integrating 65,000 young Emiratis into the job market, as well as launching Dubai Traders project to empower the new generation of traders in key sectors.

The objectives of D33 also include increasing foreign trade, government expenditure, and private-sector investments. It also plans to generate an annual contribution of Dh 100 billion from digital transformation projects.

Economic partnerships

The UAE’s policymakers are enhancing international partnerships through new economic mechanisms, according to the article cited above. “The UAE Government is signing comprehensive economic partnership agreements (CEPAs) — which resemble free trade agreements but include broader implications — with Asian, African, Latin American, and European countries.”


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