The UAE is expected to attract the largest net inflow of high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) globally in 2022, according to forecast HNWI figures published in the latest Henley Global Citizens Report.
Approximately 4,000 more millionaires are expected to move to the UAE this year than those who will leave — one of the country’s largest millionaire net inflows on record, according to the report, which tracks private wealth and investment migration trends worldwide.
The report released by investment advisory firm Henley & Partners exclusively features the latest projected 2022 net inflows and outflows of US dollar millionaires – namely, the difference between the number of HNWIs who relocate to and the number who emigrate from a country – by New World Wealth.
The managing partner at Henley & Partners and the head of the firm’s Dubai office, Philippe Amarante, said that more and more clients are showing strong interest in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
Amarante added: “The UAE has spearheaded this surge with its competitive, agile approach to adapting regulations and remains a powerful magnet for capital and talent. Investors from all over the world continue to relocate to the country either in a private capacity, with their businesses, or both.
“This seemed to have been a temporary effect due to the UAE leadership’s efficient pandemic management, but roots in the UAE are now becoming a must-have asset in every high-net-worth investor’s portfolio.”
Most of the millionaires come from Russia, India, Africa, and the Middle East. Pre-pandemic, the UAE traditionally attracted net inflows of only around 1,000 millionaires per year.
Millionaire migration boom forecast for UAE
In terms of projected HNWI growth over the next decade, the Henley Private Wealth Migration Dashboard predicts that the number of dollar millionaires and billionaires will increase by 40 percent in the UAE.
The country already has 92,600 US-dollar millionaires; 4,000 multi-millionaires worth more than $10 million; 251 centi-millionaires (over $100 million), and 14 US-dollar billionaires.
The head of Research at New World Wealth, Andrew Amoils, said: “The country is strong in numerous key sectors including financial services, oil and gas, real estate, travel and tourism, technology, and healthcare, with a first-class healthcare system.
“UAE residents stand to benefit from among the world’s most competitive tax rates, along with the likes of Monaco and Bermuda. In terms of lifestyle, the UAE is a renowned luxury hub, with top-end apartments and villas and world-class shopping malls and restaurants.”
Amoils added: “For those with children, there are excellent international schools, and many beaches with yachting, water sports, and other leisure activities.”
GCC markets increasingly attractive to international investors
Henley & Partners has also seen a significant increase in investor interest in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
Amarante added: “Much like the UAE, Bahrain applies a nimble, and therefore highly attractive, approach to private clients wishing to invest in the country’s real estate or industrial sectors.
“The recent start of the construction of the Bahrain–US trade zone as a regional center for manufacturing, logistics, and distribution for American companies in the kingdom, in the GCC markets, and beyond, has increased Bahrain’s attractiveness.”
He adds that economic and social developments in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have also made its premium residency initiative look increasingly appealing to the global community of high-net-worth-individuals.
“Research suggests that the education sector in Saudi Arabia benefited from the use of social media during the pandemic, with the result that academics, higher education institutions, and educational technology application providers are increasingly interested in the opportunities the kingdom offers,” Amarante added.
Commenting in the Henley Global Citizens Report, the chairman of Globaleye, Tim Searle, pointed out that what clients implemented years ago may well no longer be relevant today.
“Clients should also take some responsibility and challenge their advisory and substantiate with other parties that all parameters are being covered. Just as you should never accept one doctor’s opinion regarding your health, the same applies to your wealth,” Searle concluded.