THE NUMBER of millionaires living in the United Arab Emirates has soared by 60 per cent since 2007 despite the recent drop in oil prices taking its toll on the business interests of wealthy individuals.
A report published yesterday by New World Wealth said there were 72,100 individuals with net assets of $1m or more living in the UAE at the end of 2014, with a combined wealth of $305bn (£236bn).
The number of multi-millionaires – those with assets worth $10m or more – totalled 3,060 with an average age of 54, which is below the world average age of 56.
As a result, the UAE now has the second highest number of high net worth individuals in the Middle East after Turkey, with Dubai and Abu Dhabi home to the biggest proportion of millionaires.
New World Wealth’s head of research Andrew Amoils said the country’s burgeoning wealth was driven by strong growth in the local equity and real estate markets as well as the migration of over 10,000 millionaires into the UAE during the period.
However, this growth has been dampened by a 27 per cent drop in oil prices in the period, which has impacted the equity investments of the country’s wealthy individuals.
Over the next three years, the number of millionaires is forecast to grow by 15 per cent to 82,600 by 2017 – held back by the falling oil price, which is expected to slow construction and the creation of new businesses.
At the end of 2014, UAE millionaires held 41 per cent of their wealth abroad, a fall of 47 per cent compared to 2007. Europe made up the largest share of foreign holdings at 57 per cent followed by Asia Pacific.