Aspiring to see more commas in your bank account? The United Arab Emirates might just be the right place for you. The number of people with at least $1 million in the UAE grew from 182,768 in 2018 to 197,565 in 2019, a strong 8-percent increase; the numbers are only getting better with time.
According to a wealth report by Knight Frank, around 41,300 high net worth individuals will make the UAE their home over the next four years, with a growth of 21 percent to reach 238,834 millionaires.
The report uses the term UHNWIs to describe ultra-high net worth individuals, aka people with over $30 million (or 110 million dirhams). The number of UHNWIs in the UAE reached 1,681 people in 2019, but are expected to grow by as much as 24 percent over the next four years, to reach 2,079.
As for billionaires, their number remains 62 as of 2019 in the UAE, but five more of them are expected to permanently reside in the country in the next four years.
By 2024, Asia will be the world's second-largest wealth hub in the world after Europe, with a forecast of 44 percent growth in the next five years, according to the report.
The numbers foreshadow a bright future for Saudi Arabia and Egypt
The total number of UHNWIs worldwide in 2019 was 513,244, meaning a 6 percent growth in their total globally, with 5,100 of them located in Saudi Arabia.
The global millionaire population will continue to grow in the next coming years. The surprising part? Egypt will have one of the highest levels (66 percent) of UHNWIs population growth over the next half a decade.
Six of the 20 fastest growing countries in the report are located in Asia, the first one being India with 73 percent growth, the second Egypt, and the third UAE with 24 percent.
"Knight Frank predicts that by 2024, Asia will be the world's second-largest wealth hub outperforming Europe, with a forecast five-year growth of 44 percent," said Liam Bailey, Global Head of Research at Knight Frank. "However, even after such a steep rise, it will remain half the size of North America's UHNWI population, which is predicted to increase by 22 percent over the same period."
Taimur Khan, the associate partner at Knight Frank Middle East, said that the rate of wealth creation in the GCC will remain strong. "Over the next five years we expect the number of HNWIs ($1 million) to increase by 12 percent on average and UHNWIs ($30 million) by over 26 percent over the same period," said Khan.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE are making effort to make their economy flourish
The links seem to be strong between Saudi Arabia and the UAE, especially when it comes to business growth. UAE's richest expat, Yusuff Ali M. A, is the first Indian to be granted a permanent residency visa in the kingdom.
It's been a few months since Saudi Arabia approved a green-card style residency scheme that allows "highly-skilled" expats to do business in the kingdom without the need for a local sponsor. The premium residency has been granted to tens of foreigners from all around the world and the latest of them is non-other than business tycoon Yusuff Ali M. A.
The man, whose assets amount to over $4.7 billion, is expected to use his premium residency to further expand his business in the kingdom and invest in its economy.
And the UAE seems to be following along in this nation-wide effort to decrease red tapes for business owners and increase work opportunities. This week, Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced that 122 economic activities will now be open for full foreign ownership.
In a statement published by the Emirati state news agency WAM, Al Maktoum said, "We have the flexibility to keep up with the economic developments and changes around the world."
"We want to be a gate for production and attracting advanced technology and expertise. We support all those who have ideas to develop industries, education, healthcare, artificial intelligence, food security as well as the quality of life in our society," he added.