Dubai records 18% increase in multimillionaire residents in 2022

The city is home to 67,900 millionaires, new report finds

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Dubai is the 23rd-most popular city in the world for ultra-wealthy residents, after the emirate recorded an 18 per cent increase in high-net-worth individuals in the first six months of 2022, a new report found.

The city’s population of HNWIs rose to 67,900, up from 54,000 in June last year, according to the study by New World Wealth, a research company that tracks the wealth and movement of millionaires, multimillionaires and billionaires globally, and Henley & Partners, which tracks private wealth and investment migration trends worldwide.

The number of billionaires in Dubai increased by one to 13 in 2022, while the city’s population of centimillionaires grew to 202 from 165 last year. The number of multimillionaires increased to 3,170 in June from 2,480 last year, the study found.

“The first half of 2022 was a negative period for global wealth formation,” said Andrew Amoils, head of research at New World Wealth.

“Worldwide high-net-worth individual numbers were down by 5 per cent in the six-month period to June 2022. This drop was mainly due to the poor performance of major stock market indices — the S&P 500 declined by 20 per cent, while most other major indices were also down by similar percentages.”

The study defines HNWIs as individuals with wealth of $1 million or more, while multimillionaires have a personal fortune of $10m or more. Centimillionaires have a net worth of $100m or more and billionaires have reserves of $1 billion or more.

The number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) — people with a net wealth of $30m or more — in the world rose 9.3 per cent last year as the global economic rebound from the pandemic and rising equity markets supercharged wealth creation, a March report by global property consultancy Knight Frank showed.

Last year, 52,000 people globally were added to the ultra-wealthy segment. The growth in wealth was evenly spread across regions in 2021, with North America leading the way and registering a 12.2 per cent increase in wealth for UHNWIs.

Meanwhile, in a separate report in July, management consultancy Boston Consulting Group said 41 per cent of the UAE’s wealth in 2021 was derived from UHNWIs and this share is expected to grow to 43 per cent in 2026.

In the Middle East, Dubai ranked first for HNWI wealth, followed by Tel Aviv, Israel, with 42,400 millionaires, the New World Wealth and Henley & Partners study found.

Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE, ranked third with 23,800 millionaires, followed by Doha (21,300) and Riyadh (17,200), according to the research.

“The influx of high-net-worth individuals migrating to the Middle East — and particularly the UAE — is gaining momentum,” said Philippe Amarante, managing partner at Henley & Partners and head of the company’s Dubai office.

“The UAE has also recently implemented new regulations to provide additional immigration options for digital nomads, start-ups, inventors and retirees, among others, and further benefits for family members who reside in the country. It is this efficient and nimble approach by policymakers that consistently puts the UAE ahead of the curve in the global competition for wealth, talent, ideas and projects.”

Globally, New York City topped the list of wealthiest cities with 345,600 millionaires, the study found. Total private wealth held by New York’s residents exceeds $3 trillion — higher than the total private wealth held in most major G20 countries.

This is followed by Japan’s financial hub of Tokyo with 304,900 resident HNWIs, while the San Francisco Bay Area — encompassing the city of San Francisco and Silicon Valley — is third on the list, home to 276,400 millionaires.

London (272,400 millionaires) and the city-state of Singapore (249,800) round out the top five cities, the study found.

London has recorded a steady outflow of millionaires over the past decade, with many leaving the city for nearby commuter towns, the report said.

Los Angeles is ranked sixth on the index with 192,400 millionaires, followed by Chicago (160,100), Houston (132,600), Beijing (131,500) and Shanghai (130,100).

Cities with strong oil and gas industries performed well in terms of millionaire growth in the six months to June 2022, including the likes of Riyadh, Dubai, Luanda, Abu Dhabi and Doha, the study found.

“This is mainly due to stock market rises in these markets and a big increase in Brent crude prices,” Mr Amoils said.

“Other interesting cities on the fastest-growing list include Lugano, a popular Swiss hotspot for affluent retirees from Europe. Bengaluru, India is also gaining millionaires due to its rapidly growing IT, biotechnology and business process outsourcing sectors. Hangzhou, China is another wealth magnet to watch.”

Dubai, Mumbai and Shenzhen, China are expected to break into the top 20 wealthiest cities by 2030, he added.

Mumbai has 60,600 resident millionaires, while Shenzhen is home to 43,600 millionaires.

World’s top 10 wealthiest cities (number of millionaires)

  1. New York: 345,600
  2. Tokyo: 304,900
  3. San Francisco Bay Area: 276,400
  4. London: 272,400
  5. Singapore: 249,800
  6. Los Angeles & Malibu: 192,400
  7. Chicago: 160,100
  8. Houston: 132,600
  9. Beijing: 131,500
  10. Shanghai: 130,100
Updated: June 21, 2023, 12:05 PM