Some of the wealthiest Emiratis donate more than US$10 million each over the course of their lives, a study has found.
These ultra-wealthy philanthropists are defined as those who have net assets of at least $30m.
The global figure for such individuals is $28.7m, the report by Wealth-X, a global wealth intelligence provider and Arton Capital, an international financial advisory showed yesterday.
“The UAE is one of the most prosperous countries on earth, and makes huge contributions through philanthropic giving, but more can always be done to bridge the gap between the world’s richest and poorest,” said Armand Arton, the president and chief executive of Arton Capital.
In July, one of the UAE’s most prominent business families, Al Ghurair, said it would give a third of its wealth – more than $1billion – to charity. Abdullah Al Ghurair, the head of the eponymous Dubai-based conglomerate best known as founder-owner of Mashreq bank, unveiled the Abdullah Al Ghurair Education Foundation and pledged Dh4.2bn to fund its first 10 years.
Similar moves were echoed in Saudi Arabia when Prince Alwaleed bin Talal pledged to direct most of his $32bn fortune towards charitable purposes in the kingdom.
Global philanthropic giving among the world’s ultra-wealthy last year reached $112bn, reflecting a surge of 25 per cent from 2004 and up 6.4 per cent year-on-year, according to the report.
Education remained the top cause that ultra-wealthy people donate to, followed by health.
The refugee crisis also ranked high in terms of importance. About 4.3 million Syrians are registered as refugees, the study showed – out of the estimated 60 million refugees worldwide. Providing shelter, education and a stipend for the 4.3 million Syrian refugees would cost about $60.2bn, the report showed.
As it stands, about 7,441, or 1 in 28 ultra-wealthy people, gave a total of US$2.7bn to the refugee crisis. The average amount of donation was $357,500.
In terms of total donations, India had the most generous donors, followed by the United Kingdom and Hong Kong. But based on donations as a percentage of net worth, the UK ranked on top of the list of the most generous donors, followed by the United States and Hong Kong.