Why is UAE the top destination for millionaires?

Report says UAE driven by advantageous tax policies, strategic location, other favourable factors

News Desk June 20, 2024
A general view of a resident and business development site in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, June 14, 2023. PHOTO: REUTERS


The United Arab Emirates is projected to maintain its position as the world's foremost attraction for wealth for the third consecutive year, according to the latest Henley Private Wealth Migration Report.

The report, released on June 18, forecasts a significant net increase of 6,700 millionaires migrating to the UAE from various countries by the end of 2024.

In comparison, the United States ranks a distant second, expecting around 3,800 millionaires to relocate by the year's end, approximately half of the influx anticipated by the UAE. The report predicts a record-breaking total of 128,000 millionaires globally, defined as individuals with liquid investable assets exceeding $1 million, relocating during the year 2024.

Henley reports that the number exceeds last year's record of 120,000 migrating millionaires, indicating that 2024 is poised to mark a significant moment in global wealth migration. The data, sourced from New World Wealth, provides insights into the movement of millionaires worldwide, detailing both inbound and outbound trends.

Dominic Volek, group head of private clients at Henley & Partners, emphasized the migration of millionaires as a pivotal indicator of shifts in global wealth dynamics. He suggested that this trend could have profound implications for the nations these individuals depart from and those they choose as their new homes.

Here are the top 10 countries expecting to see the highest net inflows of millionaires in 2024, according to Henley and Partners.

  1. United Arab Emirates: +6,700
  2. United States of America: +3,800
  3. Singapore: +3,500
  4. Canada: +3,200
  5. Australia: +2,500
  6. Italy: +2,200
  7. Switzerland: +1,500
  8. Greece: +1,200
  9. Portugal: +800
  10. Japan: +400

According to Volek, amidst global geopolitical tensions, economic uncertainty, and social unrest, millionaires are increasingly choosing to relocate in unprecedented numbers, seeking safer environments and better opportunities for their assets and families.

The Henley report highlights the UAE's growing appeal as a secure haven for wealthy individuals worldwide, driven by advantageous tax policies, strategic location, top-tier infrastructure, and other favourable factors.

The UAE offers a "golden visa" programme designed to attract foreign investors, entrepreneurs, and skilled professionals, providing them with long-term residency. This initiative aims to encourage significant investments in the country across various sectors, including specialists, students, and researchers.

Migration to the UAE is largely influenced by departures from the broader Middle East region, India, Russia, Africa, and anticipated increases from the United Kingdom and Europe, as indicated by the research findings.

Singapore is ranked third, expecting a net influx of 3,500 millionaires in 2024, solidifying its status as a leading destination for high-net-worth individuals seeking relocation in Asia.

Japan also features in the top 10 destinations, bolstered in part by an increase in affluent Chinese individuals moving to Japan following the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the report.

Here are the 10 countries or territories projected to see the highest outflows of millionaires in 2024:

  1. China: -15,200
  2. United Kingdom: -9,500
  3. India: -4,300
  4. South Korea: -1,200
  5. Russian Federation: -1,000
  6. Brazil: -800
  7. South Africa: -600
  8. Taiwan: -400
  9. Nigeria: -300
  10. Vietnam: -300

According to the report, China is anticipated to witness the largest departure of millionaires, with an estimated 15,200 high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) expected to leave the country by the end of 2024. The United Kingdom follows closely with a projected net loss of 9,500 millionaires during the same period, while India is forecasted to experience a decrease of 4,300 millionaires this year.

The UK, previously a favoured destination for the global wealthy, has recently observed significant emigration among millionaires.

Dr Hannah White, director and CEO of the independent think tank the Institute for Government, expressed concerns that economic and political instability in Britain may accelerate the ongoing outflow of millionaires, especially if further unfavourable policies are implemented ahead of upcoming elections.

Both China and India are experiencing substantial net outflows of millionaires due to robust economic growth that has created a large number of new millionaires. However, slower wealth expansion in China in recent years could exacerbate the long-term impact of these departures.

Indian millionaires often leave their homeland seeking improved lifestyles, cleaner and safer environments, and access to superior healthcare and educational facilities, according to Dr White.


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