That's super rich: Millionaires continue to migrate to Dubai

Published April 7th, 2016 - 08:00 GMT

Dubai, one of the world's top sought-after havens of super rich people, saw a net inflow of 2,000 millionaires in 2015, a new report on global millionaire migration reveals.

The city, home to 42,000 high networth individuals (HNWIs), saw strong millionaire inflows from Egypt, Algeria, Morocco and Turkey in 2015 to rank as the world's fourth preferred migrant destination for the wealthy, according to a report by the New World Wealth.

While Sydney and Melbourne became the first and second most preferred migration destination of the rich with a net inflow of 4,000 and 3,000 millionaires, respectively, other global cities that lured more than 1,000 millionaires in 2015 included Tel Aviv, San Francisco, Vancouver, Seattle and Perth. San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver all experienced large millionaire inflows from China and South East Asia.

According to the recent Knight Frank's The Wealth Report 2016, Dubai is the fifth most important city in the world for the ultra-wealthy, or UHNWIs - classified as those with $30 million or more in net assets.

Dubai jumped three slots from eighth place in the 2016 rankings, overtaking cities such as Shanghai, Miami and Paris.

Globally, London beat New York for the second year in a row as the most important city for the ultra-wealthy. The report also identified Dubai as a market offering strong opportunities for private investors. "Dubai has emerged as a global hub for financial services, logistics, hospitality and trade," said Knight Frank analyst Joseph Morris.

"Dubai's airport has overtaken London Heathrow as the busiest by international passenger numbers and the Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) is the region's leading financial hub. These factors have fuelled the development of new master communities and a CBD and attracted significant investment from neighbouring GCC countries and the wider region, including India and China," said Morris.

The report says as more international corporations establish regional headquarters and expand and consolidate existing office space in Dubai, there will be a greater focus on quality real estate across the emirate.

Around 460,000 HNWIs with a combined wealth amounting to $2.2 trillion are living in the Middle East, another report by New World Wealth Research Company recently found.

Since 2000, the number of Middle East HNWIs has increased by 136 per cent, while the worldwide HNWI growth rate over the same period is 73 per cent.

According to New World Wealth report, London experienced a net inflow of around 500 millionaires in 2015, low compared to recent years as a number of millionaires left the city in 2015 (around 3,000 came in and 2,500 left), the report said.

Of interest, most of the millionaires that left London were UK born whereas almost all of the millionaires that came into the city were from other countries. "This may be a trend that continues in future as several wealthy UK born people that we spoke to said they were concerned about the way London and the UK in general had changed over the past decade or so," said the report.

"In our view, a Brexit will not result in an outflow of millionaires from the UK. On the contrary, we believe that wealthy UK citizens are more likely to stay in the UK if there is a Brexit. This view is backed up by the fact that most of the wealthy British people we interviewed voiced concern over the UK's open border policy with Europe," it said.

Australia seems to be the preferred destination of millionaires. Cities with biggest outflows of millionaires in 2015 include Paris, Rome, Chicago and Athens recording outbound migration of 7,000 5,000, 3,000 and 2,000 respectively. Most of them moved to the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.

The outflows from India and China are not particularly concerning as these countries are still producing far more new millionaires than they are losing." Also, once the standard of living in these countries improves, we expect several wealthy people to move back," said the report.

Notable reasons for millionaire outflow from the four cities include rising religious tensions, lack of opportunities, economic slump, lack of opportunities, rising racial tensions, rising crime levels and economic slump.

By Isaac John


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