The Middle East’s super rich community grew by 100 in the last year to 4,595 individuals with a combined wealth of US$710bn, according to a new global report published this week.
While the number of ultra high net worth (UHNW) individuals with a fortune over US$30m increased, their total wealth decreased 1.3 percent to US$710 billion, according to the ‘World Ultra Wealth Report 2012-2013’ compiled by Singapore-based Wealth X consultancy firm.
Leading the pack was Saudi Arabian with 1265 UHNW individuals, whose wealth totaled US$230bn. This was followed by the UAE, with 810 individuals with a combined value of US$120bn.
“Iraq recorded the fastest rate of UHNW population growth at 6.7 percent, followed by the UAE at 4.5 percent and Qatar at 3.4 percent. Syria saw the largest percentage reductions in UHNW population for the region,” the report said.
Within the UAE, the report showed there are 35 billionaires in the country each worth an average of US$1.1bn. The lowest tier of the UHNW group, represented by those worth US$30m to US$49m is the largest group, making up 45.7 percent of the total UHNW population in the Emirates.
As it prepares to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022, Qatar is home to 12 billionaires, each worth an average of US$1.4bn. While the number of UHNW individuals grew in Qatar by 3.4 percent, their total balance sheet decreased by 2.2 percent to US$45bn.
“The gloom in Europe may prove to be the drag on economic expansion in Africa and the Middle East through the reduced demand for oil and an increase in risk aversion amongst investors,” the report warned.
Globally, there are 2,160 billionaires, each worth an average of US$2.9bn each and controlling. This means the top 1.2 percent of the super rich club control 24 percent of the total fortune attributable to the ultra wealthy.
The highest number of super rich was still in North America, with 65,295 UHNW individuals worth US$8,880bn, followed by Europe with 53,440 UHNW individuals worth US$6,950bn and Asia with 42,895 UHNW individuals worth US$6,250bn.