By Shane McGinley
Total wealth of the richest individuals in region declined 1.3 percent to US$710bn
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.
All very nice statistics but is this not part of the problem where a minority assumes power and wealth = arab spring? Very little here to be proud of other than flaunting wealth.
I wonder how many UHNW in North America, Europe and Asia are individuals from the Middle East but living abroad due to more stable economies for investment.
@Richard - it depends. If these individuals made it to the ranks of the super-rich via hard work, as opposed to family money and laws tilted in their favor, then I would respect them and expect them to be proud.
If on the other hand, these are kids born with silver spoons, or benefiting from laws that make it easy to succeed (agency law being an example), then ho-hum...
Having lived in the gulf for many years i am certain your 2nd theory is highly likely.
30-49 million is the highest group in this category. If you were to include other categories, starting from $ 1 million, the UAE would be very well represented. It's very hard work to get there and not everyone will succeed at it, but one thing is for sure, it's easier to get there than in countries where you have to earn $ 2 million before taxes to end up with $ 1 million that you can keep. People who don't believe in this region and it's potential, please pick your sour mouths up and simply leave elsewhere. People who are jealous and simply want to hate people who made it, the doors are open for you to leave. People who point at people for whom it was made easier to become billionaires instead of figuring out how to make money together with them, bye bye... It's those who believe who will make the difference in this region and the rest is obsolete.