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Sat 18 Apr 2015 09:41 AM

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Number of UAE millionaires forecast to grow 15% by 2017

New report sees 82,600 millionaires living in UAE; growth to be constrained by falling oil prices

Number of UAE millionaires forecast to grow 15% by 2017
UAE Flag (Getty Images)

The number of millionaires living in the UAE is forecast to grow by 15 percent to reach approximately 82,600 by 2017, according to a new report.

Growth will be constrained by the falling oil price, which is expected to deter business formation and construction going forward, said New World Wealth's new United Arab Emirates 2014 Wealth Report.

It said millionaires living in the UAE have reduced the amount of their wealth that they hold overseas in the past seven years.

At the end of last year, high net worth individuals (HNWIs) held 41 percent of their fortune abroad compared to 47 percent in 2007.

The report showed that Europe made up the largest share of foreign holdings at 57 percent, followed by Asia Pacific (16 percent), the rest of the Middle East (15 percent) and North America (7 percent).

The study also showed that cash and bonds was the largest asset class for HNWIs in the UAE (32 percent), followed by business interests (23 percent), real estate (22 percent), equities (17 percent) and alternatives (6 percent).

Real estate recorded the strongest growth over the review period, followed by business interests, New World Wealth said, adding that there is a trend away from cash.

Liquid assets of HNWIs in the UAE amounted to $111 billion in 2014, representing 36 percent of the wealth holdings of local HNWIs.

At the end of 2014, there were approximately 72,100 HNWIs (with net assets of $1 million or more) living in the UAE, with a combined wealth of $305 billion.

The average age of UAE-based multi-millionaires, those with fortunes of $10 million and over) is 54 years which is slightly below the worldwide average of 56 years. The majority of them, 38 percent, are aged between 51 and 60 years.

The report said that the UAE is the second largest HNWI market in the Middle East, behind Turkey, wit one in every 130 people living in the UAE being a millionaire.

It added that UAE HNWI volumes increased by 59 percent over the review period (2007-2014).

This strong growth was supported by the migration of over 10,000 HNWIs into the UAE during the period and strongly performing local equity and local real estate markets.

"UAE wealth was negatively influenced by a significant 27 percent drop in oil prices during the review period. This decline impacted detrimentally on the business interests and equity investments of local HNWIs," the report said.

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