The number of millionaires in the United Arab Emirates is set to grow by 62 per cent over the next five years, the latest annual wealth report from Credit Suisse has found.
According to the report, the number of millionaires within the UAE is set to increase from 59,000 in 2015 to 96,000 in 2020.
The other Gulf country that is set to see a huge growth in its wealthy population is Saudi Arabia, where the number of millionaires is expected to rise from 50,000 in 2015 to 86,000 in 2020 – a 72 per cent growth.
Overall, the Middle East and North Africa countries have an estimated 330, 000 millionaires (as of 2015), up by more than 240 per cent since 2000. The number of millionaires is projected to rise by another 52 per cent to 500,000 by 2020, the report added.
In terms of the highest average wealth per capita, Qatar topped the Gulf Cooperation Council region with wealth of $157,000 per adult in mid-2015, up 0.8 per cent from the same period last year.
The GCC state also ranked 21st globally in terms of average wealth, up from 29th place in 2000, the report stated.
The UAE came second among the GCC countries with average wealth per adult of $144,400. However the amount marked a 0.3 decline compared to last year. Kuwait’s wealth per adult also fell 7.6 per cent from last year to reach $113,400, the report found.
Meanwhile average wealth per adult in the MENA region declined by 6.9 per cent to $15,800 in mid-2015, from $16,900 in mid-2014. However, this decline is largely due to exchange rate weakness, the report said.
The oil producing countries in the Middle East – specifically the GCC countries – have also been hit hard by the drop in oil prices over the past year. Oil prices are down around 50 per cent compared to the highs of about $114 per barrel in June 2014, which has hit state revenues.
In terms of total wealth, Saudi Arabia ranked first among GCC economies, with an estimated total wealth of $0.7 trillion, followed by the UAE with an estimated wealth of $0.6 trillion.
Overall household wealth in the MENA region totalled $4.4 trillion in mid-2015, down 2.2 per cent since mid-2014. In constant currency terms, however, net wealth increased by 1.7 per cent, the report added.
Globally as well, the report found that wealth fell by $13 trillion from mid-2014 to mid-2015 mainly due to the dollar appreciation. If measured at constant exchange rates, global wealth would have risen by $13 trillion since last year.
Chief investment officer for the UK & EEMEA, Private Banking and Wealth Management at Credit Suisse Michael O’Sullivan said: “We are clearly in a growth industry, with wealth set to continue its upward trajectory. By our estimates, wealth could grow at an annual rate of 6.6 per cent, reaching $345 trillion in 2020.
“Furthermore, the number of dollar millionaires could exceed 49.3 million adults in 2020, a rise of more than 46.2 per cent, with China likely to see the largest percentage increase and Africa as the next performing region.”