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UAE expected to attract the largest number of millionaires to relocate to the country globally in 2022

THE UAE flag is seen in front of the Dubai International Financial Centre in Dubai. Photo, Reuters.

THE UAE flag is seen in front of the Dubai International Financial Centre in Dubai. Photo, Reuters.

Published Jun 15, 2022

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The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is expected to attract the largest number of millionaires to relocate to the country globally in 2022, while private capital has left Russia and Ukraine, according to the latest report released this week.

The information is contained in a Henly Global Citizens report, which tracks private wealth and investment migration trends worldwide.

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Henley & Partners is a London-based firm that produces the index.

The research aims to highlight the number of millionaires who have relocated to a country (inflows) and those who have permanently left a country (net flows). It also highlighted top 10 countries gaining and losing millionaires in 2022.

The report comes at the time the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and the associated protracted lockdown and travel restrictions had impacted global mobility.

Henley & Partners CEO Juerg Steffen said: “The 2022 forecast reflects an extremely volatile environment worldwide. By the end of the year, 88 000 millionaires are expected to have relocated to new countries, 22 000 fewer than in 2019 when 110 000 moved.

“Next year, the largest millionaire migration flows on record are predicted, 125 000, as affluent investors and their families earnestly prepare for the new post-Covid world, with an as-yet-to-be revealed rearrangement of the global order, and the ever-present threat of climate change as a constant backdrop.”

According to the report, the UAE has become the focus of intense interest among affluent investors and is expected to see the highest net influx of High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) globally in 2022.

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"With 4 000 forecast, a dramatic increase of 208 percent versus 2019’s net inflow of 1 300 and one of its largest on record. The UAE is now doing the same with its competitive, agile approach to adapting immigration regulations to attract private wealth, capital and talent," the company said.

The report states that Russia has suffered the biggest emigration of millionaires over the past six months, with forecast net outflows of 15 000 by the end of 2022, a massive 15 percent of its HNWI population and 9 500 more than in 2019, pre-pandemic.

“Russia’s invasion is in turn driving a steep spike in outgoing HNWIs from Ukraine, which is predicted to suffer its highest net loss in the country’s history, 2 800 millionaires (42 percent of its HNWI population) and a net loss of 2 400 more than 2019,” it said.

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The report also showed that destinations that traditionally attracted wealthy investors were losing their lustre.

It said once touted as the world’s financial centre, the UK continued to see a steady loss of millionaires, with net outflows of 1 500 predicted for 2022.

“This trend began five years ago when the Brexit vote and rising taxes saw more HNWIs leaving the country than entering for the first time. The UK has suffered a total net loss of approximately 120 000 millionaires since 2017,” it said.

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America was less popular among migrating millionaires today than pre-Covid.

"The country still attracts more HNWIs than it loses to emigration, with a net inflow of 1 500 projected for 2022, although this is a staggering 86 percent drop from 2019 levels, which saw a net inflow of 10 800 millionaires," the report said.

Australia's net inflows – which the report said usually attracts large numbers of HNWIs – was expected to be 3 500, the second-highest globally.

Neighbouring New Zealand was expected to receive a net inflow of 800 HNWIs in 2022, and Asia’s prime hub of affluence, Singapore, continues to attract millionaires, with net inflows of 2 800 expected, a prolific 87 percent increase compared to 2019’s figure of 1 500.

Wealth emigration is beginning to hurt in China, with net outflows of 10 000 HNWIs expected in 2022. In Hong Kong (SAR China) HNWI departures continue albeit at a slower pace, with projected net millionaire outflows of 3 000 in 2022, a 29 percent drop compared to 2019.

“Brazil’s millionaire exodus is intensifying with net outflows of 2 500 HNWIs predicted – up 79 percent compared to 2019,” the report said.

India is expected to suffer a net loss of approximately 8 000 HNWIs in 2022, up 14 percent since 2019 when the net loss was 7 000. However, India produces far more new millionaires than it loses to migration each year.

The former chief economist at Lloyds Bank Commercial, Trevor Williams, said emerging economies were forecast to boom in the next decade.

“As the world economy grows, economies in Africa, Latin America, and elsewhere in the Global South are catching up with high-income economies. And as this report shows, they will see a more significant number of millionaires and billionaires in the next decade.

“For example, the number of HNWIs in Sri Lanka is forecast to increase by 90 percent by 2031, while India and Mauritius’s millionaire growth is forecast at 80 percent, and China’s at 50 percent, compared to 20 percent in the US and 10 percent in France, Germany, Italy and the UK,” he said.

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