190116 dubai rents
Dubai Marina, one of the most popular neighbourhoods in Dubai. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The wealthy in the UAE are getting more numerous.

The country added over a thousand new millionaires in 2018, with their total population increasing to 53,798, according to the latest data released by Knight Frank.

In 2017, there were 52,344 individuals with a net worth of at least $1 million in the UAE. From January to December 2018, an additional 1,454 people were added into the list, meaning the UAE produced approximately three US dollar millionaires every day.

The size of millionaire residents is forecast to grow by 14 per cent over a five-year period, reaching 61,292 by 2023.

The population of ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHWIs), or those who have at least $30 million (Dh110 million) in assets, also grew by 21 – nearly two every month – to a total of 693. Their number will also expand by 15 per cent to 799 in 2023.

Middle East

Overall, the Middle East’s ultra-millionaire population grew from 8,019 to 8,301, while the number of millionaires went up from 446,384 to 459,937.

Saudi Arabia has more UHNWIs compared to UAE, accounting for 950 people, while its millionaire population is also a bit higher at 52,926.

Across the globe

Across the globe, the number of people with assets worth at least $1 million went up by three per cent to over 19.6 million individuals in 2018. Mainland China is home to the biggest population of millionaires, accounting for more than 1.5 million.

The year also saw a four per cent increase in UHNWIs, which accounted for 198,342 in 2018. The population is forecast to rise by 22 per cent over the next five years, with a 15 per cent growth rate in select countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. Japan has the biggest concentration of UHNWIs, at 18,534 in 2018.

Number of millionaires in select territories. Image Credit: 2019 Knight Frank Wealth Report

Wealth distribution

In terms of wealth distribution within the UAE, Dubai seems to have captured the chunk of the country’s rich population. In 2018, Dubai accounted for 440 UHNWIs, while Abu Dhabi had 192

As to how the rich allocated their wealth, Knight Frank’s report indicated that those living in the Middle East have placed 21 per cent of their fortunes in property assets and each of them have an average of nearly five homes.

The majority of the rich (74 per cent) in the region have second homes abroad. A good number of them are also looking to expand their property portfolio, with nearly a third (27 per cent) planning to buy a new home overseas in 2019 or 2020.