Dubai: The combined fortunes of millionaires in the UAE continue to expand, with their assets now representing nearly half of the country’s wealth.

Residents with net assets of Dh3.6 million or more, own 42 per cent of the total fortunes in the country, slightly higher than the global average of 35 per cent, according to New World Wealth.

Millionaires in other economies in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC ) countries, however, have more control over wealth, especially in Saudi Arabia, where more than half of the fortunes (58 per cent) are owned by millionaires, the second highest in the world. In Qatar, affluent individuals control 48 per cent of the total wealth.

Andrew Amoils, head of research, however, said that wealth distribution in the UAE looks disproportionate simply because the population of HNWIs is growing.

“[High wealth inequality exists because there is a ] small [number of] middle class or mass affluent- people with net assets of between $100,000 and $1 million, and there is a high number of billionaires and individuals with over $100 million. These individuals skew the wealth curve a lot,” Amoils told Gulf News.

As of the end of December 2015, the UAE is home to around 72,000 residents with net assets of Dh3.7 million or more.

The UAE is becoming increasingly popular as a haven for the rich, with thousands of millionaires moving into the country over the last few years alone. Millionaire inflows into the UAE reached 10,000 between the later part of 2007 and 2015, especially during the time when local real estate markets were performing really well.