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Dubai: The global economy may be sluggish, but people in the UAE continue to grow their money. In fact, in the last one year alone, more individuals were added to the nation’s ranks of the wealthy.

The number of millionaires in the country swelled to 20,000 individuals in 2017, up nearly 10 per cent from 18,200 a year earlier, according to the new data supplied by Boston Consulting Group.

That means that over the course of 12 months, approximately 1,800 people in UAE were minted millionaires, a reflection of the growing private wealth in the country.

Overall, the total investable fortunes in 2017, which also include the wealth held by non-high net worths, reached more than $3,113 billion and this is expected to balloon to $4,865 billion in 2022.

Why are people getting richer?

The consultancy firm said people are seeing their wealth grow because of the positive equity and investment fund markets.  As of 2017, nearly half of the wealth in the country (46 per cent) were held in currency and deposits, but a third were held offshore, 15 per cent in life insurance and pensions and 9 per cent in equities and investment funds.

Where millionaires put their money

Millionaires generally have a preference for equities and investment funds, as they are deemed to generate more wealth than other investment vehicles, such as bonds, currency or deposit accounts.

However, among the millionaires in UAE, a huge proportion of the wealth are actually held offshore, while the non-millionaires put the huge bulk of their money in currency and deposits, the type of assets that don’t traditionally produce huge returns.

“For the UAE, specifically, the main difference between the millionaire versus the non-millionaire segment is the fact that millionaires have a high proportion of wealth offshore (56 per cent of total millionaire wealth in the UAE is offshore wealth versus six per cent for non-millionaires),” Markus Massi, senior partner and managing director at the Boston Consulting Group, told Gulf News.

“Assets that do not usually reap high returns are also higher for non-millionaires than for millionaires in UAE (66 per cent of total wealth in currency and deposits for non-millionaires versus 23 per cent for millionaires).”