The first cracks in the rental market appeared in the second-half of 2015, confined to the upscale neighbourhoods — the Jumeirah villas for one and on the Palm — of Dubai. And then through 2016, the declines became more apparent in Dubai Marina (pictured) and the Downtown. Image Credit: Abdel-Krim Kallouche/XPRESS

Dubai: The UAE is slowly adding more multi-millionaires back to its wealthy population, with the number of high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) reaching 55,700 in 2016 after plunging from a recent peak.

The 2017 World Wealth Report released on Thursday by business consultancy Capgemini, showed that about 400 people joined the ranks of the UAE’s wealthy between 2015 and 2016.

The HNWI bracket covers individuals with US$1 million (Dh3.6 million) in investable assets, as well as cash deposits, equities, bonds and funds, excluding their residence.

The UAE’s rich population, which collectively holds US$ 195.3 billion in private wealth as of the latest analysis, had earlier slumped to 55,300 in 2015 from a recent high of 65,500 in 2014. During the same period, private fortunes nosedived to US$193.2 billion from US$227.9 billion.

The earlier decline was attributed to “unprecedented market conditions.

UAE’s multi-millionaire population

Year/ Population size

2008 67,100
2009 54,500
2010 52,600
2011 50,700
2012 52,800
2013 65,400
2014 65,500
2015 55,300
2016 55,700

Across the Middle East region, the size of the wealthy population continues to expand, registering a 4.8 per cent increase in 2016 to 0.6 million, as wealth grew by 5 per cent to $2.41 trillion.

The population of millionaires in the region, as well as their fortunes, has been consistently growing since 2008.

Other studies, however, indicated that the UAE has consistently been attracting wealthy individuals. A report by New World Wealth, which tracks the migration of millionaires around the world, showed that 5,000 people with net assets of $1 million moved to the UAE in 2016, up from the 3,000 increase recorded in 2015.

Andrew Amoils, New World Wealth analyst, said the taxation regime in the UAE remains an attractive proposition for migrating millionaires.

“The UAE’s low tax rates and high safety levels make it particularly attractive to high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs). It also boasts several fast growing sectors including financial services, technology, healthcare and media,” said Amoils.