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15 July 2024

UAE Set to Experience a Remarkable Surge in Millionaire Migration in 2023

By E247

Almost 4,500 millionaires are expected to relocate to the UAE in 2023, making it the world's second most popular country for relocation among high-net -worth individuals (HNWIs). Australia is the most preferred destination, with 5,200 millionaires around the globe choosing it as their home, according to a recent report.

The net HNWI inflow to the UAE in 2023 will surpass the previous year, which saw 4,000 arrive, the Henley Private Wealth Migration Report 2023 said.

Moreover, the UK will a see a larger net exodus of millionaires than Russia this year as HNWIs flee the country’s post-Brexit economic landscape as well as a government policy change that has removed permanent non-dom tax status.

Almost 3,200 millionaires are expected to leave the UK this year, while 3,000 are expected to exit Russia.

Only China and India will see more HNWIs leave, with net losses of 13,500 and 8,000 millionaires respectively.

The total number of millionaires leaving the UK is expected to double, as 1,600 left in 2022, the report said.  

Singapore will be in third place in 2023, with a net inflow of 3,200 HNWIs, its highest on record, followed by the USA with an expected net inflow of 2,100 millionaires.

The next most popular destinations will be Switzerland, Canada, Greece, France Portugal and New Zealand. Israel is predicted to fall out of the top 10 with its net inflow of millionaires to 600, compared to 1,100 in 2022.

Dr Juerg Steffen, CEO of Henley & Partners, said there had been steady growth in millionaire migration over the past decade, with global figures for 2023 and 2024 expected to be 122,000 and 128,000, respectively.

“In general, wealth migration trends look set to revert to pre-pandemic patterns this year, with the notable exceptions of former top wealth magnets, the UK and the US,” Steffen said.

Steffen said the UK’s peak net outflow was 2017, following the Brexit referendum, when the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU) in 2016.

“While net losses dropped slightly between 2017 and 2019, the 2023 forecast indicates a far more significant millionaire exit is currently underway,” the report said.

Brexit and a government policy to remove permanent non-domiciled taxpayer status had made the UK less hospitable and welcoming to HNWIs.

Sunita Singh-Dalal, partner, private wealth and family offices at law firm Hourani & Partners said that unprecedented political volatility, rising debt, a dysfunctional healthcare system, high crime rates, and a general sense of lingering malaise, had “clearly tarnished the lustre of London” for HNWIs.

The US has also been less popular for migrating millionaires than pre-Covid, owing in part to the threat of higher taxes, the report said.

It still attracts more HNWIs than it loses to emigration, with a net inflow of 2,100 projected for 2023, although the figure has dropped from a net inflow of 10,800 in 2019.

The remainder of the top 10 countries that will lose the most millionaires in 2023 are Brazil, Hong Kong, South Korea, Mexico, South Africa and Japan.