Dubai is home to about 26,000 dollar millionaires among a total population of about 2.2 million, which would imply that one in every 100 people in Dubai is a dollar millionaire, according to a new study.
With an average Dubai household size of 4.2 (according to Dubai Statistics Centre data), that would imply that one in every 23 households in Dubai holds net assets of $1 million (Dh3.67 million) or more, excluding their primary residences.
With Dubai property prices surging by almost a third on average in 2013, including primary residences would perhaps bring about a radical increase in the number of millionaires.
Nevertheless, in the World Cities 2013 Rankings published by wealth consultancy New World Wealth, which ranks the Top 30 cities for worldwide millionaires, none of the Middle Eastern Cities featured among the Top 30.
Dubai, however, is ranked second in the Middle East in terms of number of millionaires that call it home, with Istanbul taking the top honours there with 35,000 millionaires.
London tops the list with more than 339,000 millionaires in 2013, followed by New York (300,100) and then Tokyo (226,500).
In terms of millionaire density (number of millionaires per unit of population), however, Geneva tops the list with its 74,300 millionaires comprising 5.9 per cent of its population (1.3 million). At No. 2 in terms of millionaire density is Zurich (84,400 millionaires; 4.6 per cent of total population), followed by Singapore (225,000 millionaires; 4.5 per cent of total population).
The United States has the most number of cities (7 cities) among the Top 30, while Germany has 3 cities, and China, Japan and Switzerland have 2 cities each.
The Top 30 includes 12 Asian cities, 10 American cities and 8 European cities. There were no Middle Eastern or African cities in the Top 30.
The top ranked Middle Eastern city was Istanbul with 35,000 millionaires in 2013. Dubai was ranked second in the Middle East with approximately 26,000 millionaires. The highest ranked African city was Johannesburg with just over 23,000 millionaires in 2013.
Last year, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) said in a report that the UAE has the world’s ninth highest density of millionaires, with one out of every 25 households in the country dollar millionaires.
The UAE’s GCC peer Qatar has the world’s highest density of millionaires, where 143 out of every 1,000 households had private wealth of at least $1 million, followed by Switzerland (116), Kuwait (115), Hong Kong (94), and Singapore (82), the BCG report said.
The report, Maintaining Momentum in a Complex World: Global Wealth 2013, maintained that, in the UAE, 40 out of every 1,000 households boast of private wealth of at least $1 million. In addition, the UAE also featured among the world’s Top 15 multi-millionaire households, with three out of every 100,000 households in the country being ultra-wealthy, or with investible wealth of more than $100 million.
The global economic slowdown of 2008-2009 had a major ripple effect on millionaire’s wealth across the world, including in the UAE. According to the 15th annual World Wealth Report, published by Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management and Capgemini, the number of UAE’s high net worth individuals declined by 3.5 per cent to 52,600 in 2010, on top of an 18.8 per cent decline in 2009.
The population of UAE millionaires fell from over 66,000 in 2008 due to a decline in the market capitalization of firms listed on the stock markets, coupled with the falling values of property in the country, which saw 1,900 UAE millionaires lose the coveted status in 2010 along with over 11,600 less millionaires in 2009, taking the total tally of UAE individuals losing the 'millionaire' status to more than 13,500 in two years since the onset of the global economic slowdown.
However, with the country’s economy roaring back to high growth over the past year, much of that damage has been rectified and the number of millionaires in the country is once again on an upswing.