UAE expected to steal UK’s ‘wealth hub crown’ amid Russia-Ukraine war

Gulf country expected to attract net inflows of 4,000 millionaires, highest globally, as wealthy flee war, sanctions,

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is expected to replace the UK as the top global attractor of foreign wealth as Russian and Ukrainian capital seek safe haven from war, according to a report on Tuesday by a London-based investment migration consultancy.

“A tsunami of private capital has left Russia and the Ukraine, the UK has lost its wealth hub crown, and the US is fading fast as a magnet for the world’s wealthy, with the UAE expected to overtake it by attracting the largest net inflows of millionaires globally in 2022,”said the report by Henley & Partners, which tracks private wealth and investment migration trends worldwide.

“As expected, Russia has suffered the biggest emigration of millionaires over the past six months, with forecast net outflows of 15,000 by the end of 2022,” said the report, adding that Ukraine, too, is predicted to suffer its highest net losses in history — 2,800 millionaires.

Henley & Partners’ analysis focuses only on individuals with wealth of $1 million or more who stay in their new country more than half of the year.

As war spurs capital flight, the UAE stands to receive the greatest net influx of millionaires globally this with 4,000, a sharp increase of 208% versus 2019’s net inflows of 1,300 and one of its largest on record.

“Affluent individuals are extremely mobile, and their movements can provide an early warning signal into future country trends,” said Andrew Amoils, head of research at New World Wealth, a wealth intelligence firm based in South Africa.

“Countries that draw wealthy individuals and families to migrate to their shores tend to be robust, with low crime rates, competitive tax rates, and attractive business opportunities,” he was quoted in the report as saying.

The UAE is followed by Australia, Singapore, Israel, Switzerland, the US, Portugal, Greece, Canada, and New Zealand as a destination of millionaires fleeing the war in Ukraine and its reverberations in Russia.

Long focused on attracting tourism and trade, the country has been adapting its immigration regulations to pull in private wealth, capital, and talent.

The report also drew attention to the effects of millionaires trying to escape Western sanctions on Russia. “Net inflows are on the rise in Israel, with a figure of 2,500 forecast for 2022 a significant increase of 79% since 2019.”


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