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 UAE to witness largest influx of HNWIs in 2022

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UAE to witness largest influx of HNWIs in 2022

The UAE is expected to overtake the US by attracting the largest net inflows of millionaires globally in 2022, according to the latest Henley Global Citizens Report, which tracks private wealth and investment migration trends worldwide.

The Q2 of 2022 report released on Monday (13 June 2022) today by international residence and citizenship by investment advisory firm Henley & Partners featured the latest projected 2022 net inflows and outflows of US dollar millionaires (namely, the difference between the number of HNWIs who relocate to and the number who emigrate from a country) forecast by New World Wealth.

The HNWI migration figures focus only on people with wealth of $1 million or more and who have truly moved — namely, those who stay in their new country more than half of the year.

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 — a massive 15% of its HNWI population and 9,500 more than in 2019, pre-pandemic.

Russia’s invasion is in turn driving a steep spike in outgoing HNWIs from Ukraine, which is predicted to suffer its highest net loss in the country’s history — 2,800 millionaires (42% of its HNWI population) and a net loss of 2,400 more than 2019.

No country-specific figures are available for 2020 and 2021 owing to COVID-related lockdowns and travel restrictions.

Top 10 Countries

According to the report, the top 10 countries in terms of net inflows of HNWIs in 2022 will be the UAE, Australia, Singapore, Israel, Switzerland, the US, Portugal, Greece, Canada, and New Zealand. Large numbers of millionaires are also expected to move to ‘the three Ms’: Malta, Mauritius, and Monaco.

On the flip side, the 10 countries where the highest net outflows of HNWIs are predicted are Russia, China, India, Hong Kong, Ukraine, Brazil, the UK, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia.

Dr. Juerg Steffen, CEO of Henley & Partners, said HNWI migration was a rising trend over the past decade until, understandably, it dipped in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


“The 2022 forecast reflects an extremely volatile environment worldwide. By the end of the year, 88,000 millionaires are expected to have relocated to new countries, 22,000 fewer than in 2019 when 110,000 moved. Next year, the largest millionaire migration flows on record are predicted — 125,000 — as affluent investors and their families earnestly prepare for the new post-COVID-19 world, with an as yet-to-be revealed rearrangement of the global order, and the ever-present threat of climate change as a constant backdrop.”

Andrew Amoils, Head of Research at New World Wealth, said HNWI migration figures were an excellent barometer for the health of an economy. “Affluent individuals are extremely mobile, and their movements can provide an early warning signal into future country trends. 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.”

UAE is Wealth Hub

The UAE has become the focus of intense interest among affluent investors and is expected to see the highest net influx of HNWIs globally in 2022, with 4,000 forecast — a dramatic increase of 208% versus 2019’s net inflow of 1,300 and one of its largest on record.

This mirrors the country’s remarkable rise in the Henley Passport Index rankings over the past decade as it focused on attracting tourism and trade by implementing a succession of mutually reciprocated visa waivers. The UAE is now doing the same with its competitive, agile approach to adapting immigration regulations to attract private wealth, capital, and talent.

Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore Gain

The net HNWI inflows are on the rise in Israel, with a figure of 2,500 forecast for 2022 — a significant increase of 79% since 2019. Even long-term high performer Australia consistently attracts large numbers of HNWIs.

New World Wealth estimates that over 80,000 US dollar millionaires have moved to the country over the past 20 years. In 2022, the net inflow is expected to be 3,500 — the second-highest globally.

Neighbouring New Zealand is expected to receive a net inflow of 800 HNWIs in 2022, and Asia’s prime hub of affluence, Singapore, continues to attract millionaires, with net inflows of 2,800 expected — a prolific 87% increase compared to 2019’s figure of 1,500.

Uncertainty Fuels Demand 

Henley & Partners received the highest number of investment migration program enquiries on record in the first quarter of 2022 — an increase of 55% compared to the previous quarter, which was itself record-breaking. The top four nationalities currently driving demand are Russians, Indians, Americans, and Brits, and for the first time ever, Ukrainians are in the top 10 globally.

The Portugal Golden Residence Permit Program remains the most popular program in 2022, followed by the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program. Next is Canada, with the Canada Start-Up Visa Program the fastest way for entrepreneurs and wealthy individuals to access Canadian residence and the North American market. Rising in popularity this year is the Greece Golden Visa Program, and last in the top five is the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program.

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