The UAE is expected to overtake the most preferred destinations of the rich, such as the US, UK, and Russia, by attracting the largest net inflows of millionaires globally in 2022, according to the latest Henley Global Citizens Report.
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, according to the report that tracked private wealth and investment migration trends worldwide.
Top 10 millionaire destinations
Forecast figures in the Henley Global Citizens Report show 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.
“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," Dr. Juerg Steffen, CEO of Henley & Partners, said.
"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 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,” Steffen added.
While destinations that traditionally attracted wealthy investors are losing their lustre, the UAE has been making a stellar ascent as a wealth hub.
The UAE 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.
The UK, once touted as the world’s financial center, continues to see a steady loss of millionaires, with net outflows of 1,500 predicted for 2022. The US still attracts more HNWIs than it loses to emigration, with a net inflow of 1,500 projected for 2022, although this is a staggering 86% drop from 2019 levels, which saw a net inflow of 10,800 millionaires, the report said.
Affluent Russians seeking to escape the impact of the devastating Western sanctions on their country have started to move to the UAE and Israel in large numbers, award-winning journalist Misha Glenny said.
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, the report noted.
Wealth emigration is beginning to hurt in China, with net outflows of 10,000 HNWIs expected in 2022, the report said.
In Hong Kong HNWI departures continue albeit at a slower pace, with projected net millionaire outflows of 3,000 in 2022 (a 29% drop compared to 2019).
Brazil’s millionaire exodus is intensifying with net outflows of 2,500 HNWIs predicted — up 79% compared to 2019.
India is expected to suffer a net loss of approximately 8,000 HNWIs in 2022, up 14% since 2019 when the net loss was 7,000. However, India produces far more new millionaires than it loses to migration each year, the report noted.
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, Henley and Partners said.
(Writing by Seban Scaria; editing by Daniel Luiz)