A fall in oil revenues, lower stock market returns and the weakening property sector saw the UAE’s number of billionaires fall in 2019 despite a global rise.
According to the latest annual report from Wealth-X, there were 47 billionaires in the UAE – down from 55 in 2018. The total wealth among the ultra-wealthy also dropped slightly, from US$165 billion to $163 billion.
The decrease was in contrast to the global trend. The number of billionaires worldwide rose by 8.5% to 2,825 and their combined wealth increased by 10.3% to $9.4 trillion.
“The decline was largely the result of lower oil sector prices and investment, weakened real estate and construction activity, comparatively low stock market returns and heightened regional geopolitical instability,” said Maya Imberg, senior director of thought leadership and analytics at Wealth-X.
The UAE’s ranking fell from 10th to 13th place in terms of countries with the most billionaires and was the only country in the top 15 to see the number of billionaires actually reduce.
The fall in wealth creation in the UAE was in keeping with the region’s ranking in the global survey. China and the US enjoyed the strongest growth in terms of billionaires while the Middle East saw declines, along with Latin America and the Caribbean.
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