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Saudi Arabia Leads MENA With The Highest Number of Dollar Millionaires

Saudi Arabia has emerged as the country with the highest number of dollar millionaires in the Middle East and North Africa region, with a total of 354,000 millionaires and a total household wealth of $2.3 trillion.

Saudi Arabia, recognized for its abundant oil reserves and rich cultural heritage, is steadily making its mark in finance and creativity. As part of its Vision 2030 strategy, the Kingdom is fostering cultural development and fashion innovation and witnessing a surge in millionaires. 

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Cultural Landscape: A Drive for Economic Growth

Culture, in its various forms, plays a significant role in shaping a country’s social fabric and economic prospects. In Saudi Arabia, the emphasis on creativity and culture is becoming integral to the nation’s economic landscape. 

Image Credit Vision 2030

The Kingdom’s Vision 2030 strategy underscores the importance of culture, aiming to generate $20 billion in revenue and create numerous job opportunities.

Investments galore to make the rich even richer

The Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia, a sovereign wealth fund managed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is renowned for its staggering $620 billion in assets. 

Credits The PIF

This fund fuels the prince’s exceptionally ambitious ventures, such as Neom City, the Red Sea Project, the hollow cubed skyscraper Mukaab, and the Diriyah Project. It’s also known for owning a 5% stake in Uber worth $3.5 billion and minority stakes in global companies like Boeing, Facebook, and Citigroup. 

Credits NEOM

In addition to these investments aimed at multiplying the riches of the wealthy even further, PIF expanded its reach to UAE’s neighbor India in 2020 by acquiring a 2.32% stake valued at $1.5 billion in Jio Platforms.

Credits Getty Images

Saudi Arabia’s Soaring Wealth

In 2022, Saudi Arabia has ascended to be the leading MENA region nation with the most dollar millionaires, securing its place as 23rd worldwide, as per a report from Credit Suisse.  

The Global Wealth Report revealed an 8 percent growth in the Kingdom’s dollar millionaires, tallying up to 354,000 in 2022 from a previous count of 325,000 millionaires in the year before.

This upward trend underscores Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning economic prowess within the MENA region and highlights its evolution as a substantial contributor to global wealth. In the Middle East, most assets lie in the hands of very few ultra-high-net-worth individuals. 

According to the annual Merrill Lynch-Cap Gemini World Wealth Report for various years, North American and European wealth spreads out at roughly a ratio of $3 million to every ultra and regular high-net-worth individual in the region. 

Global Millionaire Landscape

The US experienced a 5.5 percent increase from the previous year’s 21.4 million dollar-rich individuals. In comparison, China reported an impressive growth rate of 8 percent, climbing from 5.7 million in 2021 to its current count. 

Although there was a dip of approximately 3.5 million global dollar millionaires in 2022, bringing the total to a still staggering 59.4 million, projections highlighted in the report suggest an upward trajectory in the coming years for this elite group globally, including within MENA regions.

Wealth Surge Report

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), in the context of average personal wealth, was globally recognized as the third-highest nation last year. It only followed Norway and Singapore in the surge in average individual wealth held by adults.

Credit Suisse’s investigation reveals that there was just below a $20,000 increase in the average personal wealth of UAE adults in 2022. 

Furthermore, their analysis predicts an impressive annual growth rate of 11.8 percent for low-income countries and a close 10.7 percent for middle-income countries over the coming five years.

The Rise of Millionaires: A Financial Perspective

As Saudi Arabia’s economic landscape diversifies, the country is experiencing a significant increase in millionaires. According to the World Wealth Report 2022, Saudi Arabia is ranked 17th globally and first in the Middle East in the number of millionaires.

Increase in MillionairesThere has been a 6.7% increase in millionaires in Saudi Arabia in 2021 compared to 2020 – from 210,000 to 224,000. This growth is attributed to the recovery in oil prices and technological advancements, which have increased wealth.

Global Context

The United States and China top the list globally with 22.7 million and 6.2 million millionaires, respectively. Despite a slight decrease in the global number of millionaires in 2022, the report predicts growth in the coming years, with the number of global millionaires surpassing 85 million people in 2027.

[Credits: GETTY Images]

Saudi Arabia’s strategic investment in culture, arts, and fashion, coupled with its growing financial prosperity, is paving the way for a diversified economy. 

With Vision 2030 at its helm, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is set to continue its journey toward economic diversification and social transformation.

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