The Middle East will have 500 demi-billionaires in the next four years, according to a new report released by real estate consultancy Knight Frank and research firm Wealth X.
Demi-billionaires are those with a net worth ranging between $500 million to $999 million - just shy of a billionaire. In 2017 the region had 390 demi-billionaires with Saudi Arabia home to 120 of them.
The report did not specify the number of demi-billionaires in other countries within the region or give a clear distribution of them as per the geography.
The Kingdom is slated to have 140 demi-billionaires by 2022, the report added.
The growth in ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) in the region is in line with a rise in the global population of the wealthy. As per the report, the number of demi-billionaires worldwide will grow from 6,900 in 2017 to 9,570 in 2022.
Asia is set to overtake North America with the region slated to have 3,000 demi-billionaires by 2022, Wealth-X predicts. In China alone, the number of demi-billionaires is expected to climb from 490 in 2017 to 990 in the next four years.
The increase in UNHWIs comes as the global economy is struggling with the uncertainty from rising trade tension and other geopolitical concerns. However, the report pointed to the strong forecast of economic growth in 2018 and the robust performance of the stock markets in fueling the number of UNHWIs.
With its well-developed infrastructure and ideal location, the Middle East has attracted a fair share of millionaires while it has also made many millionaires. According to an earlier report by Capgemini, the number of millionaires in the region increased by 100,000 in 2017 to reach 0.7 million last year. Their wealth rose by 4% to $2.5 trillion.