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Economic woes to effect Saudi Arabia's wealthy

27 Jul 2015

Saudi Arabia, one of the largest and richest countries in the Middle East, will not be so wealthy in years to come, forecasts a new report from WealthInsight.

Highlights:

  • In the past five years, the number of millionaires in Saudi Arabia grew by 25% to reach 49,150 in 2015
  • Over the next five years, the increase in the number of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) will halve to 12.4% due to a fall in oil prices among other factors
  • The number of female multimillionaires (UHNWIs) in Saudi Arabia rose faster than the male category in the past five years, at a rate of 33% as compared to 24%
  • The number of wealthy living in Jeddah, though still far below Riyadh's total of 28,300, is set to increase at a faster rate of 7.7% by 2019

With 20% of Saudi Arabia's millionaires making their money from oil, the slide in the commodity's price has been a major concern. However, there have been other worries among the Kingdom's wealthy. Head of WealthInsight, Oliver Williams, explains: "The collapse of the oil price is only half of the picture. So far, 2015 has seen the Kingdom's stock market make its disappointing debut on the world stage, two wars have been commenced along its borders and there is a new prospect of economic rivalry with Iran."

Female millionaires on the rise

However, the report revealed some interesting trends among Saudi Arabia's HNWIs. "One interesting trend we have seen is the rise of Saudi Arabian female multimillionaires - that is, individuals with over $30 million. Although the number of female multimillionaires today stands at 6.2% of the total - well below the global average of 15% to 20% - their number is rising fast. The number of female multimillionaires in Saudi Arabia rose faster than men in the past five years, at 33% as compared to 24%."

Healthcare as a new source of wealth

As for the future of Saudi Arabia's millionaires? There will be several notable developments. "The increase in healthcare as a source of Saudi wealth will be an interesting diversification away from oil. In the next five years there will be a 27% increase in millionaires making their wealth from this sector, which is already a thriving business in the Kingdom," Williams explains.

Jeddah will pose a rivarly to Riyadh


The rise of Jeddah as the country's financial capital will also pose a rivalry to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia's founding capital. "The number of wealthy living in Jeddah, though still far below its Riyadh's 28,300, is set to increase at a faster rate of 7.7% over the next five years," Williams comments.

All information is based on the WealthInsight report entitled 'Saudi Arabia Wealth Report 2015'.



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