Middle East: the super-rich pick Istanbul

Turkish city tops list of rich Arabs

11 May, 19:03

    A general view of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul A general view of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul

    (by Virginia Di Marco) - ROME - If your dream is to meet an Arab billionaire, the right place for you is Istanbul.

    The Turkish city is the destination of choice among the so-called Middle Eastern 'high net-worth individuals' (HNMI).

    The term, borrowed from finance, refers to individuals with a significant net worth usually exceeding a billion dollars in assets, without real estate properties. The ultra rich in the Middle East are a small army - over 460,000 people, prospering and growing: over the past year, they have increased 136% (while in the rest of the world their percentage slightly exceeds 79%).

    Considered together, they are worth 2.3 trillion dollars.

    The ranking of the 'top Middle Eastern cities for top billionaires' was drafted by the New World Wealth Research Society, a research center studying new wealth worldwide, and recently published by UAE financial website arabianbusiness.com.

    If Istanbul came in first with 48,000 HNWI and 4,720 multimillionaires, second, third and fourth place were gained, respectively, by Dubai (42,000 HNWI and 2,070 multimillionaires), Doha (27,000 HNWI and 1,590 multimillionaires) and Kuwait City (25,000 HNWI and 1,550 multimillionaires). In the second half of the ranking were instead listed the Saudi capital Riyadh, as well as Abu Dhabi, Tehran and Beirut. Jerusalem came in last with 8,000 HNWI and 480 multimillionaires.

    NWW analyst Andrew Amoils said that Doha and Dubai have recently gained a major standing but Istanbul keeps its role as the main business hub of the Middle East. This is especially due to the fact that, while Dubai and Doha have a limited vocation (financial services, trade and fossil fuel), Istanbul bases its wealth on a wider range of key sectors.

    Moreover, the expert added, it remains the main door for foreign capitals interested in the Middle East: many companies based in the Turkish city have major projects in other countries in the area. (ANSAmed)

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