4,300 Indian Millionaires to Migrate in 2024, Favoring UAE Amid Global Wealth Mobility Trends

Featured & Cover 4 300 Indian Millionaires to Migrate in 2024 Favoring UAE Amid Global Wealth Mobility Trends

Around 4,300 millionaires are projected to migrate from India this year, with many choosing the UAE as their new home, according to a report by Henley and Partners, a global investment migration advisory firm. Despite India’s status as the world’s fastest-growing economy, it is expected to rank third in millionaire migrations, following China and the United Kingdom. This migration trend occurs as India, now the most populous country globally, experiences a net millionaire exodus that is less than 30 percent of China’s. “While India loses thousands of millionaires each year, with many migrating to the UAE, concerns over the outflows may well be mitigated as with wealth growth of 85 percent over the past decade, the country continues to produce far more new high-net-worth individuals than it loses to emigration,” the report stated. In the previous year, 5,100 Indian millionaires migrated abroad, according to the report.

The migration of millionaires significantly impacts a country’s foreign exchange reserves since these individuals often transfer substantial assets when they relocate. The primary motivations for millionaire migration include tax benefits, safety and financial considerations, retirement prospects, business opportunities, and an enhanced lifestyle. Despite the decline from the 5,100 departures in 2023, India remains among the countries with the highest number of HNWIs leaving the country. Henley & Partners defines millionaires and HNWIs as those with liquid wealth of at least US$1 million. Meanwhile, the UAE is expected to attract an unprecedented 6,700 millionaires by the end of 2024, thanks to its world-class infrastructure, strategic location, advantageous tax regulations, and other appealing factors. To further attract talented individuals, the UAE offers a golden visa, granting permanent residency to entrepreneurs, foreign investors, and talented individuals making substantial investments. This visa program has become particularly popular among Indians.

Besides the UAE, Indians are increasingly seeking citizenship and residency through investment schemes in countries such as Portugal, Greece, Spain, Malta, and the Caribbean nations of Antigua and Barbuda, and Grenada. The reasons for these relocations vary. Some wealthy families move due to security concerns, while others seek tax advantages and better budgetary conditions. Many also migrate in search of improved retirement options, business opportunities, appealing lifestyles, healthcare systems, education for their children, and an overall higher standard of living.

This trend of millionaire migration is notable as it reflects the broader socio-economic dynamics at play within India. The country’s rapid economic growth has led to the creation of significant wealth, but it has also highlighted disparities and concerns that drive individuals to seek opportunities abroad. The report emphasizes that while the loss of millionaires could be seen as a negative indicator, India’s ability to generate new high-net-worth individuals at a faster rate suggests a resilient economic environment.

The migration of millionaires has various implications for India. On the one hand, it represents a loss of potential investment and economic activity that these individuals might have contributed domestically. On the other hand, the continuous creation of new millionaires indicates a robust economic framework capable of producing and sustaining wealth. As the world’s fastest-growing economy, India faces the dual challenge of retaining its wealthy citizens while continuing to foster an environment conducive to wealth creation.

In terms of foreign exchange reserves, the departure of millionaires can lead to a significant outflow of capital. These individuals often move substantial portions of their wealth to their new countries of residence, impacting the host nation’s financial landscape. The motivations behind these migrations are diverse, encompassing financial, personal, and lifestyle considerations. For many, the allure of lower taxes, safer environments, better retirement options, and enhanced business opportunities outweigh the benefits of staying in India.

The UAE stands out as a particularly attractive destination for migrating millionaires. Its strategic location, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and favorable tax policies make it a prime choice for those seeking a new home. The introduction of the golden visa program has further boosted its appeal, offering a streamlined path to permanent residency for investors, entrepreneurs, and talented individuals. This program’s popularity among Indians highlights the UAE’s success in positioning itself as a hub for global wealth.

In addition to the UAE, European countries like Portugal, Greece, Spain, and Malta have become popular choices for Indian millionaires. These countries offer various investment schemes that grant residency or citizenship in exchange for significant financial investments. The Caribbean nations of Antigua and Barbuda and Grenada are also emerging as attractive destinations, offering similar investment-based residency programs. The factors driving these migrations range from seeking better security and financial conditions to desiring a higher quality of life and improved healthcare and education systems for their families.

The report from Henley and Partners sheds light on the complex interplay of factors influencing millionaire migration. It underscores the importance of understanding these trends within the broader context of global economic and social shifts. While the departure of wealthy individuals presents challenges, it also highlights the dynamic nature of wealth creation and distribution in today’s world. India’s experience, as detailed in the report, illustrates the ongoing evolution of the global economic landscape and the factors driving individual decisions to seek opportunities beyond their home country.

Ultimately, the migration of Indian millionaires is a multifaceted phenomenon with implications for both India and the destination countries. It reflects broader trends in global wealth mobility and the factors influencing individuals’ decisions to relocate. As India continues to grow and evolve economically, understanding and addressing the motivations behind millionaire migration will be crucial in shaping its future trajectory on the global stage. The insights provided by Henley and Partners’ report offer valuable perspectives on these dynamics, highlighting the need for a nuanced approach to addressing the challenges and opportunities presented by this trend.

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