The Middle East's 157 billionaires have a total net worth of USD 354 billion, which in percentage terms is higher than any other region in the world, says a report.
According to the Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2013, Middle East's 157 billionaires dominate region's UHNW wealth in terms of percentage of total wealth held by Middle Eastern Billionaires and is the highest in the world.
As much as forty per cent of the Middle East's ultra high net worth (UHNW) wealth is being held by the region's billionaires, while in Europe it is 28 per cent, in North America 22 per cent and in Asia 18 per cent.
According to the report, billionaires in Saudi Arabia control more than 70 per cent of the country's wealth, while their counterparts in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) hold 24 per cent.
Saudi Arabia leads the region with the most billionaires (64), and 25 of these individuals are based in the country's capital, Riyadh.
The total wealth of Saudi billionaires (USD 204 billion) is more than half the combined net worth of their counterparts in the Middle East, according to data from the Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2013, the first-ever global study on the billionaire population.
The report shows that there are 157 billionaires among the 5,300 UHNW individuals (defined as those with net assets of USD 30 million and above) in the Middle East.
This makes the Middle East the region with the fourth most billionaires – after Europe (766), North America (552) and Asia (508), but ahead of Latin America (111), Africa (42) and Oceania (34).
Middle Eastern billionaires increased their wealth in the last year by USD 39 billion (12.4 per cent) with five additional billionaires (3.3 per cent), the report added.
Globally, there are 2,170 billionaires as of 2013, with a combined net worth of USD 6.5 trillion. Between July 2012 and June 2013, the number of billionaires has increased by 0.5 per cent, with their total wealth rising by 5.3 per cent.
According to the the wealth-X and UBS billionaire census report 2013, India's billionaire population has decreased by 5.5 per cent to 103 and the total billionaire wealth has fallen by USD 10 billion to USD 180 billion.