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Unveiled: The Middle Eastern private jet owners


An international lifestyle and a global reach are becoming a byproduct of being an ultra-high-net-worth individual (UHNWI). Hence, the demand for private jets is on the rise.

A recently published study states that UHNWIs in the Middle East have been quick to latch on to the private-flying lifestyle. The average private jet owner from the Middle East is five years younger than his or her global peers, but owns jets worth three times more.

Private Aviation in the Middle East:  Owner Profile, Trends and Business Opportunity is a white paper produced by Wealth-X, a research firm specialised in wealth intelligence; WINGX, a market researcher and consultancy firm on global business aviation; and industry expert Hardy Sohanpal.

It provides a breakdown of the average Middle Eastern jet owners, profiling them, discussing their behavioral trends and favorite destinations while comparing them with their global peers and exploring the opportunities for the exclusive business within the region.

The white paper categorises ultra-high-net-worth individuals as those with “at least $30 million in assets”.

Wealth X data states that there are 5,975 UHNWIs in the Middle East region, with a combined net worth of $995 billion. Globally, there are 211,275 UHNWIs with a combined net worth of $29.7 trillion.

UHNWIs from North America have previously dominated the private aviation industry. But this reality has changed over the past 20 years as the region’s share of new orders has been continuously declining, with new regulations enabling the internationalisation of the industry and the creation of new hub markets.


Below are several generic pointers to help understand the profile of an average Middle Eastern jet owner, with some comparisons to global jet owners.

Middle eastern Jet Owners Global Jet Owners
Age 59.1 63.6
Male 94.4% 96.8%
Female 5.6% 3.2%
Self-made wealth 31.0% 75.1%
Inherited/Self-made wealth 59.1% 16.9%
Inherited wealth 9.9% 8.0%
Average Net Worth (USD) $1.09bn $1.66bn
Average Liquidity (USD) $385.5m $195.5m
Liquidity/Net Worth Ratio 35.3% 11.8%
Average Number of Planes Owned 1.1 1.3
Average Value of Planes (USD) $48.8m $16.4m
Value of Planes/Net Worth Ratio 4.5% 1.0%


The study reveals that Middle Eastern UHNWI private jet owners constitute roughly two per cent of the world’s UHNWI jet owners.

Some of the top industries in which Middle Eastern jet owners work are industrial conglomerates (29.2 per cent), including members of royal families involved in private enterprises; non-profit and social organisations (25.7 per cent); finance, banking and investment (10.5 per cent); manufacturing (10.5 per cent); and, finally, real estate (5.3 per cent).

This is different from the global breakdown of industries in which jet owners work. Outside the Middle East, the top industry in which most jet owners are concentrated is finance, banking and investment; followed by real estate, non-profit and social organisations, industrial conglomerates and oil, gas and consumable fuels, respectively.

When it comes to destinations, after studying the flight routes, the study found that Middle Eastern jet owners have a “close affinity” to Europe – no surprise there – as volumes of Middle Easterners, mainly from GCC countries, favor it as a destination for family tourism worth, medical treatments and investments of different kinds.

Top destinations for private jet owners, according to the report, include Turkey, the United Kingdom, France, Greece and Italy. These five top destinations received 58 per cent of all flights from the Middle East to the European region.

First published on Aficionado, sister publication of Luxurymena.

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