Dubai: Over 60% of millionaires prefer to use the emirate as their primary residence

The city has been a haven for ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) in the past few years, who migrated in large numbers during and after the pandemic


Waheed Abbas

Published: Sun 12 Mar 2023, 7:18 AM

Last updated: Sun 12 Mar 2023, 3:12 PM

The majority – 66 per cent – of ultra-high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) who have brought property in Dubai use it as their primary residence, says a new report, reflecting the preference millionaires have to live and enjoy the quality of life that the emirate offers.

According to the Residential Real Estate 2023 report released by Altrata, in cooperation with Wealth-X and Realm, there are 830 UHNWIs, or millionaires with assets of $30 million-plus (over Dh110 million) who are primary and secondary homeowners. Of them, 66.7 per cent are primary residents, while 33.3 per cent are secondary homeowners.

As many as 90 per cent of them are male and nine per cent female millionaires. The majority – 60.9 per cent – are self-made, 36.2 per cent are inherited/self-made, and 2.9 per cent solely inherited the wealth. Interestingly, 1.4 per cent of Dubai millionaires own personal jets while 0.7 per cent are yacht owners.

Dubai has been a haven for millionaires in the past few years who migrated in large numbers to the emirate during and post-pandemic.

A Henley Global Citizens Report last year projected that 4,000 millionaires would migrate to the UAE in 2022, surpassing big countries like Australia, Singapore, Israel, Switzerland, the USA, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, India and others.

Wealthy individuals often have multiple homes and business interests in multiple locations. The Residential Real Estate 2023 study by Altrata compares Dubai with Los Angeles and Monaco, another two hotspots for the rich from around the world.

Dubai’s ultra-wealthy homeowners are younger than those in the other two cities and mainly comprise primary residents.

“In terms of the interests and hobbies of these ultra-wealthy homeowners, Dubai is the only city of the three in which technology ranks highly, behind sports and public speaking,” the report said.

It added that the oil sector remains a core driver of growth and wealth creation in the UAE, but key policies are aimed at strengthening its credentials as a regional business hub, which is reflected in the primary industry focus of Dubai’s UHNW residents. While banking and finance is the most common, there is much larger representation in industrial conglomerates, construction and manufacturing.

Globally, New York tops the list, with a UHNW footprint of over 21,700, followed by second-ranked London at 16,000. Hong Kong follows closely behind in third position, with 15,175. Beijing has overtaken Singapore in the top 10 – the UHNW footprint in China’s largest wealth market has increased steadily over recent years, driven by strong demand from the UHNWI's second-homer population.

With a UHNW footprint of around 5,200, Paris ranks 13th.


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