Dubai ranks as 29th most popular city for world’s ultra-wealthy

The city is home to 54,000 millionaires, new report finds

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Dubai is the 29th most popular city in the world for ultra-wealthy residents, after more than 2,000 high-net-worth individuals moved to the emirate in the first six months of 2021, a report has said.

The city's population of HNWIs rose 3.8 per cent to 54,000, up from 52,000 in December 2020, found the study by New World Wealth, a research company that tracks the wealth and movement of millionaires, multimillionaires and billionaires globally.

The number of billionaires in Dubai increased by two to 12 in 2021, while the city's population of centimillionaires grew to 165 from 152 in December 2020. The number of multimillionaires increased to 2,480 in June from 2,430 in December 2020, the study found.

The study defines HNWIs as individuals with wealth of $1 million or more, while multimillionaires have a personal fortune of $10m or more. Centimillionaires are those with a net worth of $100m or more and billionaires have reserves of $1 billion or more.

The combined private wealth held by all Dubai residents with at least $1m in property, cash, equities and business interests increased 2.5 per cent to $530bn in June, up from $517bn in December 2020, the research found.

“It should be noted that total private wealth and HNWI numbers in Dubai are down slightly from the end of 2019, but up from the end of 2020,” Andrew Amoils, wealth analyst at New World Wealth, said. “The number of ultra-rich, including billionaires and centimillionaires, in Dubai is up, though.”

This could be linked to global stock market movements and wealth migration, Mr Amoils added.

The total wealth of HNWIs globally rose 7.6 per cent in 2020 to about $80 trillion, driven by government stimulus measures and rising equity markets, according to a report by global consultancy Capgemini. The global number of HNWIs grew by 6.3 per cent in 2020 to surpass the 20 million mark, Capgemini added.

More people globally became millionaires for the first time in 2020 despite the economic damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a June report by investment bank Credit Suisse. The global number of millionaires grew by 5.2 million to reach 56.1 million last year, marking for the first time in history that more than 1 per cent of all global adults are, in nominal terms, dollar millionaires.

Meanwhile, in a separate report, global property consultancy Knight Frank said the number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals in the Middle East is projected to increase 24.6 per cent in the next five years. The region will remain the fourth-largest wealth hub in the world.

In the Middle East and Africa region, Dubai ranked first for combined HNWI private wealth, followed by Tel Aviv, Israel, with a total of $312bn, New World Wealth found.

Johannesburg, the capital of South Africa, ranked third with total wealth estimated at $235bn, followed by Istanbul ($180bn) and Cape Town ($130bn), according to the research company.

Globally, New York City topped the list with total wealth held reaching $2.9tn as of June 2021. The city is home to more than 370,000 HNWIs, as well as 805 centimillionaires and 62 billionaires, the study revealed.

This is followed by the San Francisco Bay area with total wealth held amounting to $2.6tn. The area includes Silicon Valley, home to Big Tech companies including Apple, Google owner Alphabet and Facebook. San Francisco has been steadily moving up the global wealth list over the past few years and is expected to overtake New York City before 2030, the report said.

Japan's financial hub, Tokyo, ranked third with $2.5tn worth of private wealth, while London ($2.3tn) and Beijing ($2tn) round out the top five cities, the study found.

Shanghai ($1.8tn) is ranked sixth on the index, followed by Los Angeles ($1.3tn), Sydney ($1.1tn), Chicago ($1tn) and Mumbai ($970bn).

City-states such as Singapore and Monaco were excluded from the list, the research company said.

Updated: September 06, 2021, 12:54 PM