Dubai named in list of world’s top 20 most luxurious cities

Paris, London and Tokyo topped the ranking of destinations that have the most luxury shops, restaurants and five-star hotels

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With a wealth of fine dining restaurants and high-end hotels, Dubai has plenty to offer those who like the finer things in life. And the city's reputation for such attractions has been cemented in a new list.

Dubai has been included in a ranking of the world's most luxurious cities, based on which locations have the most venues of that type, with the UAE city claiming 16th place.

The study by finance experts at analyses the number of luxury hotels, restaurants and designer shops in each city. Paris, London and Tokyo were named as the top three cities in the world when it comes to luxury.

Dubai has 188 luxury locations, and ranked highest for its numerous five-star hotels. The study found there are 112 luxury resorts across the emirate including the "seven-star" Burj Al Arab, the Palazzo Versace Dubai and One&Only The Palm.

When it comes to designer shopping, the study considered 10 of the world’s best luxury brands, namely: Cartier, Rolex, Tiffany & Co, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Burberry, Valentino, Versace and Hermes.

Dubai scored high for retail therapy with 76 of these high-end designer stores having a home in the city. However, Dubai is currently not home to any Michelin-starred restaurants, as the famous culinary guide does not have an edition in the city.

The most luxurious cities in the world according to

  1. Paris, France
  2. London, UK
  3. Tokyo, Japan
  4. New York, US
  5. Seoul, South Korea
  6. Hong Kong, China
  7. Shanghai, China
  8. Singapore
  9. Bangkok, Thailand
  10. Beijing, China
  11. Kyoto, Japan
  12. Istanbul, Turkey
  13. Osaka, Japan
  14. Taipei, Taiwan
  15. Chicago, US
  16. Dubai, UAE
  17. Sao Paulo, Brazil
  18. Guangzhou, China
  19. Los Angeles, US
  20. Madrid, Spain

Paris tops the list with a staggering 427 Michelin-star restaurants located in the French capital. Of these, many have three Michelin stars, including Pavillon Ledoyen, Arpege and Restaurant Guy Savoy.

The city also has 95 five-star hotels, and 108 stores from the world’s biggest luxury designers, with more Cartier stores than any other city in the world.

Second-placed London offers more luxury hotels than Paris, with a total of 156 five-star properties including The Shard’s Shangri-La, The Ritz and The Savoy on the banks of the River Thames. The UK capital also boasts plenty of choice when it comes to luxury shopping, with Harrods, Selfridges and Liberty, but has slightly fewer Michelin-star restaurants than France, with 372 in total.

The third most luxurious city in the world is Tokyo. The Japanese city is a foodie haven with a total of 298 award-winning eateries, including three-starred Ginza Kojyu which is the place to go for kaiseki, and some of the best sushi bars in the world. Ginza is the side of town to visit for high-end designer labels and, when it comes to five-star hotels, Imperial Hotel Tokyo has been a favourite with well-heeled guests since 1890.

Asian cities dominated the remainder of the top 10 rankings with South Korea in fifth place, followed by Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Bangkok and Beijing.

Fourth-placed New York was the only American city in the top 10 – the Big Apple has 439 luxury locations. US cities Chicago and Los Angeles did, however, make it into the top 20, ranking in 15th and 19th place, respectively.

A previous study by found that Abu Dhabi topped the list for having the most luxury hotels. However, this study looked at the number of five-star resorts as a percentage of its total hotel count, rather than the total number.

Updated: September 15, 2021, 1:41 PM