Dubai is positioning itself as one of the most popular destinations for migrating high-net-worth individuals and wealthy expats. As a top financial city in the Middle East, Dubai is set to attract more and more wealth over the next ten years, according to reports published by Henley & Partners. Particularly this year, Dubai is welcoming a massive chunk of private wealth coming from Russians. The oligarchs and millionaires are seeking to park their assets and businesses in UAE, as a result of the war sanctions imposed on Russia by the United Nations. Reuters reports that Russians are now buying property with cash and cryptocurrencies to relocate their money to UAE.
According to Savills reports, Dubai is one of the best real estate residential markets in the world, having registered a massive $35 billion worth of property sales in 2021, the highest number post the global financial crisis. Knight Franks’ New Word Wealth Report positions Dubai as the fifth most important city globally, for the ultra-rich, way ahead of Shanghai or Miami. Furthermore, the same report indicates that there are currently 42,000 millionaires living in Dubai, out of which 2,000 shifted over to the emirate back in 2015. Dubai played a huge role when gaining momentum as a millionaire’s haven due to its low tax regime and economic model. When hosting the world’s first Expo during pandemic times, Dubai has attracted more tourism to its shores than many other world countries put together. Moreso, the UAE is now enjoying new heights of success and popularity after the government introduced a huge overhaul of the visa system, which makes the country a true second home for millions of expats, and millionaires alike.
Dubai’s rise, in particular, has positioned the country to number 15 on the Henley Passport Index, with visa-free access to over 175 countries.
Dubai Then and Now
Let us look at some major factors that led Dubai to become a wealth hub and a business metropolis over the past 50 years:
The building area increased by 170 times to accommodate the growth of population from a mere 50,000 inhabitants to 3.5 million today
The emirate adopted smart urban planning models growing and developing outwards and deep into the mainland. For example, the number of skyscrapers is currently exceeding 260
The emirate developed massively along the coastline, going from 70 km to over 1,000 km of seashore
The city saw the formation of main cluster areas such as:
Bur Dubai and Deira
Business Bay and Downtown
Marsa Dubai and Dubai Harbour
Fast forward to the Future
Dubai Government launched the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, which is going to propel the city further into sustainable development and progress over the next 20 years. How is Dubai moving towards the next 18 years with its Urban Plan 2040?
Dubai’s population is expected to go up to up to 5.8 million people
Five main Urban areas will be further developed and revitalized
The area for tourism development will increase by 134%
Educational and Health facilities will increase by 25%
60% of Dubai’s territory will comprise nature reserves and greenery
The length of beaches is set to increase by 400%
It is easy to see why Dubai has everything in store to cater to the needs of the super-rich. Over the past 18 months, 20 billionaires have invested in property in Dubai, and some major real estate agencies have seen a 300% increase in business compared to other previous years. Similarly, Dubai Land Department recorded a sales volume increase of 136.5% compared to pre-pandemic time. Villa sales brought an increase of up to 124%, mostly due to several big transactions of over AED 100 million each, in areas such as Palm Jumeirah or Dubai Hills Estate.
What does a millionaire/billionaire need to move to Dubai?
Firstly, they need the right property in the right community. For an AED 10 or 20 million, millionaires can buy a lifestyle in Dubai. Buying a premium property in Dubai will guarantee ample space, to accommodate a millionaire’s car fleet and their extravagant preferences. Secondly, it guarantees the benefit of exclusivity, supreme privacy, and bespoke services. Dubai is one of the safest cities in the world. Security and safety for residents have always been a top priority for the Government. UAE is the most appealing country to ultra-high net worth individuals from across the world because it is considered a safe haven for living and investing.
Dubai is attractive for the Super Rich
As a strong global hub, Dubai provides a growth opportunity for businesses and superb infrastructure, along with some of the most luxurious properties in the world. Signature villas, super-luxury homes, and exotic, prestige cars are a trademark of Dubai today.
According to recent reports, the influx of millionaires into Dubai derives from Russia, Switzerland, US, and UK. As a result, demand for premium residential properties has increased considerably.
Furthermore, buying luxury properties in Dubai is still cheaper to buy than in other major cities such as London or Hong Kong. UAE real estate market is thriving as a result of Government initiatives such as the 10-year golden visa programme and the economic boost that resulted from the Expo 2020 Dubai.
However, one of the most attractive aspects about UAE, apart from the glitz and glam and sunshine all around, remains the tax-free regime, or the lack of income tax.
Dubai as a city of the future
Dubai allows all expats to buy property and land on a freehold basis here, and obtain long-term residency visa as a result of investing in real estate. Dubai has impressed worldwide in the way it has handled the pandemic, and how quickly and efficiently the UAE Government conducted the vaccination campaign.
All of the above make this remarkable city a truly easy place to live and enhance its reputation as the ultimate destination for the affluent and super-rich.
Dubai never rests. At the speed of light, it is moving towards its goal: becoming the most futuristic, innovative, and captivating city in the world.