Dubai high on agenda for world's super rich, says study

Wealth Report says Dubai is among cities emerging as key investment areas for HNWIs
Dubai high on agenda for world's super rich, says study
(Credit: Bloomberg News)
By Andy Sambidge
Wed 28 Mar 2012 06:20 PM

Dubai is among the world's cities that are fastest growing in importance for high net worth individuals (HNWIs), according to a new report published on Wednesday.

Knight Frank and Citi Private Bank’s sixth Wealth Report ranked the Gulf city eighth in a list of cities becoming more important to the world's wealthiest people. Beijing topped the list.

Emiratis were also named eighth in a list of nationalities growing in importance for the world's prime second home buyers' market, a list topped by the Chinese.

Dubai also ranked 13th in importance to HNWIs now behind London, New York, Hong Kong and Paris, the report said.

However it said Dubai would slip to 15th in importance by 2022, with London still topping the list.

It said quality of life, knowledge and influence, and economic activity were the key factors for the ultra-wealthy investing in property.

For quality of life, Dubai ranked 10th globally while it was ranked 11th for knowledge and influence. It failed to make the top 20 for political power but ranked fifth for economic activity.

The study also showed that Monaco remains the most expensive residential location in the world, with one square metre there now worth $58,300, followed by the prime locations in Cap Ferrat, London and  Hong Kong.

The Wealth Report 2012 also confirmed the relentless shift in wealth distribution towards Asia-Pacific - the region covering China, SE Asia and Japan now has more centa-millionaires (those with over $100m in assets) than North America or Western Europe.

In Europe, despite the past year’s continental recession, the main luxury market hotspots have remained relatively hot – eight out of 10 top locations in the Knight Frank Prime International Residential Index (PIRI) price rankings are in the UK, France or Switzerland.

Andrew Shirley, editor of The Wealth Report, said: “This year’s Wealth Report contains even more evidence that the world’s wealthy are weathering the economic slowdown better than the wider population, and nowhere is this better reflected than in prime property markets.

"Those markets considered 'safe-haven' locations continue to attract private investors looking for both prime residential and commercial property. Political and economic uncertainty across the world is only helping to exacerbate the trend."

Luigi Pigorini, CEO Citi Private Bank Europe, Middle East & Africa said: “Wealthy individuals and families, especially those originating from Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, have become extraordinarily global in nature.

"Many seek the rule of law and stability that make the UK a top choice for investment.

“Investors seeking a more conservative strategy have gravitated toward high-quality properties in central business districts in cities such as Beijing, London, Munich, New York, Paris and Sydney.

"Conversely, for those willing to accept more risk, high growth markets, such as Asia and Latin America, may be able to generate more attractive returns relative to the US and Europe.

"Investors must remain cautious as global economic growth will continue to influence all property markets, and investors should measure their yield and return expectations taking growth into account.”

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