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Wed 6 Mar 2019 10:16 AM

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Number of ultra-rich in Middle East to rise 20% in five years

Knight Frank revealed that $1 million buys 143 square metres in Dubai, compared to 31 sq m in New York and London and just 16 sq m in Monaco

Number of ultra-rich in Middle East to rise 20% in five years
People from 142 nationalities invested in Dubai, with the top 10 foreign investors coming from countries such as India, the UK, Pakistan and China.

The population of ultra-high net worth individuals in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Jeddah and Riyadh is expected to rise 15 percent over the next five years, according to a new report from Knight Frank.

According to Knight Frank’s ‘wealth report’, the global UHNWI population is expected to rise by 22 percent over the same time period, with the population in the greater Middle East growing 20 percent.

The report also noted that 63 percent of the world’s UHNWIs saw their wealth increase in 2018.

“We regularly get asked by clients to predict what might happen in the year to come in terms of wealth creation, wealth movement and luxury property prices globally,” said Liam Bailey, global head of research at Knight Frank.

“What stands out for me this coming year is that despite a darkening economic outlook, wealth creation will remain a constant in 2019 with the global UHNWI population set to rise by more than a fifth over the next five years,” he added.

Luxury residential prices

The report also tracked the movement of luxury residential prices in the world’s top 100 city and second home markets between December 2017 and 2018 and found that Manila lead the way, with prices rising 11 percent over the course of the year.

While a number of European cities including Edinburgh (10.6 percent), Berlin (10.5 percent) and Munich (10 percent) continued to perform well, global hubs such as New York (-2.5 percent), London (-4.4 percent) and Dubai (-3.4 percent) found themselves in negative territory.

The report also found that $1 million will buy one 143 square metres in Dubai, compared to just 16 square metres in the world’s most expensive city, Monaco.

“Despite Dubai’s residential market having experienced headwinds in recent years, driven by lower oil prices, global economic uncertainty, the stronger US dollar and the introduction of stringent mortgage regulations, we have seen substantial international investment in Dubai continue,” said Taimur Khan, research manager at Knight Frank Middle East.

Khan added that in the first nine months of 2018 alone, people from 142 nationalities invested in Dubai, with the top 10 foreign investors coming from countries such as India, the UK, Pakistan and China.

“Given Dubai’s relative value, offering 143 square metres of property for $1 million compared to the likes of New York and London’s 31 or Singapore’s 36 square metres, it is not surprising that we are observing investors acquiring Dubai residential assets as part of their portfolio, alongside their pied-à-terre in New York, a home in London for their children’s education or a second home in the south of France,” he said.