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Super-rich choosing Dubai for second homes

A mansion on Palm Jumeirah sold for $82 million in July, making it the most expensive home ever sold in Dubai Dubai Tourism
A mansion on Palm Jumeirah sold for $82 million in July, making it the most expensive home ever sold in Dubai
  • City beats US, Australia and Europe
  • Homes feature in investors’ portfolios
  • Visa changes help attract wealthy

Dubai has become a second-home paradise for the super-rich as the number of wealthy residents in the emirate continues to soar.

The city boasts more than 500 centi-millionaire second-home owners.

It features ahead of locations such as Palm Beach and West Palm Beach in the US, Sydney, Nice and Napa, according to the latest wealth report from Henley & Partners.

The investment migration consultancy, which specialises in residence and citizenship by investment, classes a centi-millionaire as someone holding $100 million in investable assets.

“Dubai has always been a holiday destination for the wealthy,” said Barnaby Crompton, property broker and partner in Crompton Saltini Real Estate.

“Over the short term we have seen an increase in tourists post-Covid, but in the long term Dubai is still a massive draw for the world’s millionaires.”

His clients include wealthy Germans, French, Russian and English, who are seasonal visitors to Dubai.

He added it was also a popular market for Indians, given the close proximity to their home country.

The report revealed there are currently 210 centi-millionaires and 15 billionaires living in Dubai, which has a population in the region of 3 million. It predicts the former will increase by 78 percent by 2033.

The emirate is placed ahead of cities such as Moscow, Sydney, Monaco and Miami.

The report states that there were 28,420 centi-millionaires in the world in June 2023. 

Taimur Khan, head of research at CBRE Middle East, said holiday homes have become a key part of a wealthy investor’s toolkit.

“In the top end of the market we started seeing a few years back that Dubai, particularly the prime and super-prime side of things, was a regular feature in individuals’ global portfolios from Paris to London and New York,” he said.

Dubai has benefited from a raft of new visa regulations, which have encouraged people to set up home and stay for longer.

This includes the Golden Visa, introduced in 2019, which gives long-term residency of up to 10 years to talented expatriates and investors. There is also a five-year multi-entry visa option.

The super-rich in the Middle East and North Africa almost doubled their wealth between 2019 and 2022, according to a report from Oxfam.

It revealed that the richest 0.05 percent (106,080 people) with more than $5 million saw their fortunes surge by 75 percent from $1.6 trillion in 2019 to $3 trillion by the end of last year.

It added that the region’s billionaires have accumulated more in the last three years than in the preceding decade.

“It has been an astonishing few years for the wealthy,” said report author and Oxfam International senior policy advisor Nabil Abdo.