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Dubai Rises as Middle East’s Wealth Hub with Surge in Millionaires

Posted by main.admin on May 30, 2024

According to a Henley & Partners annual ranking released this week, New York City topped the global list while Dubai was named the city with the most billionaires in the Middle East. Henley & Partners is a residency and citizenship consultancy business that co-published the study with wealth intelligence firm New World Wealth. The Bay Area, with 305,700 billionaires, ranked second on its list of the “Top 50 Cities for Millionaires,” after New York City, which has 349,500 millionaires. Dubai has 72,500 millionaires, placing it 21st overall. 

With 227,000 millionaires, London came in sixth, ahead of Los Angeles (212,100) and Paris (165,000). The top Asian cities on the list were Tokyo and Singapore, which came in third and fourth, respectively.

The Richness of the Middle East

Over the last ten years, Dubai has seen a 78% increase in millionaires living there. In addition, there are 212 centi-millionaires and 15 billionaires.

Dubai: Home to 72,500 Millionaires

Dubai Real Estate

In 2023, Dubai saw the second-highest net influx of millionaires worldwide. The consulting group sent a press statement stating that the glamorous Gulf City was “highly likely to break into the top 20 in the coming years.” According to Dominic Volek, Group Head of Private Clients at Henley & Partners, seven of the world’s ten wealthiest cities are located in nations with active investment migration policies that welcome foreign direct investment in exchange for citizenship or residency rights. 

According to the statement, he stated, “You can secure the right to live, work, study, and invest via investment in leading international wealth hubs like New York, Singapore, Sydney, Vienna, and Dubai.” The ability to migrate oneself, one’s family, or one’s business to a more advantageous location, or to select from a variety of places worldwide, is becoming a more crucial component of international wealth and legacy planning for private customers.

China was well-represented among the 50 wealthiest cities, with five mainland cities appearing on the list. New Delhi has 16 billionaires and 30,700 millionaires and is included in the top 50. According to Andrew Amoils, Head of Research at New World Wealth, Shenzhen is the affluent city with the quickest rate of growth in the world, with a 140% increase in the number of millionaires living there in the previous ten years.

He was cited as saying, “Over the past ten years, all three have enjoyed exceptional growth rates of over 100% in their resident millionaire populations.”

Indian investors are boosting Dubai’s property market growth with 5-year visas

Dubai’s progress in aviation and increase in wealth

While the implementation of its innovative aviation super-hub plan is highly intricate, the fundamental concept is straightforward: using connectivity to draw in affluent individuals and highlight Dubai’s upscale real estate market, upscale tourist sector, and vibrant business environment. This combination of economic success and aviation expertise is a prime example of how, in a globalized society, infrastructure can spur wealth creation.

Progressive regulations and immigration frameworks, which demonstrate Dubai’s government’s dedication to providing a friendly business climate, are further driving the city’s rising trajectory. Leading free economic zones like the Dubai World Trade Centre Authority (DWTCA) Free Zone and the International Financial Services Authority (IFZA) Free Zone have demonstrated a strong performance in terms of business formations and renewals, with both seeing an increase of more than 170% year over year.

Proactive immigration laws to draw elite talent and riches

Dubai Real Estate

Furthermore, a proactive attitude to migration is demonstrated by the launch of the UAE’s Residence by Investment program, the Golden Visa, of which over 150,000 were granted between 2019 and 2022, and the Green Visa, a five-year residency permit targeted at highly qualified professionals and independent contractors. These programs are key components of Dubai’s plan to attract even more foreign investment and expertise.

With its cutting-edge corporate ecosystem, energetic can-do mentality, large pool of foreign talent, and key market access, Dubai appeals to the world’s rich in many ways. It also offers an excellent quality of life, with a wide range of high-end lifestyle facilities, top-notch educational options, and luxurious real estate. 

Abu Dhabi is becoming a more alluring choice for astute investors

Dubai Real Estate

The quiet but vibrant city of Abu Dhabi is located about an hour’s drive southwest of Dubai along the Persian Gulf coast. It is the capital of the UAE and the largest emirate, and it is also home to another notable success story: the Abu Dhabi Global Market, an international financial centre and free zone. Similar to Dubai, Abu Dhabi is also seeing a record-breaking influx of talent and cash, but in a different way. As a result, the government-owned premium developer Aldaar is building additional luxury homes to meet the demand of foreign investors. 

With a millionaire growth rate of 75% between 2013 and 2023—just 3% less than Dubai’s—Abu Dhabi tops the World’s Wealthiest Cities Report 2024’s list of Cities to Watch. However, as some data points are not completely available, this number may very well be higher. However, each has advantages and capabilities of its own, and both cities draw a sizable population of millionaires and their families for valid reasons.

Parallel to this, Abu Dhabi has also recently made large financial investments in a recently opened terminal at Zayed International Airport (formerly Abu Dhabi International Airport). This proves the bullish positioning of Abu Dhabi, like Dubai, in continuing to draw people from all cohorts, from corporations to retirees, from students to entrepreneurs, and from career starters to billionaires.

Dubai Ranks in Top 10 Most Affordable Global Cities


Dubai Real Estate

A new airport the size of Dubai’s has not yet been suggested, despite statements of giga-projects in the Kingdom. Aviation is a growth indicator in both the public and commercial sectors. Nonetheless, Riyadh Air, which recently debuted as Saudi Arabia’s second flag carrier with the help of the Public Investment Fund, is well-positioned to imitate some of the success factors Dubai and Abu Dhabi have demonstrated: make your proposition approachable and friendly, and people will come. Riyadh Air has an option order for 72 wide-body aircraft.

This strategic transformation in Riyadh signifies not just an increase in infrastructure but also a significant move toward accepting a globalized, linked marketplace that will likely attract more investment and attention to the area.


Essentially, Dubai’s rise to the top of the Middle East’s wealthiest cities list represents not just its economic might but also its steadfast dedication to quality, innovation, and inclusive development. Dubai continues to be a beacon of hope and prosperity, demonstrating what can be accomplished with foresight, tenacity, and unwavering perseverance in the face of adversity.

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