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Dubai dominates as top choice for UHNW primary residents

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Dubai's UHNW home owners are younger, with a more industry-oriented business focus, reveals a Wealth-X report

Words by Aneesha Rai in The Market · Mar 13th, 2023

Based on the Residential Real Estate 2023 report by Wealth-X & Realm, while Dubai is a smaller city compared to Monaco and Los Angeles, it has the largest share of UHNW (individuals with a networth above US$30  million) primary residents, which is two-thirds of its UHNW population. About 67% of the approximately 830 UHNWIs identified that are based in the city treat Dubai as their primary residence, while the remaining 33% choose Dubai as a secondary home. 

Dubai's UHNW cohort also has the youngest age distribution of the three cities, with a lower proportion of homeowners over the age of 70 compared to Monaco, according to the report. Among the ultra-wealthy population in Dubai, 91% are male, surpassing the male representation in Monaco and Los Angeles, as well as the global ultra-wealthy population (89%). In terms of nationality, the top three countries by origin of primary residence among secondary home owners are the UK, France and Switzerland. 

Another interesting finding is that only 1.4% of UHNWIs in Dubai are known jet owners, while 0.7% are known yacht owners.

In terms of interests and hobbies, Dubai's ultra-wealthy homeowners prioritize sports, public speaking, and technology, which sets it apart from the other two cities. Furthermore, Dubai's ultra-wealthy individuals exhibit the lowest share of self-made fortunes, but also the lowest prevalence of solely inherited wealth. Almost 40% of Dubai's UHNW individuals have combined self-created wealth and inherited capital to amass their net worth, a higher proportion than the global average. This can be attributed to the concentrated distribution of wealth in the UAE and the above-average share of privately owned family businesses.

Although the oil sector remains a core driver of growth and wealth creation in the UAE, the government is focused on strengthening Dubai's position as a regional business hub. This is reflected in the primary industry focus of Dubai's UHNW residents, which includes more traditional industries like banking and finance, industrial conglomerates, construction, and manufacturing. While banking and finance are the most common industry focus across all three cities (LA, Monaco & Dubai), Dubai has a significantly larger representation in the latter three industries.

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