The world’s wealthy are headed to Dubai

Dubai has emerged as the world’s top market for luxury real estate, according to a Knight Frank report released this week.

The Emirate was home to just 2% of all super-prime (>$10M) sales as recently as 2019. It’s now at 17%, due to several push factors:

  • 🧾 Some nations have hiked their wealth and property taxes
  • ⛔ Others have imposed sanctions on many likely buyers, and
  • 🏃 Up to 400,000 Russians have headed to the UAE since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

There are also pull factors at play:

  • 🏝️ Dubai is good for low taxes and laying low (it’s home to exiled ex-leaders of Thailand and Afghanistan, and the former king of Spain)
  • 💵 And it’s relatively cheap ($1M still buys triple the luxury space you’d get in London).

Intrigue’s take: Domestically, societies all over are wrestling with a suite of philosophical, political, and economic questions around inequality right now.

But across borders, and with capital so footloose these days, this data out of Dubai suggests things are shaping up to be more of a free-for-all.

Also worth noting:

  • $125M will get you a six-bedder in Dubai’s ritzy Umm Suqeim neighbourhood. If you’re on a budget, $95M will get you a pad in Emirates Hills with a suspended glass bridge.
  • 4,500 millionaires will relocate to the UAE this year. That ranks second in the world after Australia.
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