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Every 51st resident in Dubai is a millionaire, reveals World’s Wealthiest Cities report

Every 51st person that you meet in Dubai could be a millionaire, that is according to the recently released World’s Wealthiest Cities in 2024 report by Henley & Partners. The report is published annually by the international wealth migration firm in collaboration with global data intelligence firm New World Wealth.

Over the past decade, Dubai has seen a growth of 78 per cent in its millionaire population and takes the slot for the wealthiest city in the Middle East region.

The report lists Dubai as the 21st-wealthiest city in the world, along with a forecast that the ultra-modern emirate could continue its climb as a wealth magnate and is highly likely to break into the ‘Top 20’ in the coming years. Currently, the city with a population of 3,655,000 (2023) is home to 72,500 millionaires ($1m+), 212 centi-millionaires (with investable wealth of over $100m), and 15 billionaires, as per the report.

The report added that while the UAE’s capital Abu Dhabi hasn’t yet cracked a spot in the Top 50 ranking, the resident high-net-worth-individual (HNWI) population has seen a growth rate of 75 per cent over the last 10-years which makes it a likely contender in future.

Dominic Volek, group head of Private Clients at Henley & Partners, attributed the growth of wealth in top cities to host investment migration programmes that actively encourage foreign direct investment in return for residence or citizenship rights.

He explained, “You can secure the right to live, work, study, and invest in leading international wealth hubs such as New York, Singapore, Sydney, Vienna, and Dubai via investment. Being able to relocate yourself, your family, or your business to a more favorable city or have the option to choose between multiple different cities across the world is an increasingly important aspect of international wealth and legacy planning for private clients.

World’s wealthiest cities

Meanwhile, New York continues its reign as the world’s wealthiest city. The combined wealth held by New York’s residents now exceeds $3tn — higher than the total wealth held in most major G20 countries, noted the release by Henley & Partners. It is home to a staggering 349,500 millionaires, 744 centi-millionaires (with investable wealth of over $100m), and 60 billionaires.

Along with New York City, the US had two more cities in the Top 10 – with The Bay Area and Los Angeles taking the second and sixth spot respectively.

Dr Juerg Steffen, CEO of Henley & Partners, explained that a key factor driving growth in the world’s wealthiest cities has been the strong performance of financial markets in recent years. “The S&P 500’s 24 per cent gain last year, along with the Nasdaq’s 43 per cent surge and Bitcoin’s staggering 155 per cent rally, has buoyed the fortunes of wealthy investors. Additionally, rapid advancements in artificial intelligence, robotics, and blockchain technology have provided new opportunities for wealth creation and accumulation.”

However, there have been a few cities which have seen a wealth exodus, due to a host of reasons. Chief among them is London, which has tumbled down the ranking, and now sits in 5th place with just 227,000 millionaires, 370 centi-millionaires, and 35 billionaires — a decline of 10 per cent over the past decade, notes the report.

The other cities that have seen a decline in wealth over the last 10 years are Tokyo and Hong Kong, which have seen a drop of 5 per cent and 4 per cent respectively.

Dr Steffen added, “Yet, even as new opportunities emerge, old risks persist. The Ukraine crisis, which has seen Moscow’s millionaire population plummet by 24 per cent to 30,300, is a stark reminder of the fragility of wealth in an uncertain and unstable world.”

Cities with growing number of millionaires

When it comes to wealth growth potential over the next decade, the report listed cities such as Bengaluru (India), Scottsdale (US), and Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), as those to watch out for. All three have enjoyed exceptional growth rates of over 100 per cent in their resident millionaire populations over the past ten years, it added.


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