Dubai is not the richest city in the world, but it is considered the richest city in the Middle East by many standards.
New York City is considered one of the richest cities in the world, with total wealth in New York measured in the trillions, while total wealth in Dubai measured in the billions.
In wealth reports for major cities of the world, wealth refers to the wealth that is owned by the residents of the cities or the countries they live in.
No, Dubai is not the richest city in the world, but it is one of the wealthiest. The richest city in the world title frequently goes to New York City, whose wealth measures in the trillions while Dubai’s wealth is measured in the billions.
When defining the wealth of a city or individual, the factors that will define those include assets such as property, business, equities, and cash, minus the liabilities of the individual or entity.
Table of Contents
- Is Dubai the wealthiest city in the Middle East?
- Will the UAE remain the wealthiest country in the Middle East?
- Why is Dubai so wealthy?
- What are other revenue sources for Dubai?
- What makes Dubai attractive to investors?
- What is the overall economy of Dubai like?
- Is tourism a large component of Dubai’s wealth?
- What is the wealth of the wealthiest cities in the world?
Dubai may not be the wealthiest city in the world, but it might be the wealthiest city in the Middle East.
The UAE is the wealthiest country in the Middle East.
One report indicates that the UAE is home to over 82 thousand high-net-worth citizens. There are also approximately 12 billionaires in Dubai, as many as 214 millionaires with assets over 100 million, over three thousand with assets over 10 million, and almost 80 thousand people with assets over one million.
Also in the Middle East, Israel is estimated to be the second wealthiest country.
The net worth of Israel is approximately $744 billion, and Saudi Arabia follows Israel with a net worth of $482 billion.
Turkey is next with a net worth of $422 billion, and Iran has a net worth of $266 billion.
It is difficult to determine if the UAE will remain the wealthiest country in the Middle East, although it is expected to see growth over the next several years.
The UAE is frequently reported as having a large number of high net worth residents, and this is not a myth or urban legend.
This number is going to increase, as the UAE is expected to have a 24 percent increase in high-net-worth residents over the next five years.
Moreso, the UAE is likely going to have faster growth in the number of high net worth residents than Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, Italy, the United States, France, Thailand, Germany, and Japan.
That is because the UAE is a leading country for investment money from the Middle East and all across the world.
Additionally, the UAE has become home to a large number of high-net-worth individuals that have immigrated here from other countries.
It has been estimated that as many as 25 thousand high-net-worth individuals have immigrated to the UAE from other countries between the years 2010 and 2020.
The largest number of immigrants are coming from India and Africa when not coming from other countries in the Middle East.
In the capital and most populated city of the United Arab Emirates, there are approximately 10 billionaires and over two thousand residents that have over $10 million in their net worth.
Dubai is considered wealthy for the same reason that so many other regions in the Middle East are wealthy.
Natural resources are the key reason that Dubai continues to be wealthy, although its high investor population is another key reason.
Contrary to popular opinion, oil is not the sole wealth provider to the Dubai economy, as it only comprises approximately one percent of Dubai’s wealth.
Dubai has been a wealthy region for centuries, from the 1770s specifically until the present, with pearls being another key resource in the region.
The pearl industry was a critical source of income in Dubai, the surrounding areas, and the entire country of the United Arab Emirates.
Many villages in the region are considered to be fishing villages, where the modest workers of the Dubai area reside and work and have for the past two centuries.
These villages exist all along the Persian Gulf, with pearls being a high trade commodity. The pearl industry had its day until the 1930s.
When the regions of Abu Dhabi and Dubai underwent a clash after the Second World War and into the 1950s, many citizens left the city of Dubai, and its leader began pouring funds into infrastructure in order to begin to attract more residents.
Other revenue sources for Dubai include tourism and oil exports. These became prevalent when Dubai became independent from Great Britain in 1971 and one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates.
Still, Dubai does not have a large percentage of its economy flowing with oil, so it has been a work in progress when it comes to diversifying its income.
As a resource for its residents, Dubai also established a free zone in the city. This enabled businesses to provide goods and services that would be free of taxes and where owners have a 100 percent stake in their own business.
Dubai’s free zone is approximately 20 square miles large and among the largest in the world, a significant source of the business economy in Dubai.
Additionally, foreign investment is key here, with approximately 20 percent of the income of Dubai coming from foreign investment.
This buffet of investments employs approximately 144 thousand residents of the city and generates approximately $80 billion of Dubai’s annual revenue, approximately 21 percent of the GDP.
These income and wealth sources are considerable contributors to the UAE being the third wealthiest country in the world after the wealthiest, Qatar, and Luxembourg, the second wealthiest.
Dubai is attractive to investors for a number of reasons. It has an excellent health care system, but it also has an excellent visa system.
One thing that the UAE has done for its immigrants is offer a golden visa for immigration.
This is a visa program for high achievers and is a ten-year visa for residency that began in 2019.
The golden visa in Dubai has been given to many people, from top students to top earners in some of the most successful companies in the world.
It’s also been granted to many of the top-earning actors of the world.
In one year, hundreds of students that score more than 95 percent on their final exams can be given a golden visa.
On average, between 40 and 50 people get them. Program developers can also get golden visas, with approximately 100 thousand developers from Silicon Valley, Israel, and Europe, getting golden visas to Dubai every year.
The overall economy of Dubai has a GDP of $46,665 billion. Over ten years in the UAE in total there is an estimated 16 trillion of the nation’s GDP coming from the non-oil trade.
In one year, the UAE’s entire GDP is estimated at $440 billion, with just over $40 billion of that coming out of Dubai.
This is largely due to the free-market style of capitalism that the city of Dubai, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as a whole have built.
There was a time when oil production consumed 50 percent of the region’s GDP, but other sources of oil in Dubai’s export business have whittled that down to one percent.
Today, wholesale trade and retail trade are the leading sources of income, before transportation, finance, real estate, and manufacturing.
Tourism and construction are also a large part of the Dubai economy. Dubai’s infrastructure and architecture are world-renowned and are a source of its income.
Additionally, Dubai is a critical port of entry for manufacturing and imports from the Western world, with Dubai being a key home on Earth for gold imports.
Tourism is important to the wealth of the Dubai economy but isn’t a large sector. Dubai’s infrastructure is world-renowned, and much of that goes towards hotels and resort buildings.
Still, Dubai also spends an extraordinary amount of money on real estate, and also makes an extraordinary amount of money on real estate.
Tourism does not play the role in Dubai that finance and IT do when it comes to the overall economy.
The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is among the largest and most prosperous in the world.
Additionally, Emirates Airlines carries almost 50 million passengers annually, a key contribution to the tourism economy in Dubai.
The Dubai Internet City and the Dubai Media City are key markers of the wealth in Dubai and are also important to Dubai tourism.
Dubai also serves as a key business bridge between Africa and the rest of the Middle East.
Its free zones help the people and businesses of Dubai, and also those businesses that are on the other side of that bridge.
Dubai has a wealth of $825 billion and the wealth of the wealthiest cities in the world is in the trillions.
New York City is considered the wealthiest city in the world with a wealth of $2.9 trillion. New York is a major financial hub in the United States, serving the financial hubs all over the world by providing the two largest stock exchanges on Earth.
San Francisco ranks second to New York City when it comes to the wealth of the world, coming in at $2.6 trillion in total wealth.
That is due to the fact that San Francisco is funded by the Silicon Valley lifestyle, and is a key area for big tech and IT billionaires.
Tokyo comes in number three at $2.5 trillion for the wealthiest city in the world, and this is due to another stock exchange.
The city of London, England as well is wealthy in the trillions and is considered the fourth wealthiest city in the world.
London is another city that is on the map when it comes to fashion, finance, and billionaires.
Beijing in China ranks as the fifth wealthiest city in the world with wealth in the amount of $2.0 trillion as it is home to some of China’s biggest tech businesses and brands.