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  1. Wealth
January 25, 2012

WealthInsight: Dubai billionaire capital of Middle East

By Spear's

Three Middle Eastern cities have made it into the list of the top 25 cities with the largest population of billionaires, with Dubai the highest-ranked Middle East city at 18th place

Dubai is the capital of billionaires in the Middle East

China’s secondary cities are the biggest rivals to Middle East cities

United States has five billionaire cities in the top 25, while Greater China has seven

Three Middle Eastern cities have made it into the list of the top 25 cities with the largest population of billionaires, with Dubai the highest-ranked Middle East city at 18th place. While the US, Mainland China and Europe still dominate the list (with six, five and four cities respectively), Saudi Arabian cities such as Riyadh and Jeddah are narrowly outpacing fast-moving second-tier Chinese cities such as Hangzhou, the city ranked by WealthInsight as having the best opportunities for the wealth sector in China.

“We are likely to see much change to this list in the year ahead as the Saudi Arabian duo are contested by China’s Hangzhou and other second-tier Chinese cities such as Jinjiang in Fujian province, which lurks in the shadows in 26th place” comments Karishma Gupta, an Analyst with WealthInsight.

Dubai’s position may also be set to move down a place: “Singapore will be Dubai’s biggest contender in the year ahead as the pair compete to attract billionaires to their financial centres”.

Interestingly, only one South American city has made the cut, while in Greater China (which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan) there are fully seven cities in the top 25, pointing to the great economic dynamism of this region.

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No cities from Africa have made the list.

“Much of Africa has been experiencing an often over-looked boom over the past few years, but we don’t foresee that any cities from the region will make the top 25 list in the near-term. That said, Cairo, Johannesburg, Lagos and Accra all have burgeoning Ultra-HNWI (UHNWI) populations and show great potential. It’s only a matter of time until we see an African city on the list,” said Andrew Amoils, an Analyst with WealthInsight.

WealthInsight defines billionaires in US dollars. Ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) are those with more than US$30 million in assets, excluding their personal residence.

Top 25 cities by number of billionaires (Source: WealthInsight’s HNWI Database):

1.    New York
2.    Moscow
3.    London
4.    Hong Kong
5.    Mumbai

6.    Istanbul
7.    San Francisco
8.    Shanghai
9.    Paris
10.    Beijing

11.    Chicago
12.    Shenzhen
13.    Los Angeles
14.    Houston
15.    Dallas – Fort Worth

16.    Tokyo
17.    Guangzhou
18.    Dubai
19.    Singapore
20.    Jeddah

21.    Sao Paulo
22.    Taipei
23.    Amsterdam
24.    Riyadh
25.    Hangzhou

These figures are taken from WealthInsight’s HNWI Database (high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) are those with a net worth greater than US$1 million) which currently counts 1,340 billionaires worldwide, with an average wealth of US$3.27 billion and a combined wealth totalling US$4.37 trillion.

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