|16 January, 2020

Reasons why Dubai is no longer expensive for luxury living?

New study reveals most expensive destinations for people who live the high life

Image used for illustrative purpose. Dubai skyline and architecture modern and fast growth of a business city.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Dubai skyline and architecture modern and fast growth of a business city.


If you think Dubai is still one of the world’s costliest cities for luxury living, think again.

The emirate is now one of the least expensive destinations for people who want to live the high life, thanks to the easing of property prices.

In the inaugural edition of the Global Wealth and Lifestyle Report 2020 of Swiss private bank Julius Baer, Dubai was ranked 17th out of 28 cities in terms of the cost of luxury goods, services and real estate.

The study indicates that the city offers more consumer value globally compared to several popular destinations, including Hong Kong, which is first on the overall list, Shanghai (2), Tokyo (3), New York (4), Singapore (5), Los Angeles (6) and London (7).

The study, which started in Asia in 2011 and has now expanded to include other cities globally, tracks the price trends of a basket of consumer items in the high-end category, including jewellery, watches, cars, ladies’ handbags, shoes, men’s suits, as well as fine wine, business-class plane tickets and luxury apartments.

The cost of buying a top-end property in Dubai, at $8,021 per square metre, is among the lowest, ranking 23rd in the world and just slightly above the house prices in Jakarta, Rio de Janeiro and Manila.

According to Diego Wuergler, managing director and head of investment advisory at Julius Baer, the falling house prices in Dubai is one of the reasons why Dubai did not appear on top of the cost index.

“People have the impression that Dubai is of the most expensive cities in the world, but [in our study] it just lies in the middle of the rankings. This is because of the residential market, which has corrected in the last five years,” Wuergler said during a presentation in Dubai.

The report states that prime residential property prices in Dubai have been in “free fall,” having declined 20 percent since 2014, largely due to an overhang of new housing stock.

There are also many other reasons why Dubai offers more value for money to luxury spenders. The prices for a business-class flight departing from Dubai is one of the lowest among the cities surveyed as well, costing a little over $3,000, just slightly higher than in Moscow and Istanbul, the two least expensive cities from which to fly premium in 2019. A similar flight originating from Sydney would set a traveller back more than $5,600.

For those who plan to tie the knot, Dubai is one of the top places that offer the best value, with the average cost of extravagant banquets ranking 27th globally, just behind Mumbai, which offers the lowest price. 

A luxury wedding in Dubai is also less costly than in Asian cities like Manila, Jakarta, Bangkok, and is far cheaper when compared to what couples would spend in New York, Miami, Hong Kong or Paris.

The emirate is one of the best-value cities for shoppers of premium jewellery, the prices of which ranked 23rd on the list,

However, Dubai is still a pricey place for enjoying a bottle of fine wine and whisky, ranked as the 7th and 10th most expensive in the world, respectively. Prices of beauty services are among the highest, ranked 8th on the index, as well as Lasik surgeries, ranked 9th.

Expect to cough up more US dollars when shopping in the emirate for ladies’ handbags, ranked as the fourth-highest, and watches, ranked as the ninth-priciest in the world. Men’s suits in Dubai are likewise more expensive than in many other cities, ranked 11th on the list, as well as ladies’ shoes, ranked 14th.

People who plan on hiring a lawyer can expect to pay more in Dubai, with legal services’ fees considered to be the 8th most expensive in the world, just slightly lower than what one might pay in Singapore or Los Angeles.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)


Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. The content does not provide tax, legal or investment advice or opinion regarding the suitability, value or profitability of any particular security, portfolio or investment strategy. Read our full disclaimer policy here.

© ZAWYA 2020

More From GCC