Stock Dubai skyline
Dubai’s position is a testament to the power of the government to create hubs using financial and other incentives, the report says. Image Credit: Dubai Media Office

Dubai: Despite the overall price rise over the past 12 months and the subsequent increase in cost of living, the EMEA region has remained the most affordable, a report said on Wednesday.

According to the fourth edition of the Global Wealth and Lifestyle Report by Julius Baer, Asia has reaffirmed its dominance as a centre for wealth and lifestyle, as well as an essential driver of the global economy.

Overall, six cities in Asia rose in the rankings, while four fell; seven Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) cities fell in the ranking, with only one rising (Dubai); and in the Americas four cities rose and one fell.

The city ranking is based on the Julius Baer Lifestyle Index, which analyses the cost of a basket of goods and services representative of ‘living well’ in 25 cities around the world. This provides an overview of the relative cost of maintaining a high-net-worth lifestyle in various major urban centres.

“The average price of Julius Baer’s Lifestyle Index has increased by 6 per cent in US Dollar, but by 13 per cent in local currencies. Broadly, this is due to persistent high rates of global inflation and the fact that raw materials, energy, fuel, and staffing have all become more expensive. Moreover, consumer demand, pent up over the pandemic, has increased dramatically,” Julius Baer said.

For the first time, Singapore is the highest-ranking city in the Lifestyle Index, followed by Shanghai – last year’s leader – and Hong Kong in second and third, respectively, making up a fully Asian podium. Taipei is the only other Asian city to feature in the top 10, taking the eighth spot.

For the first time since the report began, EMEA is the most affordable region in which to live well, with European cities in particular dropping down the rankings. London, last year’s second place, fell to fourth, and, apart from Monaco holding firm in sixth, Britain’s capital is the only European city in the top 10. Dubai has enjoyed a rapid rise up the ranking to seventh place, helping to relegate Zurich to Dubai’s former position of 14th.

“The emirate, perfectly positioned as a gateway between east and west, continues to grow as a hub that appeals to hyper-mobile wealthy people,” the report said, adding that Dubai’s position is a testament to the power of the government to create hubs using financial and other incentives.

“It has become the place that companies and entrepreneurs seeking a base in the Middle East turn to and is popular with expatriates. Additionally mega events such as Expo 2020 and the upcoming COP28 continue to play an important role in solidifying Dubai’s footprint on the world map.”