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Calm down, Dubai

Knight Frank just published the 17th edition of its annual “The Wealth Report.” I have spoken about this report many times before on the blog because I generally find them really interesting. So today I’d like to share two items from this latest one.

The first item is their most recent Prime International Residential Index (PIRI). What this does is track prime residential prices across 100 key city, sun, and ski locations. “Prime”, in case you are wondering, is defined as the most desirable and most expensive properties in each market — generally the top 5%.

Look at Dubai go:

When I see a chart like this I usually start at the top and then immediately start scanning for Toronto. Here, it’s more or less in the middle with a 4.1% increase. Totally reasonable. Prime property in Auckland and Wellington, on the other hand, didn’t fair as well in 2022.

The second item is this very wonderful diagram showing flight connectivity before Covid (12 months to March 2020) and then post-Covid (12 months to December 2022):

The way to read this diagram is that the most connected cities — ranked by the number and quality of flight connections — get pushed toward the center. They also get bigger. Less connected cities, on the other hand, slide toward the edges. All of the cities also generally gravitate toward their main regional connections.

The most obvious change is the greatly weakened connectivity of Chinese cities. This is not surprising given their zero-Covid approach. Moscow also seems to get rightly pushed out to the side.

Another story is the continued rise of both Singapore (to the likely detriment of Hong Kong) and Dubai. I have only been to Dubai once, and I couldn’t figure out how to navigate its sea of roads and highways, or how to locate an actual city center where humans walk around (though the historic Bur Dubai area was interesting).

But there is no denying that Dubai has become a pretty important global city.

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