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My Dubai Salary: ‘I earn up to Dh2.3 million a month in real estate’

Remarkable Earnings
  • Profile an individual with extraordinary earnings in the real estate sector, revealing their monthly income of up to Dh2.3 million, showcasing the lucrative opportunities available in Dubai's real estate market.

Gordon Dutfield left school at the age of 15, but now earns about £500,000 ($633,127 or Dh2.3 million) a month as chief executive of luxury real estate business Redmayne Smith.

The Briton, 34, relocated to Dubai three months ago for business reasons, the lifestyle and tax advantages.

He helps investors from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman invest in premium off-plan projects in the UK.

His father runs a stock brokerage business in Scotland, while his sister works as operations team manager at Redmayne Smith.

“My dad taught me how to work hard. I have seen the struggles he went through running his business,” Mr Dutfield says.

He rents an apartment in Downtown Dubai.

What was your first job and salary?

My first job, when I was about 14 to 15 years old, was in door-to-door sales. There was no salary, it was a commission-only role. I was paid about £3.50 an hour.

By 21, I set up a door-to-door sales company and had contracts with the likes of Sky Television.

At a young age, I had 60 staff between London and Glasgow. The business was fairly successful for four years. Then I closed the business and went into the property sector when I was 25.

Back then, I knew how to make money, but didn’t understand business, how tax works and how to save for a rainy day.

I am good friends with Paul Smith, who is my business partner and owner of Redmayne Smith. He saw my potential to make money and advised me to channel every penny into assets. We still work together.

My money mindset changed when I was around 31 or 32, when I started making serious money.

I started to understand how to manage and invest money. Back then, it was all about the quick wins, but now I look at things from a long-term perspective.

What is your current role and monthly earnings?

My business turns over millions and millions of pounds in the UK. I earn about £500,000 a month.

My role is to set up operations for my company in Dubai and work with my clients here. I try to offer people an opportunity to invest in top-quality, profitable off-plan properties in the UK.

A top-end apartment in the UK could be priced anywhere between £300,000 and £500,000This makes the market fairly accessible for people with surplus cash in the Gulf.

A lot of people tend to send their children to university to the UK and prefer to invest in cities like Birmingham and Manchester for the long term.

I tend to do the big thinking and try to make sure the business is going in the right direction.

The UK property market is in a strong place. People are living longer and more people are moving to the UK than ever before.

The government has a target of building 300,000 houses every year to address the housing shortage. But this has never been achieved.

The UK property market is relatively stable in terms of capital growth.

Do you manage to save and what asset classes do you invest in?

Yes, I have savings that will last me several months and invest strictly in property and gold.

I invest in gold because it is a safe asset that beats inflation and can be liquidated quickly.

I don’t like having a lot of cash and would rather put it into an asset and protect it against inflation. I started investing at the age of 25.

I own property in all sectors in the UK, mainly in Manchester, Birmingham and Scotland. I own residential, commercial real estate and land plots. All properties have been rented out.

I want to learn more about the Dubai market before investing in property here.

I invest in the business on a monthly basis to grow it.

Do you have any debt?

I don’t have any credit cards or loans, but have mortgages on my properties. That’s the only debt I currently have.

I’ve had credit cards and maxed them out when I was in the UK … I used to pay them in full every month, but I manage my finances differently now.

Have you ever inherited a sum of money?

When I was 23, I inherited a sum of money from my grandmother, roughly between £15,000 and £20,000.

I invested in an application business with my business partner back then and it completely failed.

Growing up, were you taught how to handle your finances?

No, not necessarily. Money is a taboo subject and not really spoken about in the UK.

It is something I struggled with, as I was making a lot of money and losing it, too.

Money management was not taught in the education system. It’s not the right approach. That’s why people take out credit cards and get themselves into debt in the UK.

What are your major monthly expenses?

Socialising with my clients and going out for dinner.

How do you budget your salary every month?

I spend 20 per cent of my salary and save 80 per cent for my investments.

Have you started saving for retirement?

I wish to never retire. I wouldn’t know what to do with myself and I’d be absolutely bored.

So, retirement is not even in my sphere at the present time.

I’d like to slow things down at the age of 50, so I have got to work hard for 15 years.

The property portfolio is for my retirement.

Do you have an emergency fund?

Yes, I have an emergency fund and it can sustain me for a few years.

What do you spend your disposable income on?

I love activities like scuba diving, squash and padel. I focus on a lot on my fitness. If I’m not out having dinner with my clients, I’m at the gym. I like to keep myself fairly active.

I do a lot of travelling as well. I spend the summer months in Europe and come back here during winter.

Do you earn passive income?

Primarily from real estate. Once my business is up to a certain level, I won’t be needed to work in it actively. That will generate passive income for me.

Do you worry about money?

No, I don’t necessarily worry about money because I have a strong mindset and know exactly where I’m going.

If you focus on worrying about money, you’ll attract that negativity towards you.

I’ve more of an abundance mindset where I try to bring the money towards me.

Gordon Dutfield says his emergency fund can sustain him for a few years. Antonie Robertson / The National

bviously within business, you’ve got struggles, ups and downs.

I know if I lost everything today, I can start afresh again tomorrow, so it’s not a major worry.

What are your financial goals?

Within the next year, I aim for our real estate business to cross the £6 million mark.

I also aim for our business to generate up to £50 million within the next five years.

Personally, I want my money to work hard for me and reinvest everything. I don’t see the benefit of having it in a bank account.

The maximum I keep in my bank account at any time is £10,000. Holding money in the bank is the worst strategy as inflation is eroding its value.

No one ever got wealthy saving money, you’ve got to make it work for you.

What is your idea of financial freedom?

Generating passive income every month without having to work for it. For me, that would be £100,000.

I already feel I’ve achieved financial freedom but will hit my next goal in the next couple of years.

Do you want to be featured in My Salary, a weekly column that explores how people around the world manage their earnings? Write to to share your story


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