If you could do anything you wanted, what would it be? Hop on a luxury private jet to the Maldives? Show off your superyacht in Monaco? Look up your mega mansion and book front row seats at every Fashion Week? For most of us, the answer is more of a philosophical fantasy, best imagined with a glass of red in hand. But for some, it’s a reality—a question posed from the comfort of an ultra-high net worth.
From Jeff Bezos to Michael Jordan to Kim K, they already own some of the world’s most expensive houses and diamond-embellished Rolexes. So what comes next for the world’s uninhibited billionaires? Unconstrained by budgets or office hours, the only question left to ask is how best to spend their hard-earned cash. And whilst the Amazon founder almost certainly has a different year calendar to the famous reality star, there are a few high net worth events that attract billionaires from every corner of the globe.
Kicking off the year in Switzerland, the Davos World Economic Forum is a quintessential opportunity for anyone influential enough to have a say in future economic priorities. While attending the Met Gala in New York solidifies your place in affluent circles and helps raise money for charities. Of course, in July, you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else than eating strawberries and cream courtside at Wimbledon. And St Barts is the only place to set New Year’s resolutions amongst a plethora of like-minded big shots.
Taking a sabbatical to live the high life (one can dream)? Here are the most prestigious social events to add to your calendar.
Davos World Economic Forum – Davos, Switzerland
It’s not all fun and games in the life of a billionaire—many of them see their wealth as a responsibility to make a change. Kicking off the rich people social calendar is the Davos World Economic Forum, an annual meeting hosted in Switzerland where influential people discuss financial priorities for the year ahead.
Art Stage – Singapore
A rich person’s passtime, collecting art is both a hobby and an investment for many billionaires. And where do they find the latest avant-garde artworks? At Art Stage in Singapore, of course. Attracting the world’s most sought-after contemporary artists, the much-anticipated festival is an art collector’s paradise—especially if you’ve got a deep pocket.
Sundance Film Festival – Utah, United States
Whether you’re a director, actor or just someone with cash lying around, the Sundance Film Festival is a great opportunity to mingle with A-listers and celebrate film. Naturally, you’ll find the rich and famous at the celebrity lounges, partying with the who’s who in the industry and attending exclusive night screenings.
St. Moritz Polo World Cup on Snow – St. Moritz, Switzerland
A favorite amongst royals, Polo has always been an elite sport. But couple that with St Moritz’s opulent Alpine resorts and it’s no surprise that you’ll find many of the world’s richest people sipping on Perrier-Jouët champagne beneath the Swiss slopes. And besides enjoying the sport, gourmet food selections, exclusive social events, and five-star resorts are the ordre du jour.
Cresta Run – St. Moritz, Switzerland
When it comes to the Billionaire Social Calendar, exclusivity is the name of the game. Cresta Run is case in point. The sled run is built from natural ice and stretches from St Moritz to Celerina. Only members of the St Moritz Tobogganing Club are invited to do the run. And founded in 1887, the private tobogganing club only opens its doors to the select few.
White Turf International Horse Races – St. Moritz, Switzerland
Held since 1907, the White Turf International Horse Races has attracted business tycoons and socialites alike for over a century. The invitation-only event features horse racing on St Moritz frozen lakes, as well as other sports such as skijoring. Skijoring? Don’t worry we had to google it too—just picture thoroughbreds galloping across a frozen lake and attached to them are humans on skis.
Super Bowl – United States
A favorite amongst Jay Z, the Biebers and Charlize Theron, the Super Bowl is a major event for many. And whilst the tickets are pricey by nature, the championship NFL game is less about exclusivity and more about joining in the vibe. Yes, some billionaires take to their private suites. But many sit in the stadium with the rest of us—oversized hoodies and all.
Vienna Opera Ball – Vienna, Austria
The Vienna Opera Ball is one of the most glamorous balls of the season. Paying homage to centuries of tradition, the dress code is strictly white tie and tails for men and floor-length gowns for women. After the debutantes’ iconic dance, the dance floor is open to everyone until 5 o’clock in the morning.
Fashion Weeks – Worldwide
For some, February is the month of love. For others, it’s the month of fashion. With Fashion Weeks happening all around the world—from New York to London to Milan—you’ll find most celebrities and A-listers on the side of a runway. Naturally, Fashion Week isn’t open to the public. But if you have enough money and influence, you’re almost certainly on the list.
Dubai World Cup – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Perhaps you’re a billionaire horse breeder. Or perhaps you’re more interested in placing bets on who will wear the largest hat. Either way, the Dubai World Cup is renowned for attracting the rich and famous. From VIP restaurants to exclusive events, for many the horse race is a networking opportunity not to be missed.
Art Basel Hong Kong – Hong Kong, China
Art Basel Hong Kong brings international artists together with over 250 galleries showcasing works from over 4,000 artists around the world. The open-plan fair is a must-see for art aficionados. And for the world’s richest tycoons, it’s a hunting ground for new investments. It also doesn’t hurt that the cultural experience is perfectly balanced by epic nights out.
Downhill Skiing – Aspen
Renowned for being the snowiest time of the year in Aspen, March is the month where you’ll find the richest people in the world heading for the slopes. Escaping the everyday demands of urban living, many big-shot celebrities flock to the quaint resort town for a breath of fresh air.
US Masters Golf Tournament – Georgia, United States
It appears that gentlemen’s clubs aren’t the only club attracting high-profile visitors. As one of the most expensive sports events in the world, the US Masters Golf Tournament sees many billionaires floating along the fairways. The tournament is hosted at Augusta National, an exclusive golf club, counting Bill Gates and Warren Buffet among its members.
Singapore Yacht Show – Singapore
Life is pretty plain sailing when you’re a billionaire. You buy one of the largest yachts in the world. And then you show it off at the Singapore Yacht Show. Celebrating the yachting lifestyle in a scintillating setting, the four-day event is attended by more than 16,000 with VIP areas for the elite of the elite.
Met Gala – New York City, United States
Known as “fashion’s biggest night out” many of us wait in eager anticipation to see who wears what. But more than just exquisite gowns, the Met Gala is an annual fundraising event for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City. As one of the most exclusive events, it brings together celebrities from the worlds of fashion, film, music and art—as well as tech billionaires (we see you Bezos.)
Cannes Film Festival – Cannes, France
Held since 1946, the Cannes Film Festival is one of the most prestigious events in the film industry. Showcasing and awarding new films from around the world, it is held annually in May at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès in the French Riviera town of Cannes. And reserved primarily for film industry professionals, you have to be someone to receive an invite. Cue: the lineup of Hollywood A-listers and some of the biggest names in international cinema.
Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este Car Show – Cernobbio, Italy
The Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este Car Show is an annual car show held in the quaint Italian town, Cernobbio located on the shores of Lake Como. It began as a beauty contest for cars in 1929 and showcases some of the world’s finest classic and concept cars from leading automotive manufacturers. Today, the glamorous event is organized by BMW Group, attracting deep-pocketed celebrities and automobile enthusiasts alike.
Glyndebourne Opera Festival – East Sussex, United Kingdom
There’s nothing more sophisticated than getting all dressed up to attend the Opera Festival at the historical Glyndebourne manor house. Founded in 1934 by John Christie and his wife Audrey Mildmay, Glyndebourne Opera Festival is known for its high production values and for its performances of lesser-known operas. Performed in the picturesque countryside gardens, the festival is a throwback to old-school high society, making it a hotspot for affluent guests.
Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix – Monaco
Attending one elite event to the next, the world’s most famous billionaires know a thing or two about living life in the fast lane—one of the most important ones being the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix. From Patrick Dempsey to Serena Williams, you’ll spot many big names pulling up to watch the drivers fight for the podium.
Kentucky Derby Horse Race – Kentucky, United States
Hold your hats, we’re betting big! The Kentucky Derby is a prestigious race for three-year-old thoroughbred horses. It is held in Louisville, Kentucky, United States on the first Saturday in May. And distinguished by its short duration and the blanket of roses draped over the winner, it is affectionately known as “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports” or “The Run For The Roses.”
Henley Royal Rowing Regatta – Henley-on-Thames, United Kingdom
Not only is Henley Royal Rowing Regatta the highlight of the Summer rowing season, but it’s also the climax of the UK social season. Endorsed by the Royal family, the six-day event is renowned as one of the most prestigious events since 1839. And with a strict dress code and exclusive lounges, it continues to maintain its elite status.
European Soccer Championships – Europe
As one of the most popular sporting events, the European Soccer Championships (UEFA) attracts spectators from all walks of life—including the richest people in the world. The tournament has been held every four years since 1960 in a different European country each year. And whilst the tournament takes place over a month, the championship final is where you’ll find most of the rich and famous.
US Open Golf Tournament – Pennsylvania, United States
As one of the four major golf tournaments, the US Open Golf Tournament is also one of the most illustrious. Taking place on the third weekend of June, the tournament always ends on Father’s Day. And with the reputation for identifying the best golfers in the world, the difficult golf courses pose a stern challenge to all.
Royal Ascot Gold Cup Horse Race – Berkshire, United Kingdom
First run in 1807, the Royal Ascot Gold Cup Horse Race is the longest surviving horse race at Royal Ascot. Steeped with history and tradition, the horse race was a favorite of Queen Elizabeth, whose horse won in 2013. And benefitting from the support of the royal family, it is also famous for attracting other big betters—and even bigger hats.
Roland Garros / French Open – Paris, France
Besides helping you find love, Paris has another ace up its sleeve—Roland Garros. Roland Garros (aka the French Open) is one of the four major tennis grand slam tournaments and the only one on clay. Attracting big hitters and affluent spectators alike, it’s an event not to be missed in the Billionaire Social Calendar.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Polo Gold Cup – Midhurst, United Kingdom
Held at the exquisite Cowdray Estate, Jaeger-LeCoultre Polo Gold Cup takes us back to 19th century England, where high society regularly gathered to support their men on horseback. Jaeger-LeCoultre is the premier polo tournament in Europe at High Goal level with matches being played at the Lawns Grounds and Ambersham Grounds over a three-week period.
Wimbledon Tennis Championship Finals – London, United Kingdom
Not only is Wimbledon the only grand slam to be played on grass courts, but it is also the oldest tennis tournament in history. Shrouded with deep-rooted tradition, the players have to wear white and strawberries and cream are almost a prerequisite for all courtside spectators. But tickets aren’t available to just anyone. And as one of the most exclusive events, tennis enthusiasts have to apply for the public ballot well ahead of time. Unless you’re a billionaire—and then you can pretty much do as you please.
Bayreuther Wagner Music Festival – Bayreuth, Germany
Performed in the iconic auditorium where music unfolds like no other place on earth, the Bayreuther Wagner Music Festival is held annually in Bayreuth, Germany. The small town is famous for its association with the revolutionary composer, Richard Wagner. And so the festival started, specifically to showcase Wagner’s works. Over 140 years later, Bayreuther Wagner is still one of the most elite classical music festivals.
US PGA Golf Championship – North Carolina, United States
As one of the four majors, there’s nothing subpar about the US PGA Golf Championship. In fact, it is golf’s only all-professional major, making it the hardest to win. The tournament is run by the Professional Golfers’ Association of America, so unlike the other three majors, amateurs aren’t allowed to compete.
Venice International Film Festival – Venice, Italy
As the oldest film festival in the world, the Venice International Film Festival is the perfect excuse to sail your superyacht into Italy. The 80th festival will take place in August 2023. And whilst many screenings are open to the public, it’s the discreet private affairs that will attract industry stars and film-loving billionaires.
Beijing International Music Festival – Beijing, China
The Beijing International Music Festival is one of the world’s leading music festivals and an integral cultural institution in China. Each year international artists and participants gather in the capital for two weeks to celebrate classical music. The festival is often presented by big names in the industry. And it is also a quintessential stop-off for producers seeking new talents.
Monaco Yacht Show – Monaco
If you’re looking to upsize your superyacht, the Monaco Yacht Show is the place to go. The Monaco Yacht Show showcases exceptional superyachts, with over 40 new models unveiled. The annual trade show is held at the iconic Port Hercules. And as one of the most exclusive events, the four-day show is an invite-only affair.
Salon Prive Supercar Show – Woodstock, United Kingdom
Salon Prive is the place to be seen for automobile aficionados and billionaires alike. The prestigious event invites guests to meander through pristine lawns, converse with the top manufacturers and test-drive the latest supercar models. The event takes place over four days in September. And set against the scintillating backdrop of the historic Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, it epitomizes elegance and class.
Ryder Cup Golf Championship – United States / Europe
Distinguished from all other golf tournaments, The Ryder Cup is a men’s golf competition between teams from Europe and the United States. Contested every two years, the venue alternates between the United States and Europe. And featuring its own set of rules, it is known for attracting a tastefully rowdy crowd from affluent circles. Yep, you can usually spot Donald Trump picking up putting tips.
Singapore F1 Grand Prix – Singapore
Characterized by its breathtaking location, the Singapore F1 Grand Prix is set against the backdrop of the magnificent Singapore skyline. The iconic night race forms part of the Formula One World Championship, featuring slick marketing and headliner concerts. Corner after corner, the track is one of the hardest in the world, making it one of the most stimulating F1 events to attend.
Fashion Weeks – Worldwide
If you were too busy buying a private island in February, September is your chance to visit Fashion Weeks around the world—that is if you’re invited of course. The top September fashion weeks take place in New York, London, Milan and Paris, opening their doors to the most affluent in the industry.
Frieze Masters Art Show – London, United Kingdom
Frieze Masters Art Show is one of the most prestigious and influential art fairs. Located in the heart of London—The Regents Park—the event focuses solely on contemporary art and living artists. The fair is open to the public. And showcasing the latest avant-garde sculptures and artworks, it is an art collector’s paradise.
Melbourne Cup Horse Race – Melbourne, Australia
Along with golf and yacht shows, horse racing is a quintessential component of the Billionaire Social Calendar. And if you’re yet to place a bet on the winning horse, the Melbourne Cup Horse Race is your last chance for the year. The Melbourne Cup is the largest Thoroughbred horse race in Australia. And behind The Everest, it is the second biggest turf race in the world.
Bal des Débutantes Fashion Show – Paris, France
Each November, daughters of Hollywood’s elite, royal houses, business moguls and politicians from around the world receive exclusive invites to attend Le Bal des Debutantes in Paris. The high-profile debutantes are scouted years in advance by event organizer, Ophelie Renouard. And whilst the haute couture gowns and opulent interiors add to the magnificence of the event, the heart of the ball is charity.
La Scala Opera House Opening Night – Milan, Italy
La Scala is a famous opera house in Milan, Italy. Originally known as the Nuovo Regio Ducale Teatro alla Scala, the theater was inaugurated in 1778. La Scala’s season opens on 7 December on the feast day of Milan’s patron saint, Saint Ambrose. Traditionally, all performances must end before midnight, meaning that longer operas have to start earlier. Although tickets are made available to everyone, the Royal Box is reserved for the elite.
Art Basel Miami Beach – Miami, United States
Posed as a cultural meeting point in the art world, Art Basel Miami celebrates new talents. Whilst Art Basel is an international fair that takes place in Switzerland, Hong Kong and Miami, the Miami location is renowned as the hotspot for high-profile celebrities looking to add to their contemporary art collections.
St. Bart’s New Year’s Eve Celebrations – St. Barths, Caribbean
St Barts certainly isn’t the largest island in the world, but it probably has the highest density of celebrity-chartered superyachts—especially over New Year’s Eve. With a plethora of rejuvenating spas, five-star restaurants, clean white sands, and crystal clear waters, we don’t blame the rich and famous for choosing the Caribbean island to bring in the new year.
Frequently asked questions about the ultra-high net worth lifestyle
The typical definition of an Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) individual is someone with $30 million or more in investable and liquid assets. The UHNW population dropped by 6% in the first half of 2022, leaving us with 392,410 UHNW individuals in the world.
Home to most business moguls such as Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, the United States is the country with the most Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWI). Defined as a person with a net worth of over $30 million, the US makes up more than half of the UHNWI population.
The Billionaire Social Calendar (or the Rich People Social Calendar) is an unofficial list of events highly attended by the elite. The list includes the Davos World Economic Forum in Switzerland, a number of yacht shows, expensive sporting events, and exclusive fashion shows. See our article for the complete, annual Billionaire Social Calendar.
While every person—rich or poor—has individual interests. There are a few upper-class social events that are renowned for attracting the rich and famous. Big sports events such as the Super Bowl, Wimbledon and the US Open Golf Tournament are popular amongst many. Invite-only charity events often spark the interest of those looking to give back. And informative events such as the Davos World Economic Forum provide an opportunity for big shots to have their say.