Real Estate: Luxury property prices falling in Monaco, London and Geneva

According to the latest Prime Global Cities Index from Knight Frank, global luxury house prices are continuing on a steady upwards trajectory, but that’s not the case in Monaco. 

The figures from Knight Frank’s Q3 2023 Prime Global Cities Index have just been announced, and while the majority of the locations featured in the report have noted growth – significant growth in some cases – the Principality of Monaco has found itself in the company of around a third of the 46 cities listed to report falling property prices. 

According to the report, “average annual prices rose 2.1% across the 46 markets covered by the Knight Frank Prime Global Cities Index in the 12-month period to September”, with 67% of locations recording annual rise in luxury house prices.  

Manila came out top, with a staggering 21.2% 12-month change, beating the usual top spot holder of Dubai, which reported 15.9% of growth in the same period.  

Prices dipping in Monaco

The figures for Monaco, however, suggest that house prices in the Principality are falling, albeit by just 0.8%. 

Other nearby prime locations to experience similar contractions are Geneva, with a 1.3% fall over 12 months, and London, with a 1.7% decrease.  

In the US, Los Angeles’ house prices dipped by 1.9%, New York’s by 4% and San Francisco’s by 9.7%, the most significant price drop on the list. 

On the other side of the world, Australia’s big cities performed well across the board, while New Zealand’s Auckland and Wellington both reported price falls of 2.6% and 4.8% respectively.  

Almost every Asian market featured in the Prime Global Cities Index returned house price rises, except from Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok. 

Resilient yet fragile

Generally, however, “prime housing markets are proving resilient despite higher interest rates”, as explained by Liam Bailey, Global Head of Research at Knight Frank.  

Still, his appraisal of the situation comes with a warning that “the revival in demand is fragile and could be pushed off course if inflation surprises on the upside”. 

“The improvement in average annual house price growth will be welcomed by prime market homeowners, but shouldn’t be overstated,” he says. “Higher rates mean we have moved into a world of lower asset price growth – and investors will need to work harder to identify opportunities for outperformance to secure target returns.” 


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Photo source: Viktor Hesse, Unsplash

Diplomacy news: Four new ambassadors accredited in Monaco

Ambassadors of Korea, Portugal, Moldova and Rwanda are among the latest to be recognised and welcome by the Monaco Government and Prince Albert.

Monaco’s Minister of External Relations and Cooperation Marie-Catherine Caruso-Ravera on Tuesday 7th November received, during a lunch organised at the Hermitage Hotel, Ambassador of Korea Jai Chul Choi,Ambassador of Portugal José Augusto de Jesus Duarte, Ambassador of Moldova Corina Cãlugãru, and François Nkulikiyimfura, Ambassador of Rwanda.

In the morning, the diplomats had presented their Letters of Credence to Prince Albert II of Monaco.

Jai Chul Choi holds a Bachelor’s degree in French language and literature from the Seoul National University and a diploma in Diplomatic Studies from the Institute of Advanced International and Development Studies in Geneva. He joined the Ministry of Affairs Korean Foreign Affairs in 1981. After holding various positions within the Korean Embassies in France, Kenya and then the Philippines, in 1999 he became Director of the Environmental Cooperation Division of the Bureau of International Economic Affairs then Director General of this same Office in 2007. Subsequently, he was Ambassador of Korea to Morocco as well as to the OECD.

José Augusto de Jesus Duarte began his career at the General Directorate of European Affairs of the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1990. He graduated in International Relations from the Higher Institute of Social and Political Sciences of the University of Lisbon, and was Director of the Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs before being appointed, in 2009, Director of Sub-Saharan Africa in the General Directorate of Foreign Policy. After having held various positions within the Portuguese Embassies in the USA, in Spain and at the Permanent Representation of Portugal to the European Union, he was appointed Ambassador of Portugal to Mozambique from 2013 to 2016. He became Advisor to the President of the Portuguese Republic in 2016, and was appointed Ambassador to China from 2017 to 2022 then Ambassador of Portugal to France in 2022.

Corina Cãlugãru holds a master’s degree in law and a degree in economics, and began her career as a diplomat in 2004. In 2010, she became Advisor to the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Moldova to the Office of the Nations United Nations, in Geneva, and in 2012 Director of the Directorate of Global Affairs and Human Rights, before being appointed Ambassador to the Council of Europe in 2015. Since 2022, she has been Ambassador of the Republic of Moldova in France, Permanent Delegate of the Republic of Moldova to UNESCO and Personal Representative of the President to the Permanent Council of La Francophonie (OIF).

François Nkulikiyimfura holds a Master’s degree in industrial economics from the University of Paris XIII and has more than 25 years of experience, including 18 years in development economics, and the management of development financing programs acquired while working to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning of Rwanda and to the African Development Bank. Nkulikiyimfura is currently Ambassador of the Republic of Rwanda to France, Spain, Italy, Monaco and Portugal. He is also Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, OIF, OECD, FAO, IFAD as well as to the WFP.

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Photo left to right: François NKULIKIYIMFURA, Corina CÃLUGÃRU, Marie-Catherine CARUSO-RAVERA, Jai Chul CHOI, and José Augusto DE JESUS DUARTE. Photo credit : Manuel Vitali, Government Communication Department

Widespread road closures planned across Monaco in the coming weeks

Vital and important updates to public infrastructure and roads will necessitate widespread road closures affecting almost every party of Monaco over the coming weeks. Here’s a rundown of the areas impacted.  

In November, and in some cases into December, Monaco will be running numerous maintenance operations on its roads, which will require significant closures and diversions. 


Road re-tarmacking is high on the agenda between 6th and 23rd November, and in total, nine sectors will be affected at different times. 

The works will generally occur between 8pm and 6am in order to limit impact on traffic circulation, and the government endeavours to only take one or two nights to complete each area, with the intention of limiting noise and disruptions as much as is possible.  

The Ruelle du Fort Antoine was up first from 6th to 8th November, when traffic was alternated on Avenue Saint Martin, then it was onto the Boulevard Charles III and Avenue du Port via Place d’Armes on 8th and 9th November.  

Next comes Rue de la Colle, which will be fully closed to road traffic on the night of 9th November. The tunnel leading to Fontvieille will also be affected and diversions are in place on Avenue Prince Pierre. 

A slight alteration of hours will be seen on the night of 13th into 14th November on Avenue Princesse Grace, when the works will take place from 10pm to 6am. No traffic will be allowed on the road, and diversions and a ban on parking on the portions of the avenue concerned will be implemented.  

From 8pm to 1am on the same night, Boulevard Saint Michel will be totally closed to traffic. Diversions will be put in place as well as alternating traffic on Rue des Roses and Boulevard Princesse Charlotte. 

The Boulevard du Jardin Exotique and Boulevard de Belgique will be shut to all traffic, with a ban on parking on a portion of the roads concerned, on the nights between 14th and 16th November. Diversions will be organised as well as alternating traffic on Rue Bosio and at the start of Boulevard du Jardin Exotique. Access to the Bosio carpark will be maintained.  

On 16th into 17th November, the Rue Honoré Labande will be subject to total traffic closures and a parking ban. 

Avenue des Papalins will see a closure to traffic from N°9 to N°13 from 21st into 22nd November. As the Papalins car park is located within the works area, the Public Parking Service will be offering subscribers suitable parking elsewhere.  

Finally, Rue du Portier will be closed to traffic on 22nd into 23rd November. 

In all affected sectors, necessary pedestrian traffic diversions will be marked and the bus lines impacted by the works will be diverted.


The tunnel lighting rehabilitation campaign, launched on 10th July, also continues, with new lighting being installed in the Tunnel Belgique at the entry of the Centre Hospitalier Princesse Grace.  

The work will take place from 21st November to 22nd December, with alternating traffic on the affected street from 8.30am to 4pm. Delivery and bicycle parking will not be accessible during this period.  


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Photo credit: Manuel Vitali, Monaco Communications Department

The ‘biodigital’ frontier, where virtual influencers are establishing a new age of marketing

biodigital monaco

Invited to take part in the Maison du Numérique’s ‘Immersive Week’, Monaco Life stepped into the world of biodigitals alongside expert Marie-Nathalie Jauffret to explore how virtual influencers are redefining marketing and inclusivity.

Have you heard of Lil Miquela or Kami? These virtual influencers – or CGI robots – are just two of a steadily growing ‘community’ of biodigital figures that aren’t just changing the game, they’re creating a whole new playing field.

In an insightful talk at the Maison du Numérique on 8th November, Marie-Nathalie Jauffret, a communication and marketing professor at the International University of Monaco, introduced a closely listening crowd to the fascinating world of biodigitals, which are essentially CGI entities that solely exist online.

These virtual entities are captivating the Internet’s social landscape, drawing significant attention on platforms such as Instagram, where they are developing a real presence and engagement with brands and consumers alike.

Marie-Nathalie Jauffret, a communication and marketing professor at the International University of Monaco, recently held a talk on biodigitals at Monaco’s Maison du Numérique. Photo by Monaco Life

Biodigitals and marketing strategies

Having researched biodigitals since 2016, Jauffret has been at the forefront of examining the rise of these digital influencers and their impact on communication and marketing strategies.

“An average person spends five hours on the Internet, increasingly in the company of biodigitals on platforms like Instagram,” she tells Monaco Life.

These computer-generated humanoids, like the famed Lil Miquela with her 2.7 million Instagram followers, are redefining the essence of the influencer world.

“She dances, updates on her life, and will always be 19,” Jauffret notes, emphasising perpetual youth as a major appeal of these digital creations.

But their presence is not just confined to social media; they have infiltrated major brand campaigns, with names like Shudu.gram gathering 241,000 followers on Instagram and engaging audiences through advertisements. Lil Miquela, for her part, recently posted a BMW ad that garnered close to 75,000 likes.


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Beyond the screen: the influence of virtual personas 

The more prominent biodigitals have come to embody narratives and personify brands, as explained by Jauffret.  

“Some humanoids work for companies, like IKEA, representing a personality, a character for your brand,” she tells Monaco Life, underscoring their utility in branding as well as the complex relationship these entities have with consumer trust.  

These virtual entities are not merely blips in the marketing radar. They signify a profound shift in cultural narratives and the representation of brands.  

“She (Lil Miquela) is here to show that innovation is everything, and we are going into a different reality,” Jauffret elaborates. 

Bridging gaps in law and society  

In her talk, Jauffret also highlighted the legislative gaps in AI by discussing Sophia the robot, a humanoid that showcases the societal impact of AI, exemplified by her Saudi citizenship.  

As Sophia can perfectly mimic human emotions and express her thoughts, she underlines the urgency for clear legal frameworks as AI begins to assume roles and identities within human society. 

See more: What is ‘Immersive Week’ at Monaco’s Maison du Numérique all about? 

A role to play in inclusivity 

One perhaps overlooked factor is how biodigital technology could become a powerful tool for inclusivity. To explain this role, Jauffret spotlighted Kami, the first digital influencer with Down syndrome, and how bidigitals can help challenge traditional marketing by representing and empowering minority communities. Essentially, AI can advocate for diversity and transform public perception.  

“Kami’s example underscores the potential of biodigitals to not just sell products but to also bring social issues to the forefront, enriching the media landscape with varied human experiences,” says Jauffret. 

“A new form of communication” 

As we envision the future with Jauffret’s thought-provoking notion of a potential future biodigital ‘president’, the dialogue opens on the potential of these entities to become perfect digital representations of people and nations. 

The influence of biodigitals is undeniably growing, with France being the first country in Europe to pass a law protecting influencers, acknowledging the emergence and importance of this new digital realm. 

“Biodigitialise” is becoming something of a buzzword in the online marketing sphere of both brands and influencers, the latter of whom are bound to evolve in the coming years, whether as a bid to stay relevant or to reclaim the narrative slipping into the hands of these flawless digital beings. 

Jauffret’s closing thoughts offer a profound meditation on the changing tides of communication: “A new form of communication is emerging thanks to these digital characters.”  

The era of biodigitals is not only upon us, but is evolving rapidly, compelling us to reconsider our understanding of influence, branding and the very essence of digital interaction. 


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Main photo via Miquela, Facebook

Could the 2030 Winter Olympics be coming to Nice?

A joint bid to host the 2030 Winter Olympics was formally submitted by officials from Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes earlier this week, who say they already have 95% of the infrastructure needed to welcome the Games.  

The 2024 Paris Summer Olympics aren’t even here yet, but France is already looking to nab another Olympic date. This time, the Alpine regions of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA) and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes are hoping to share the Winter Games in 2030.


Officials from PACA and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, including French National Olympic and Sports Committee President David Lappartient, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes President Laurent Wauquiez, PACA President Renaud Muselier and Head of the Paralympic Committee Marie-Amélie Le Fur, presented a co-application to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on 7th November, officially confirming their candidature as potential hosts.  

“The French Alps are the most beautiful natural setting for reviving the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. The memories of Albertville [Winter Olympics 1992] are still very strong,” said Wauquiez of the bid. 

The regions are up against submissions from Switzerland and Sweden, both nations with strong winter sports reputations.  

Though the Mediterranean may not seem the most likely place to hold winter games, the organisers say that the infrastructure is mostly in place – as much as 95% of what would be required by such a major event – and that a €1.5 billion budget could be raised to fill the gaps. 

A map of the possible locations for different Winter Olympics events has been revealed by the two regions


It is being reported that some of those funds could find their way to Nice. The city could win big if the two French regions are selected to host, with several indoor events expected to take place there, particularly centred around a new purpose-built ice rink.  

“What pride that our city, as well as the Nice Côte d’Azur ski resorts, are being selected to participate,” said long-time Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi on social media upon hearing the news. “If we win, we could host the closing ceremony as well as the events [such as] ice hockey, figure skating, short track, curling, ski and snowboard cross.” 

The first round of IOC decisions will take place on 28th November in Paris, and if PACA and Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes make the cut, they will go on to the next stage of bidding. The final answer will be announced following the 2024 Paris Olympics in July and August.  


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Photo source: Christian Estrosi, Facebook

‘The Show: A Tribute to ABBA’ to welcome in the New Year at the Salle des Étoiles

Tickets are now available for the world’s “most authentic” ABBA tribute concert at the Salle des Étoiles on New Year’s Eve. Here are all the details.  

It’s time to dust off your old vinyl records and brush up on all things ABBA as one of the world’s biggest tribute acts to the iconic Swedish foursome is coming to town.  

The Show: A Tribute to ABBA will be performing at Monaco’s Salle des Étoiles venue on New Year’s Eve, having toured more than 40 countries and played over 700 concerts in the last two years. More than two million people have attended the shows, which now number more than six times the total concerts performed by the original group. 

The Show features all of the band’s most well-known and beloved hits, starting with its pre-Eurovision days through to the hitmaking era, when the mega-tunes of ‘Waterloo’, ‘SOS’, ‘Mamma Mia’, ‘Dancing Queen’, ‘Money Money Money’ and ‘Knowing Me Knowing You’ filled the airwaves.  

Unlike other tribute bands, this one can boast some serious credibility. First and foremost, The Show line-up features some of the supporting musicians who played on ABBA’s second album, Waterloo. Add to that the Agnetha and Anni-Frid look- and sound-alikes that could fool even the most dedicated of fans, and the show is sure to transport the audience back to the band’s 1970s heyday.  

Dinner with the show 

Tickets to the grandiose dinner show cost €665. Doors will open at 8pm and the concert will get going at 10.30pm.  

Guests must be at least seven years of age to attend, and proper evening attire is required.  

To reserve your seat or table, click here.  


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Photo via The Show: A Tribute to ABBA, Facebook