Why Málaga dresses so much for expatriates

The Andalusian city has undergone a spectacular metamorphosis in recent years. It now suits both digital nomads and families looking for quality of life, reports this Frenchman from Málaga.


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A downtown apartment building. "There has been a sudden surge in demand for housing over the past five years".  (Photo Stanislas Mainfroy)

20 years ago, Málaga was best known for its airport which provided access to the Costa del Sol. Today, with the pedestrianization of the historic center in particular, the city of Andalusia has become a tourist destination in its own right. Digital nomads and technology professionals are attracted by the 600 companies grouped around the Málaga Technology Park, with the opportunity to work, while benefiting from the exceptional climate of the Costa del Sol.

Stanislas Mainfroy has lived in Malaga for 7 years. Originally from Yvelines, near Paris, he works in real estate. “What gives it its charm, he testifies, it is the simplicity or human scale which, despite the almost 600,000 inhabitants, makes all transportation easy. Much of life is outdoors. It’s good all year round. It’s hot in the summer, but not too hot, and it’s cool in the winter, but not cold, due to being on the sea. So this climatic aspect is undeniable.”

If Málaga is now fashionable, it is also because visitors come to enjoy a plethora of cultural offerings, including many important museums.
“We find there, details the French, the first franchise of the Pompidou center which, before Doha, arrived in Málaga. And then different museums developed, of course around Picasso, originally from Málaga. After Picasso, the second cultural public figure was Antonio Banderas, who opened a theater here, into which he brought many works from Broadway. So he does a lot, obviously, being the child of the country.”

Gentrification is accelerating

Last year, Málaga Airport recorded more than 22 million arrivals, a record to date, up 12.5% ​​compared to pre-Covid. For the most part, these are tourists, but there is also an increase in the number of people from all over the world, settling down for good in Málaga.

“We are connected to Paris, in low season, with around ten flights per day, ensures French, London about twenty years ago, but it goes from New York to Istanbul, to Doha in Qatar. It helps a lot of people, who decide to come and settle here, to be able to continue to have an activity in their area of ​​origin, to go to destinations where we need to travel.”

Many newcomers, especially if they are young, cannot afford to buy their homes. Urban planning projects are increasing as gentrification accelerates and now affects neighborhoods far from the center.

“There is a sudden strong demand, over the last five years, recognizes French. There were a lot of digital nomads during Covid, who came from their usual post in Dublin, Amsterdam, and who came for three or four months in Lisbon, Barcelona, ​​Málaga. So it continued to increase this upward trend. And on tourist activity for short-stay apartments, which is very strong, from 1uh January to December 31.”

So, by the sea, luxury skyscrapers are being built for wealthy households, with, for example, four-bedroom apartments priced at over 3 million euros.

Last year, Málaga Airport recorded more than 22 million arrivals, a record to date, up 12.5% ​​compared to pre-Covid.  (Photo Stanislas Mainfroy)

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Find this column on the site, the app and in the international mobility magazine “Français à l’enseignement.fr”