Dubai property prices have risen sharply in a year which has seen a new record set for most expensive home in the city at Dh280 million ($76.24m).
But are they set to cross the threshold of Dh300m as the market continues to boom?
Chris Boswell, a previous record holder for most expensive sale having brokered a deal for Dh185m for a Palm Jumeirah villa in 2015, told The National that a new record will be set "undoubtedly before the end of the year".
"I personally submitted a $100m (Dh367m) offer on behalf of a client in May this year for a property on Palm Jumeirah, which was refused, so any day now a new record will set the bar even higher," he said.
"Demand is still outstripping supply in terms of high end 'well-finished' product. I have UHNW [ultra high-net-worth] clients from literally every corner of the globe relocating to Dubai and prices are climbing amid limited supply for the best turnkey product."
The UAE property market’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic is accelerating, supported by improving economic performance fuelled by high oil prices as well as increasing relocations, according to Fitch Ratings.
"An effective vaccination programme led to one of the highest coronavirus inoculation rates globally, allowing the country to reopen for international business and tourism earlier than most countries," the rating agency said.
"In addition, government initiatives to boost growth and competitiveness, including liberalised visa and residency rules, helped to increase the population."
Developer Alpago Properties last month announced it is developing six villas on Frond G of Palm Jumeirah, with prices ranging from Dh120m to Dh300m.
The first, Riva Del Lusso, was priced at Dh147m, while the second, Serene Versante, has also launched with a price of about Dh136m.
This one features six bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, a private cinema hall, infinity pool, a state-of-the-art private gym and basement parking for eight cars.
The XLV Residence, described as an entertainment palace in Emirates Hills, recently entered the market at Dh225m, but property agents told The National last month of a shortage of prime stock which was driving up prices.
Riccardo Scala, director of the private client office at LuxuryProperty.com, and who specialises in Palm Jumeirah, said there has been a number of stunning new properties that have come to market at previously unheard of price points in recent months.
"That being said, the direction of the market is ultimately determined by transactions and not listing prices," he said.
"I would say that the door has definitely been opened and we are headed in that direction [Dh300m] as Dubai maintains a strong foothold in the luxury real estate market."
June saw the highest month ever for Dubai sales value at Dh22.7 billion — a 54.9 per cent increase in overall value year-on-year when compared to June 2021, Dubai Land Department data showed. As of July 1, 70.8 per cent of the total sales volume of 2021 has been reached.
Dubai’s $10m-plus homes market has experienced phenomenal growth in the past 18-24 months, Faisal Durrani, head of Middle East Research at Knight Frank, told The National.
"A record of 93 homes were sold above this price point last year, leaving 2021 with the accolade of having seen 40 per cent of all $10m-plus sales ever recorded in the emirate," he said.
“Q1 2022 has seen a further 32 already, putting this year on course to being at least the second best for ultra-prime sales."
He described the appetite from international ultra-high-net-worth individuals as "relentless", amid Dubai’s global safe haven status, handling of the pandemic and relative affordability compared to homes in cities such as London, New York, Hong Kong or Los Angeles.
“Budgets, too, are rising as the world’s elite sharpen their focus on Dubai’s luxury homes; however, we are finding ourselves in the midst of a drought of uber luxury homes that match these extraordinarily high budgets," Mr Durrani said.
Better Homes branch director Robert Villalobos also believes it's likely the Dh300m mark will be broken soon.
He said this is down to the more luxurious and state-of-the-art inventory being designed and delivered, plus the geopolitical stability offered by Dubai.
"It's also becoming more and more regulated which gives confidence to investors that their assets will have more protection than it has before," Mr Villalobos said.
10 most expensive villas sold in Dubai this year
There have been 10 transactions priced at more than Dh75m each since the start of this year, most between March and May, according to data compiled for The National by real estate platform Property Monitor.
All were in the prime areas of Palm Jumeirah, Emirates Hills, Dubai Hills, Jumeirah Bay and District One.
1. Palm Jumeirah — Dh280m
At Dh280m, a custom-built, 33,000-square-feet villa on Palm Jumeirah’s Frond N broke the Dubai property sale value record in March. The 10-bedroom villa sits on 70 metres of private beachfront and has Italian marble interiors and furnishings from top-tier brands Giorgetti and Minotti. Belleview brokered the sale.
2. Dubai Hills Grove mansion — Dh128m
Last month, Luxhabitat Sotheby’s International Realty closed a deal on the most expensive villa in Dubai Hills, for Dh128m. The new 34,113 sq ft, seven-bedroom mansion in Dubai Hills Grove cul-de-sac has a view of the golf course. Dubai Hills Grove is home to just 26 mansions, all valued in excess of Dh100m. They were sold shell-and-core, so owners could customise them.
The highest-value transaction this year in Emirates Hills was the sale of a Dh102.8m villa in May. An Indian entrepreneur bought the villa from a Maltese businessman.
3. Emirates Hills — Dh102.8m
An Indian entrepreneur bought the highest-value property in Dubai’s “Billionaire’s Row” in May. At Dh102.8m, the residence features a built-up area of more than 20,000 sq ft, with five bedrooms, a private cinema, gym and swimming pool. Phoenix Homes represented the Maltese seller in the transaction.
4. Dubai Hills View — Dh96m
In April, a villa in Dubai Hills View, a sub-community within Mohammed bin Rashid City, sold for Dh96m, Property Monitor data shows.
5. Jumeira Bay — Dh88m
The man-made island of Jumeira Bay saw its most expensive transaction in February, when a villa sold for Dh88.2m, according to Property Monitor. The development has recorded the highest residential price per square foot in Dubai.
6. J27 at Palm Jumeirah — Dh87m
Knight Frank brokered a deal for J27, a custom-built villa on Palm Jumeirah’s frond J in January. Highlights include six bedrooms over three floors, a large infinity pool and a roof terrace overlooking Ain Dubai. Inside, granite and onyx from Brazil are used across the property, with hand-blown Italian glass sinks in the washrooms.
This custom-built villa on Palm Jumeirah’s frond J featuring six bedrooms over three floors was sold for Dh87 million in January.
7. District One villa — Dh85m
In May, a villa in District One’s Cluster C sold for Dh85m. The development is home to contemporary, Mediterranean or modern villas and is part of Mohammed bin Rashid City.
8. Six Senses villas — Dh80m+ each
Two villas that are part of the Six Senses Residences development on Palm Jumeirah were sold on May 17 and May 18 for Dh82.1m and Dh81.8m, respectively, according to Property Monitor. The 60,000 sq ft complex has only nine seaside villas and 32 sky villas.
9. Emirates Hills — Dh75m
In May, Emirates Hills had a 30,000 sq ft villa sell for Dh75m, just about a year after it last changed hands. Luxhabitat Sotheby’s International Realty closed the deal on the property, which is designed by Miami architectural practice Kobi Karp. More than 13 Emirates Hills villas have been sold in 2022 so far, at an average transaction price of Dh35.2m, Luxhabitat says.