Record luxury home sales in Dubai are heralding a wider post-coronavirus pandemic recovery for the high-end segment of the global property market.
The emirate, the commercial and tourism centre of the Middle East, is recording a sharp increase in the sale of homes valued at more than $10 million, consultancy Knight Frank said, citing the emirate's return to normal ahead of other cities after a wave of global lockdowns and the UAE's rapid vaccination campaign.
In the first five months of 2021, 22 homes worth more than $10m were sold, the most since 2015 and up from 19 homes in 2020.
"In Dubai, we appear to be in the midst of a spectacular post-Covid rebound in luxury home sales," said Faisal Durrani, head of Middle East research at Knight Frank.
Dubai was one of the first cities to reopen its borders to international tourists in July 2020 as the UAE unveiled one of the world's fastest Covid-19 inoculation drives, stimulating economic activity and the return of overseas visitors.
Most of the transactions in the $10m price bracket were for homes on The Palm Jumeirah, where buyers paid a total of $770m for homes in this price range between January and May, according to Knight Frank.
The most expensive home sold this year was a $30.3m villa on the group of islands developed by Nakheel.
"The uber luxury end of the market is a terrific barometer for general market sentiment," said Mr Durrani.
"Home buyers are clearly oozing with confidence when it comes to the emirate’s uber luxury homes market.”
The sharp increase in Dubai's luxury home market reflects similar patterns in other global cities.
"The rebounding of Dubai’s super prime market echoes a wider global trend, signalling the start perhaps of a ‘Roaring Twenties’ for global real estate," said Mr Durrani.
"Dubai is second only to London, where luxury home sales have also rebounded”.
Prime property in the emirate is cheaper than in Singapore, London or New York.
A buyer can snap up a 165-square-metre home in Dubai for $1m, according to Knight Frank. The emirate has 42,356 homes valued at $1m, second only to London, according to the consultancy.
“Investor sentiment has clearly been influenced by the way in which Dubai managed the impact of the pandemic," Mr Durrani said.
"The world’s wealthy have their eyes firmly set on the city."