The pandemic reinvigorated Dubai’s housing market with new developments of larger homes.

Dubai Considered World’s Top-Ranked Growth Destination for Prime Properties

Talk about a market turnaround…the Emirate of Dubai, the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates, transformed itself from a housing market slump beginning in late 2014 into the world’s top-ranked growth destination for prime and luxury properties, according to Knight Frank’s recently released Wealth Report 2022.


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Chris Whitehead, managing partner with Luxhabitat Sotheby’s International Realty, said, “Dubai offers an excellent lifestyle, with little to zero crimes, no personal income tax, ease of business operations, health care, multicultural restaurants, various shopping options, and sunny weather all year round.”


Specifically, Knight Frank’s Q1 2022 market report, released last week, indicated that home prices across Dubai climbed +10.6% in 2021 and an additional +2.6% during the first three months of 2022, its highest rate of year-over-year price growth since January 2015.

Luxury prices have increased +44% y/y.  Topping pre-construction branded residences such as Four Seasons Private Residences (sold out) are prices up to $1,851/square foot.  The Atlantis Royal Residences on the man-made Palm Jumeirah island will add 231 apartments with prices starting at $1.96M.

Andrew Cummings, partner and head of prime residential in the Middle East for Knight Frank, said that available properties range from two-bedroom apartments in Dubai Marina and Downtown Dubai for under $1M.  Villas in popular areas go for $1M to $1.5M.  Luxury villas and penthouses start at approximately $5M and go up from there. Business Bay, on the outskirts of downtown, offers new townhouse and villa developments that are more affordable.

Cummings noted that recent changes to visa laws have enabled buyers to obtain Golden Visas for pre-construction purchases in Dubai.  Faisal Durrani, partner and head of Middle East research at Knight Frank, said, “The positive market sentiment, driven by the government’s world-leading response to the pandemic, coupled with the successful hosting on the World Expo, the reopening of travel corridors and Dubai’s global safe-haven status continues to underpin the market’s rebound.  Durrani added that “values are still, on average, about -25% below their 2014 peak,” with demand standing at record levels.

Who’s Buying?

Dubai’s buyer’s market is attracting many Americans and South Americans who, according to Mohab Samak, managing director of the Engels and Volkers Market Center in Dubai, see Dubai “as an investment.”

Agents point to pandemic buyers from Germany, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland.  Traditional Dubai buyers are mainly local or from other Gulf countries along with buyers from India, Pakistan Russia, Britain and China.

Buying Basics

There are no restrictions on foreign buyers in Dubai.  Some banks offer mortgages of up to 80% of the “loan to value ratio” but many more local banks offer 65% to international buyers.

Real estate commissions run 2% of the purchase price for buyers and 2% for sellers plus a 5% value added tax.  The Dubai Municipality charges an additional 5% housing fee for its services to foreign owners and tenants.

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Thanks to The New York Times.

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