Dubai ranks fourth globally for luxury home sales

Dubai has become the world’s fourth most active luxury property market behind New York, Los Angeles and London, capitalising on its status as a low-tax geopolitical haven.

The glitzy emirate racked up 219 sales of homes worth $10m or more last year, according to property consultant Knight Frank LLP, coming in behind 244 transactions in New York, 225 in Los Angeles, and 223 in London. Dubai ranked fifth place for sales worth $25m and above with 26 transactions, just below Hong Kong.

Villas in particular have been in high demand, with Dubai’s most expensive neighbourhoods witnessing the strongest performance. The uber-luxury Palm Jumeirah island chalked up the sharpest price rises. The average price of a villa in the upmarket neighbourhood has risen by about 80 percent since the start of the pandemic.

Dubai saw a surge in interest among digital nomads and wealthy entrepreneurs during the pandemic as a result of its minimal restrictions and low taxes. In a bid to attract western expats, Dubai has eased social laws governing the purchase of alcohol and cohabitation.


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More recently, the city has benefited from an influx of wealthy Russians looking to blunt the bite of sanctions and the wider fallout of the Ukraine war. Russians were the top buyers of real estate in Dubai last year.

Middle East Eye reported previously how Dubai was seeing an influx of Russian and Ukrainian tech workers. Dubai has also positioned itself at the forefront of the cryptocurrency industry, although the asset’s appeal has been dented.

Cash purchases are on the rise in Dubai, accounting for 80 percent of the total value of all transactions.

Despite global economic headwinds and rising interest rates cooling property prices in the West, Dubai’s luxury market likely has further room to climb, with overall city prices still 21.4 percent below their 2014 peak.

Dubai remains one of the most “affordable” luxury home destinations in the world, as $1m will fetch 1,130 square feet (104.98 square meters) of space in Dubai’s top neighbourhoods, roughly four times more than in New York, London, or Singapore.

Knight Frank LLP predicts Dubai will lead the world’s luxury market in 2023, with prices rising 13.5 percent.

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