George Azar
George Azar, Chairman, Luxhabitat Sotheby’s International Realty Image Credit: Supplied

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George Azar, Chairman, Luxhabitat Sotheby’s International Realty, describes the luxury property sector and how the Expo 2020 will inject new excitement for the market

Please share some details on the One100 Palm, supposedly the most expensive property in Palm Jumeirah.

Certain as it stands, it is the most expensive villa built on a signature plot on the Palm. However, the most expensive noteworthy thing about One100 Palm is not the price tag but all the finer details that have been meticulously thought through while curating materials and furnishings from all across the world with a single goal, to create a bespoke living in every sense.

What has the response been to Luxhabitat Sothebys sales during this critical year, does Dubai’s high concentration of HNWIs make it a unique market that sustained demand despite Covid?

The luxury market has been overwhelmingly positive. Luxhabitat Sotheby’s has had record sales worth of roughly half a billion in last eight weeks alone, because of its established positioning in the luxury sector. Over 96 per cent of these deals are for assets worth above Dh10 million. Most of local HNW buyers who were on the fence for the past nine months about investing are coming back. As well as new international buyers motivated by global economic hit and expected tax hikes in Europe and North America.

Luxury property buyers still make up a niche bracket despite Dubai’s hunger for opulence and the needs of these buyers can change on a whim. What are the latest trends in luxury properties that buyers look out for?

The most upcoming trend in luxury is to design turn-key super-luxury homes unlike any ready stock. Creating a bespoke home at this calibre of luxury takes years of work, not to mention the knowledge and experience needed to take out such a mammoth of a task. The buyers for this kind of property are the top 1 to 3 per cent of the luxury segment, and the ready to move in luxury homes like the One100 Palm are the perfect answer for their needs.

Which are the prime locations that you expect to see maximum traction in over the next year, do you expect a sales boost with Expo coming to Dubai next year?

Expo 2020 was always primed to bring fresh air into the market, but Expo is not an indicator for the luxury market. In the luxury sector the long-term markers like the global economy, political stability and public well-being are the most important factors. And the UAE has successfully fended off a global pandemic crisis while keeping its economy going, proving its long-term commitment as a business hub.

Besides One100 Palm, please share details on some other curated properties that Luxhabitat Sothebys has on offer?

As one of the true purveyors of luxury and long-standing heritage for the same, Luxhabitat Sotheby’s International Realty has always been known to represent the most coveted properties in the region. Most recently, we exclusively took on-board Dubai’s first ever Four Seasons Private Residences. The 28 unit only, ultra exclusive project is fully managed and serviced by the iconic Four Seasons brand and designed by architect Anthony Hopkins. The project is developed by H&H, who have previously delivered the Four Seasons Jumeirah and Four Seasons DIFC.