The Ritz-Carlton, DIFC
The Ritz-Carlton mansions have been making a lot of noise among their intended buyer base, and so is The Dorchester Collection. They aren't the only ones. Image Credit: Supplied

Branded homes is a category that continued to thrive even during unprecedented global uncertainty and change. When compared with equivalent non-branded residential real estate, branded naturally command much higher price premiums.

Global wealth is on the rise. The UAE is home to 70,000 millionaires and the country will see a 22 per cent increase in HNWIs by 2027. Additionally, people’s needs from their homes have shifted as they realize the importance of having a home or community that is self-sufficient. This is yet another factor driving the continuously growing demand for branded homes in Dubai and elsewhere.

Investment potential

This residential sub-sector shows no sign of abating. And as it continues to go from strength, the market is seeing a shift towards investment-grade product. Developers and investors understand the financial potential and wide appeal of branded homes. For investors, the allure of such properties lies in their higher yields compared with regular residential - and the fact that they are easy to sell.

For the consumer looking to acquire a primary or second home, branded residences elevate their living experiences. The fully integrated service offering provided by branded residences - personalised concierge, valet parking, furnished and branded fittings and upholstery, located in a prime community - is what continues to draw investors. But what gives them the utmost confidence in their investments is the brand name behind the properties.

The sector continues to be dominated by global hotel chains, but non-hotel brands are increasingly entering the market. Marriott International sits atop the list of branded residences worldwide. Rising stars include Accor, while The Banyan Tree and UAE-based Emaar are quickly becoming global contenders. Famous non-hotel parent brands include Roberto Cavalli, Bulgari, Versace, Fendi, and Armani - all of which have branded residences in Dubai.

Some of the top-performing projects in Dubai include The Address, St. Regis The Residences, Cavalli Casa Tower, and SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences.

Further evolution

The younger generations are behind a massive change in home ownership trends, and some of them also have astounding levels of brand loyalty. Sustainability and eco-consciousness are coming out to be decisive elements for discerning young buyers. As a result, developers and brands are implementing measures to reduce the ecological impact of their properties.

In the future, the elements that will continue to drive growth in the sector will include a deeper understanding of disparate local markets, buyer preferences, and the harmony of brand and place. This will propel developers - and brands - forward.