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Going into 2023, the outlook for Dubai is auspicious. With the IMF having recently revised the UAE’s economic growth forecast upwards to a projected GDP of 5.1 per cent for this year, compared to its previous forecast of 4.2 per cent , we can expect to witness the highest growth rate the nation has experienced for several years. At the same time, the emirate’s property sector is booming, with property transaction volumes rising by 60 per cent in the first half of 2022 and values by 85 per cent over the same period. The real estate revival is far from being a bubble, with demand expected to be spurred by the predicted influx of expatriates seeking respite from rapidly rising living costs in their home countries.

With inflation hitting close to 10 per cent in the UK, eurozone growth expected to stall in the last quarter of this year, and mortgage rates in the US having reached a 15-year high, Dubai is rapidly increasing in appeal. In addition to robust compensation packages with zero income tax, high quality of life and world-class infrastructure, numerous government initiatives are rapidly transforming Dubai from a temporary home along the expat trail to a prospect with longevity. The introduction of the 10-year Golden Visa, five-year Green Visa, and Jobseekers Visa, coupled with widespread employment law reforms, and most recently, the announcement of the Golden Pension scheme, have all contributed to Dubai being increasingly viewed as a secure city in which to settle for the long term.

Dubai’s property sector is booming, with property transaction volumes rising by 60 per cent in the first half of 2022 and values by 85 per cent over the same period

- Hawazen Esber, CEO, Majid Al Futtaim Communities

With all this in mind, it is of little surprise that the world’s wealthiest are increasingly looking towards Dubai as a safe harbour. With recent changes to investor visa regulations, Dubai is expected to attract a significant share of the global citizenship-by-investment market, which is predicted to grow fivefold to $100 billion by 2025.

In prime locations, prices have risen to as much as 88.8 per cent, primarily driven by the growing global community of Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWIs) looking for second homes and lower-risk asset classes to shore up their portfolios in what is an inarguably stable and investor-friendly environment.

We can therefore witness a true transformation across the luxury residential segment that is forcing the industry to rethink and recalibrate what premium needs to look like to meet rapidly evolving market needs.

At Majid Al Futtaim Communities, we are directly addressing this burgeoning trend with the launch of Lanai Island, the first of two ultra-luxury neighbourhoods to launch at Island Estates at Tilal Al Ghaf. Consisting of 13 exclusive secluded homes, which have been designed in collaboration with the award-winning South African architect firm SAOTA and with interior finishes by leading style guru Kelly Hoppen, Lanai Island is an unparalleled secluded retreat that delivers to the elite lifestyle needs of the region’s growing segment of UHNWIs.

— The writer is CEO, Majid Al Futtaim Communities