Given the UAE’s recent steps to correct the levels of demand and supply, the window of opportunity for unit buyers to cherry-pick from a slew of iconic developments is hard to ignore. We profile five top deals to give you an idea of what’s available.
1. Burj Khalifa — The Armani Residences, Dubai
Area: 1,068 square feet (one bedroom with 1.5 baths and one car space)
Listed with: Better Homes, Dubai
Marketed as one of the most prestigious addresses an investor can have on his/her portfolio, the Armani Residences is located on levels nine to 16 of the Burj Khalifa. Built to complement the Armani Hotel Dubai, also situated in the world’s tallest tower, the luxury residential suite packs in exceptional features and fit-outs.
Decorated with home furnishings from Armani/Casa, materials featured include stone, zebrawood, Venetian plaster and fabric, and leather wall coverings. It has fully automated smart systems for security, temperature and drapery control, lighting and air conditioning. Each residence comes with its own elevator access and full-glass panoramic views across Downtown Burj.
Do consider: According to real estate consultancy Colliers International, apartments in Burj Khalifa were valued at Dh11,000 per square foot (sq ft) at the height of the property boom. By March 2009, it dropped to Dh2,500 per sq ft. In 2010 average sales prices for the 144 Armani Residences were Dh4,000–Dh5,000 per sq ft; almost double the price commanded (Dh2,800 per sq ft) by the rest of the tower’s apartments. The Armani Residences buffeted the property decline and managed to relatively hold on to their sales value, while other apartments in the Burj Khalifa saw declines of more than 70 per cent in 2010.
2. Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi
Unit: Mediterranean villa
Area: 5,952 square feet (five bedrooms)
Listed with: LLJ Property, Abu Dhabi
Designed to showcase Abu Dhabi to the world, Saadiyat Island is positioned to become a flagship destination for the emirate. The future home of the Louvre, Guggenheim and Zayed National Museum already boasts a near-completed luxurious living community.
The natural island features a Gary Player-designed golf course, the recently opened St Regis and Park Hyatt and the ultra-luxe Monte Carlo Beach Club. With only a few options for expatriates to own villas in Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat is one of the exclusive ones.
Do consider: “The limited number of available villas is likely to keep prices holding firm and rising in time,” says Andrew Covill, Head of Investment Sales, LLJ Property. “The five-bed villa is positioned in the middle of the range and holds a mass appeal when it comes to resale options in future years. It is large enough to be a family home and yet not too big to price itself out of many households’ reach.”
3. Al Reef Villas, Abu Dhabi
Area: 2,858 square feet with four bedrooms
Listed with: LLJ Property, Abu Dhabi
As the first planned community exclusively catering to the middle-income tier, Al Reef Villas offers a mixed development that integrates residential, retail and lifestyle options in one location. Situated on Al Raha beach, near the Abu Dhabi International Airport, the location is recognised as one of the rapidly developing areas.
Do consider: The development offers investors the opportunity to own a stand-alone house with a garden and community facilities. Investors are also offered the option of vacant possession. “If the new owner chooses to rent the property out, a healthy return of approximately 9 per cent is attainable with lease rates at around Dh150,000,” says Covill.
4. The Torch — Dubai Marina
Area: 1,279 square feet (two bedrooms with two baths and a balcony)
Price: Dh1,215,050 (at about Dh950 per sq ft)
Listed with: Asteco, Dubai
As the world’s tallest residential tower, the 86-storey building is considered the emirate’s most illustrious waterfront project. Among one of the most enviable locations in the emirate, the tower is located at the mouth of Dubai Marina and boasts unprecedented views of the marina, Palm Jumeirah and the island project The World.
Comprising 658 apartments, the project is designed by award-winning architects Khatib & Alami and features duplex penthouses in addition to apartments with up to three bedrooms.
Do consider: “Prices in 2010 were close to Dh820 per square foot, with buyer’s comprising end users up to the end of last year. But this year we have seen interest from investors as well,” says Vineet Kumar, Associate Director — Agency at Asteco Property Management. Kumar adds that investors can expect a gross return of 8.5 per cent and an approximate appreciation of 40-50 price per sq ft by the end of this year. For those planning to lease out the property, service charges will be incurred by the owner, and expected rental stands at Dh105,000 per year.
5. Polo Homes, Arabian Ranches, Dubai
Unit: Luxury villa
Area: 11,759 square feet (six bedrooms and bathrooms)
Listed with: Hamptons International, Dubai
This exclusive collection of villas was built to complement the Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club, situated within the Arabian Ranches. Built to surround the polo fields, the villa community is extremely opulent and only features 71 villas, making it one of the most impressive residential communities built by Emaar to date. Add to this, these are the only villas situated immediate to a polo field across the Middle East. The Polo Homes offers extensive on-site facilities, which includes the Arabian Ranches golf course.
Do consider: The prices on the Polo Homes have slightly dipped since the range of villas was launched in 2010. Last year, Dubai Property Group listed a five-bedroom villa from the development at Dh10,120,000 (Dh1,391.83 per sq ft).
The six-bedroom villa, now priced at Dh1,014 per sq ft, sits directly on the polo field and is available on a shell and core basis for the discerning buyer to finish to their own specifications. Currently, only eight villas are ready to move into of which the featured is one.