Dubai: A mansion evocative of Versailles is for sale in Dubai for Dh750 million ($204 million), making it the most expensive house on the market in a city where luxury property is red-hot.
The home in the Emirates Hills neighborhood has 60,000 square feet of indoor space though only five bedrooms: At 4,000 square feet, the primary bedroom is bigger than most homes. The ground floor has rooms for dining and entertaining. Other amenities include a 15-car garage, indoor and outdoor pools, two domes, a 70,000-liter (15,400-gallon) coral reef aquarium, a power substation and panic rooms. It sits on a 70,000-square-foot lot in a gated community overlooking a golf course.
The property - nicknamed the “Marble Palace” by the selling agents - was built using an estimated Dh80 million to Dh100 million in Italian stone. Construction took nearly 12 years and was completed in 2018, according to Luxhabitat Sotheby’s International Realty, which is selling the property. Tasks included the application of 700,000 sheets of gold leaf by 70 skilled workers toiling more than nine months, the brokerage says. The home is currently decorated with about 400 pieces from the owner’s personal art collection, primarily 19th century and 20th century statues and paintings; the owner is prepared to negotiate about including them and furnishings in the purchase.
The owner, a local property developer, declined to be named.
“It’s not everybody’s taste or style,” Luxhabitat Sotheby’s broker Kunal Singh says, well aware that buyers will either love it or hate it.
The Dubai property market has been on a tear since late 2020, an uplift that has lasted much longer than other global property booms during the pandemic. Dubai’s handling of the pandemic enabled the city to reopen quickly, attracting bankers who transferred from places like Singapore or Hong Kong.
Several recent mega deals include the Dh125 million sale of a plot of empty beachfront land and the purchase, for Dh420 million, of a penthouse. Still, the price per square foot of the Marble Palace - Dh12,500 - is more than double what other properties in Emirates Hills have fetched. The most expensive home sale previously in the neighborhood was for Dh210 million, at Dh5,614 per square foot, in August 2022, according to Dubai property records.
Only one listing in the city rivals this mansion: A planned penthouse apartment in a project called Bugatti by Binghatti is also being offered at Dh750 million but has yet to be built. (Generally, properties that are move-in ready have commanded higher prices than those under construction.) That apartment - or “sky mansion,” as the developer calls it - will come with a car elevator and is due to hit the market in about three years.
Singh estimates that there are only about five to 10 potential buyers in the world are wealthy enough - and interested in its look - to buy the Marble Palace.
Singh says the property’s price is partly justified by the value of the time and materials that went into building it. The location is minutes from the Palm Jumeirah and about 25 minutes by car from the Dubai International Financial Center business district.
Emirates Hills, a gated community, was created two decades ago and has often been described as Dubai’s Beverly Hills, without the movie-industry connections. A golf course runs through the middle. The total lot size of the Marble Palace is one of the largest in the community. An adjacent plot of about 6,000 square feet could be purchased or leased from the developer, potentially for tennis or padel ball court.
The primary suite includes his-and-her bathrooms. The second-largest bedroom suite is 2,500 square feet, and guest rooms are each about 1,000 square feet. There are 12 staff rooms with space for up to 25, and two bank vaults.