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The US real estate agents were given a tour of The Royal Atlantis Residences on the Palm Jumeirah Image Credit: Supplied

Last month Knight Frank Middle East, in conjunction with the Royal Atlantis Residences, welcomed 35 of the top agents from its US partner, Douglas Elliman, to Dubai for an immersive experience showcasing ‘Why Dubai?’ and exploring everything that the wonderful modern metropolis has to offer. Agents came from New York, The Hamptons, Long Island, Boston, Miami, Aspen and Los Angeles, including Douglas Elliman’s president and CEO, Scott Durkin, the CEO of the Western Region, Stephen Kotler, and two of the stars of Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, Josh and Matt Altman.

The US agents were treated to a first exclusive look of The Royal Atlantis construction site from the 26th floor, with the CEO of Ithra Dubai and director of the Investment Corporation of Dubai, Issam Galadari, providing an overview of how The Royal Atlantis Residences on the Palm Jumeirah will become “an icon on an icon”.

Demand from international investors remains sizeable, said Maria Morris, partner and head of Residential at Knight Frank Middle East. According to the Dubai Land Department, the top 10 international investors — India, UK, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, China, Jordan, Egypt, Canada, Iraq and France — invested over Dh27 billion in Dubai’s property market. “This is despite a strong US dollar [to which the UAE dirham is pegged], therefore, if we see appreciation in the currencies of the top 10 buyer groups by total investment we may see these numbers increase further,” said Morris.

US investor appetite

The US, in particular, shows great promise. “We have observed an increase in the levels of investment from the US and I am certain we will continue to see this increase further in the coming years, alongside other countries such as China,” said Morris.

According to her, the recent approval of a range of legislations to ease visa and foreign business ownership are likely to drive demand in UAE property, given that many of the changes in visa regulations are linked to property ownership.

Morris also said that there has been a strong resurgence in demand in Dubai’s super-prime segment, with transaction volumes increasing by 81 per cent year-to-date in the second quarter, compared to the same period a year earlier. The mainstream market over the same period saw a 2.2 per cent decline, although since then the wider market has seen increased transaction volumes, increasing 11.1 per cent year-to-date in August over the same period last year.