The year 2021 was a landmark one for Dubai real estate market. Not only did it rebound but it also posted record-breaking figures thanks to overseas investors, low interest rates and strong demand. The Dubai Land Department registered an astounding 71 per cent growth in the value of total transactions in 2021 compared to 2020, shattering a 12-year record. Contributing to this performance was Shitij Kapoor-led Luxury Concierge Real Estate (LCRE), a channel partner with leading property developers in Dubai.
Last year, LCRE clocked sales worth Dh1.3 billion at the Dubai Land Department. Sales with Emaar Properties alone stood at approximately Dh383 million, followed by Damac, which was about Dh203 million. Out of the Dh1.3 billion, Kapoor, the company’s Managing Director, brought in Dh1.05 billion.
The key to LCRE’s success has been Kapoor’s focus on expansion within international markets. With a multicultural staff, supported by Kapoor’s knowledge, expertise and contacts, LCRE could target more investors and end users.
“With a vast reach in north India, GCC and Africa due to my existing infrastructure, I was able to show investors what Dubai had to offer in terms of a safe, secure, multicultural and cosmopolitan city,” he explains. “Focusing on Dubai’s vibrant opportunities, I convinced many Western buyers to invest in the emirate too.”
With the UAE managing the Covid-19 pandemic exceptionally well, Dubai’s attraction as a real estate investment destination grew. LCRE could finally capitalise on all its hard work and contacts established over the years. The company now has a high-net-worth client base from across the globe.
For Kapoor, this journey to success has been exhilarating.
“My family was in the pharmaceutical business in Delhi with various interests in real estate,” he explains. “I was always interested in real estate and moved to Dubai to explore opportunities for a family consortium. I started the brokerage arm of the business in 2012.”
When he started, his focus was primarily on investors from Dubai and India. “We then began to host many Dubai property exhibitions around the globe, in places such as South Africa, Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, France, Portugal, Singapore, Hong Kong, Ghana, Russia and Mauritius. This helped us create a global presence, and we hired people from different nationalities who speak different languages.”
Emphasis on luxury properties
“I have primarily focused on luxury properties – big-ticket sales – and have successfully executed numerous deals in Emirates Hills, Palm Jumeirah villas, Volante penthouses, IL Primo penthouses, Jumeirah Bay and Bulgari villas.”
One of his main achievements involves the epitome of luxury with sales in some of Dubai’s most coveted projects.
“I sold a super luxury villa in Emirates Hills, along with one of the most expensive plots in Jumeirah Bay,” adds Kapoor. “Jumeirah Bay is probably the most sought-after address in Dubai with its private beach and skyline views.”
What’s also stood LCRE in good stead has been its relationship with leading developers in Dubai. The company is a Platinum member of Alliance by Emaar, Chairman’s Club Damac and channel partner for Sobha.
“Since 2018 when the Dubai real estate market was soft and in mid recession, I personally focused on selling off-plan properties for just Emaar and Damac, which at the time were providing massive, interesting opportunities like service charge waivers and a payment plan of up to five years post-handover. I was eventually able to establish a strong relationship with the developers and create the platform we have today.”
Indeed, one of the most recent achievements for LCRE was to become a proud member of the Damac Billion Round Table this year.
“Ten companies were selected by Damac to be a part of this elite round table group,” explains Kapoor. “This was based on the long-term association with the reputed brand as well as 2021 sales. This group gets access to Damac’s many exclusive privileges, such as up-front product launch information, exclusive inventory in landmark projects, and private office in Damac Sales Centre.”
This connection and access to big-name developers is one of the many advantages prospective buyers get when choosing LCRE.
“We are a bespoke company, which is very well diversified,” he says. “We are channel partners with all the top developers in Dubai and don’t just focus on a few. And we maintain our strong position with them.”
Working with a channel partner gives buyers more options to choose from and helps in price negotiation. It’s an end-to-end service that makes property buying a hassle-free experience.
“As the name suggests, we are known in the market for luxury properties and big-ticket investments,” adds Kapoor. “Many high-net-worth individuals from the north of India do business with LCRE exclusively because of my connections over there.”
Unsurprisingly, LCRE’s performance over the years hasn’t gone unnoticed. While the company has already won many awards, including World’s Greatest Brands by URS Media, Kapoor has also personally won some. These include Most Influential Indian Under 50 and Most Influential Young Leader, both by AsiaOne Magazine.
“The way in which the country handled Covid-19 was an example for the whole world,” explains Shitij Kapoor, Managing Director of Luxury Concierge Real Estate. “Investors and visitors from around the globe realised the essence of Dubai and the safety and security it presented. A global index of top 10 cities worldwide shows Dubai is most preferred and the cheapest still in terms of per square feet prices to purchase real estate assets.”
Add to this favourable government initiatives and the property market could be set for a record-breaking performance. According to a CBRE Research paper on the Dubai Property Market for 2022, Dubai’s total number of residential transactions reached 57,043 in 2021, up 73.6 per cent from 2020 and 51.6 per cent from 2019. The 2021 total was the highest since 2009. CBRE expects transaction values to remain robust during the year.
“There is a growing population in the UAE with many ultra-high-net-worth individuals making Dubai their residential base,” adds Kapoor. “Now that the government is providing options, such as retirement visas/golden visas, 100 per cent ownership of local companies and even citizenship for certain elite achievers, this has given investors’ confidence compared to earlier times.”
In the JLL UAE Real Estate Market - A Year in Review 2021 report, researchers said that in December 2021, residential sale prices in Dubai enjoyed a 9 per cent increase year-on-year. This increase in demand accounts for many reasons, including the lifestyle in the emirate.
“The UAE offers affordable investments in one of the best cities in the world in terms of infrastructure, safety, clean environment and, most importantly, it’s a cosmopolitan city that offers its residents long-term stability,” he says. “Additionally, prices are still much lower than Hong Kong, New York or Tokyo.”
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