Records are getting broken as the super-rich target homes in Dubai. What will 2023 have in store? Image Credit: Dubai Media Office

Dubai: There were 219 homes sold in Dubai during 2022 that fetched more than $10 million each, easily a record tally for the city’s property market. In 2021, there were 93 such sales of $10 million or over homes, but in the years prior to that, the annual tally was around 20 units or well under. Only in 2015 did the total go past 31, according to a new update from Knight Frank.

In fact, 2022 was also saw the year when Dubai recorded a spate of Dh100 million plus home deals, with the highest being that for a villa on the Palm Jumeirah, which fetched just over Dh300 million plus. There were single-deal multi-property transactions that hit Dh600 million, again creating new records, as Dubai became the go-to place for global investors.

Prime property deals

2023 will see more prime property deals

“The performance at the top of the market clearly demonstrates the arrival of Dubai as a luxury hub to rival long established markets elsewhere,” said Faisal Durrani, Partner – Head of Middle East Research. And “with no sign to suggest a slowdown in the seemingly relentless demand from global ultra-high-net-worth-individuals zeroing in on the emirate in search of second homes.

“Indeed, our 2023 Global Attitudes Survey shows that amongst the region’s wealthy, the UAE remains the second most likely target for a home purchase this year, behind the UK.

“The meteoric rise of Dubai’s multi-million-dollar homes market over the course of the last two years has been phenomenal. From just 11 ultra-prime sales in 2010, 2022 registered 219 deals above the $10 million mark – more than the total recorded between 2010 and 2020.”

Dubai’s super-prime destinations - Emirates Hills, Jumeirah Bay Island and Palm Jumeirah - collectively registered price growth of 44 per cent during 2022.

Playground for the wealthy

The demand was such that the average transacted price in the super-prime category was Dh3,50 a square foot. Now, that’s quite the high given the average for the wider city remains in the Dh1,000-Dh1,200 a square foot range, but the Knight Frank report says Dubai luxury homes are still ‘affordable’.

“The Palm Jumeirah remains the city’s star-performer, with villa prices increasing by 49.4 per cent last year, underpinned by a shortage of new waterfront villa projects in completed communities and the desire by the international elite to secure standalone beachfront homes,” said Durrani. “The exceptional demand for homes is best reflected in the fact that villa prices have risen by 96 per cent since the start of the pandemic - but remain at about Dh3,000 per square foot.

“Prices are however now 34 per cent higher than their 2017 peak”.

Other locations cash in

Villas in Mohammed Bin Rashid City (up 21.6 per cent), Dubai Hills Estate (20.2 per cent) and District One (19.5 per cent) held their own even as the Palm drew much of the buyer attention. Apartments in sought-after locations were doing just as well, with those at Dubai Hills Estate up 22.7 per cent and followed by those at the Palm (19.7 per cent) and Downtown Dubai (13.8 per cent). Apartments in the latter two locations are trading at around Dh2,200 a square foot.

The buyer pool remains exceptionally diverse, with expat residents and international high-net-worth-individuals from Europe, India, Europe, Asia the UK and Eastern Europe still arriving in their droves

- Andrew Cummings at Knight Frank

More super-prime being handed over

“We have also seen robust sales at newly handed over, or soon to handover, projects like One Palm, Dorchester Residences and Atlantis the Royal," said Andrew Cummings, Partner – Head of Prime Residential at Knight Frank. "What distinguishes these properties is the incredible architecture, world-class amenities and high-quality finishing that is new to Dubai.”