dubai property burj binghatti

Inside Dubai’s property market: Is buying in the UAE a good investment?

16 Apr 2024 | |By Anna Solomon

The Dubai property sector, just like almost every other sector in the region, is exploding. We delve into exactly what the region is offering prospective buyers

Dubai is one of the great success stories of the modern era: a metropolis of over three million people, known for luxury shopping, ultramodern architecture and lively nightlife. It’s home to the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa, the vast choreographed jets of the Dubai Fountain, and the man-made islands that make up Atlantis, The Palm. It’s hard to believe that, 20 years ago, the area was basically a desert.

Unsurprisingly, practically every sector has taken flight: tourism, retail, hospitality, and property. The dizzying numbers of people flocking here to take advantage of new opportunities need places to live, after all. And, considering that a large proportion of these people are (U)HNWs, luxury property in particular is booming.

This is bolstered by a number of favourable initiatives introduced by the Dubai government. Here, there is no income, inheritance or capital gains taxes. The ‘Golden Visa’ policy was also recently introduced, whereby foreign talent can live, work or study in the UAE for six months with multiple opportunities to proceed with residence issuance. Dubai implements a four per cent purchase tax on property, compared to 15 per cent on second homes in the UK for homes over £1.5 million.

dubai property bugatti residences
Bugatti Residences by Binghatti

The incentives, it would seem, have worked. Residential prices increased by 20.1 per cent in 2023, with 118,993 transactions and 277 sales surpassing $10 million in the first three quarters of the year, outpacing London by 200 sales in the same category. The market has experienced double-digit annual price growth since 2021, recording an all-time transactions high in 2023, with a 29.6 per cent year-on-year increase. 

That said, as a nascent market, Dubai is still coming in at 40-50 per cent less per square foot than cities such as London, Paris, Hong Kong and New York. This, one might argue, is the perfect buying scenario: prices that are comparatively low, but exponentially rising.

Many of the new property developments going up here are branded residences (the term refers to developments built under the banner of a luxury brand, such as The OWO Residences by Raffles in London). In 2024, the number of branded residences in Dubai reached a 410 per cent increase from 2014, and, in recent years, developments by mega-brands like Bugatti, Mercedes-Benz and Jacob & Co have been announced. Luxury London takes a look inside these properties to find out just what Dubai developers are offering buyers…

Bugatti Residences by Binghatti

These residences, situated in Dubai’s Business Bay neighbourhood, are built in partnership with the luxury car brand, representing Bugatti’s first foray into property. The development consists of 182 ‘Sky Mansions’, which have access to car lifts so that residents are able to display their vehicles in their homes, and 11 penthouses, each boasting huge ceiling heights and a large terrace.

Residents have exclusive access to amenities including numerous pools, a spa, a gym, a dedicated concierge team, and a communal French Riviera-inspired urban beach club. The aim of the project, says developer Binghatti, is to create the feel of a private retreat in the heart of the city.

Sales at Bugatti Residences by Binghatti have surpassed all other off-plan projects in Dubai, achieving the highest price per square foot in the city (AED 9,674, or around £2,116 – for reference, in 2023 the Financial Times reported the average price of property in prime areas of London to be £1,261 per sq ft).


Mercedes-Benz Places

Mercedes-Benz Places, like Bugatti Residences by Binghatti, merges the quality of the luxury automotive and property sectors. The 65-storey tower, which is located in what is probably the city’s most sought-after distinct, Downtown Dubai, rises 341 metres and 65 storeys into the air. The building is characterised by a distinctive elliptical exterior, which is meant to be reminiscent of a fleet of Mercedes-Benz. The design is not only visually striking, but also functional: the cladding provides shade from the sun, as well as contributing to the building’s energy efficiency through the integration of photovoltaics (cells that convert sunlight into electricity).

Mercedes-Benz Places comprises 150 units, including a number of variations on two- to four-bedroom apartments and five penthouses. Each one has a minimal, modern aesthetic, floor-to-ceiling glazing, and views of the Burj Khalifa. 

Residents enjoy facilities including restaurants, sports and wellness zones, lounges, retail, exhibition spaces, and parking. In fact, the project was created with mobile residents in mind – i.e. those living between Dubai and somewhere else: the provision of EV charging, smart mobility apps, ride-hailing, bike and scooter sharing, chauffeur services and automated valet parking all help to make the lives of such residents easier. 


Burj Binghatti Jacob & Co Residences

The Burj Binghatti Jacob & Co Residences were built in collaboration with Jacob & Co; the residences, as you might expect, reflect the elegance synonymous with a global jewellery and horology brand. Indeed, the building’s façade takes inspiration from Jacob & Co diamonds, designed to reflect sunrises and sunsets, and the centrepiece penthouses are named after two of the brand’s most famous watches: the Billionaire Sky Penthouse, which sits over two floors, and the Astronomia Sky Penthouse, with both featuring private elevators and infinity pools.

This will be one of Dubai’s ‘hyper towers’, soaring above the cloud line at a dizzying 103 stories and 557 metres, and aims to break the world record of tallest residential tower. At the building’s lofty apex there is a crown, symbolising, says developer Binghatti, its and Jacob & Co.’s mastery in their respective fields.


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