Wealth with­out lim­its

The emer­gence of a new breed of buyer is heat­ing up the top end of Dubai’s prop­erty mar­ket

Arabian Business English - - COMMENT -

A DECADE AGO, LUX­URY liv­ing meant lav­ish fin­ishes and fur­nish­ings, a nice big swim­ming pool or two and ex­clu­sive, un­ob­structed views of the ocean or sky­line. But with the emer­gence of the ul­tra-prime seg­ment, these so-called tra­di­tional trim­mings are sim­ply not enough and to­day’s lux­ury buyer is search­ing for some­thing al­to­gether more unique and mean­ing­ful.

As the num­ber of high net worth in­di­vid­u­als (HNWs) in the world steadily in­creases, so too does de­mand for one-of-a-kind ul­tra-prime prop­er­ties. De­vel­op­ers the world over are com­pet­ing against each other to truly stand out, while ar­chi­tects and de­sign­ers are des­per­ately try­ing to come up with more cre­ative ways to in­cor­po­rate the lat­est advances in things like cus­tomi­sa­tion, per­son­al­i­sa­tion and ul­tra­lux­ury com­fort.

UAE ap­peal

In Dubai in par­tic­u­lar, there is a grow­ing ap­petite for lux­u­ri­ous apart­ments, pent­houses and vil­las in gated com­mu­ni­ties and we are start­ing to see a lot more world-class ameni­ties and in­ter­na­tional stan­dards in cer­tain con­struc­tion projects. This is in a bid by de­vel­op­ers to at­tract the Ul­tra-High Net Worth In­di­vid­u­als (UHNWIs) – those with wealth of $30m or more.

UNHWIs are clearly un­de­terred by the prop­erty sec­tor slump in Dubai. They con­tinue to seek ex­cep­tional prop­er­ties and Dubai’s de­vel­op­ers are hap­pily feed­ing the de­mand.

Dubai is ar­guably one of the very few global

cities where there is a clear dis­tinc­tion be­tween ul­tra-prime and prime prop­erty mar­kets and it is not just on price. But what dis­tin­guishes an ul­tra-prime res­i­dence from a prime one?

Well, to put it sim­ply, those with the cash to splash on ul­tra-prime prop­er­ties can af­ford to be picky. Buy­ers at the top end of the mar­ket want to buy a prop­erty that’s go­ing to keep its value and show good growth but one that also ticks all of the boxes in other myr­iad re­spects too.

Ex­clu­siv­ity and rar­ity are very much on trend. The key here is fewer units, in the 20 to 30 range, with larger plot sizes and big­ger gar­dens giv­ing the priv­i­leged few much sought-af­ter pri­vacy and phys­i­cal and vis­ual space.

But with more money in­volved, they’re look­ing for five-star ameni­ties, ser­vices and fea­tures that you just can’t find in the av­er­age lux­ury prop­erty. That might be top-of-therange kitchens, lux­u­ri­ant bath­rooms, pri­vate beaches, concierge ser­vices, some­where to park their yacht per­haps, or even a free Bent­ley or Rolls Royce thrown in for good mea­sure.

The value or worth of ul­tra-prime prop­er­ties is weighted heav­ily on per­sonal val­ues and life­style and each group, whether it’s the Chi­nese, the Rus­sians, the In­di­ans or the Arabs, comes with their own set of re­quire­ments.

Ul­ti­mately, buy­ers want some­thing that strikes the right bal­ance be­tween aes­thet­ics, ex­clu­siv­ity, rar­ity and in­di­vid­u­al­ity.

And luck­ily for the UHNWIs, Dubai re­ally does have some­thing for ev­ery­one.

THE RICH ARE CLEARLY UN­DE­TERRED BY THE PROP­ERTY SEC­TOR SLUMP IN DUBAI. THEY CON­TINUE TO SEEK EX­CEP­TIONAL PROP­ER­TIES AND DUBAI’S DE­VEL­OP­ERS ARE HAP­PILY FEED­ING THE DE­MAND”

BUY­ERS AT THE TOP END OF THE MAR­KET WANT A PROP­ERTY THAT’S GO­ING TO KEEP ITS VALUE AND TICKS THE BOXES IN OTHER MYR­IAD RE­SPECTS”

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