While the real estate market has cooled in some areas, there’s one spot that’s as hot as the sun that shines down on it 342 days a year: Dubai.
February 2023 was the most successful February on record in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) city, with 8,515 real estate transactions, according to real estate adviser CBRE. That was a 43.9% increase from 2022.
Add in January 2023, and you have 17,741 residential real estate transactions — also a record for the first two months of the year. During this time, average overall prices in Dubai rose by 11.5% and the average villa (what Dubai calls a family home) price rose by 13.6%.
This is on the heels of a record 2022 that saw 90,000 transactions — about 10,000 more than the previous record, set in 2009. In 2021, that number was just over 60,000.
Numerous real estate authorities had predicted a more modest uptick in Dubai real estate sales this year. But after that scorching 2022, the first quarter of 2023 is off to a robust start.
So why is Dubai so hot?
It’s a Tax Haven
Dubai has long attracted buyers and investors from around the world thanks to its favorable tax climate — no income tax or sales tax on most goods and services.
The UAE initiated a 5% value-added tax (VAT) in 2018 and intends to start collecting a 9% corporate business tax in June 2023.
But while Dubai will no longer be tax free, it’s important to note that the average corporate tax rate around the world is 23.64% and the average VAT rate is 19%.
Visa Reforms Make it Easier than Ever to Stay
Several initiatives have been geared toward attracting high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) and investors since the UAE launched its 10-year-residency Golden Visa in 2018.
More recently, the UAE eased restrictions on tourist visas, improved access to the Golden Visa, and amended the federal Commercial Companies Law, allowing foreign investors 100% business ownership.
Interest Rate Fluctuations Are Mostly Irrelevant
The rise in interest rates has had an impact on real estate sales overall. But we know HNWIs are far less impacted because of their cash purchases.
That’s especially true in Dubai, where foreign investment fuels cash purchases at 70–80% of total real estate sales.
The Real Estate is Outrageous
Dubai is already home to the world’s tallest building (Burj Khalifa), its largest man-made marina (Dubai Marina), and one of the largest artificial islands (Palm Jumeirah).
This palm tree-shaped island is home to top luxury resorts including Atlantis, The Palm, and FIVE Palm Jumeirah Hotel; high-end beach clubs; fine dining; the retail and entertainment mecca of The Pointe; and The Palm Fountain, the world’s largest dancing fountain.
It’s also where much of Dubai’s recent real estate success is concentrated. A villa sold for $82 million last year, setting a record as the most expensive home ever sold in Dubai. Meanwhile, sales on the island surged more than 100% in 2022.
Ready to make your move to Dubai? If so, you probably have your eye on Palm Jumeirah. Here are the hottest listings on the island.
This modern, glass, waterfront manse features a stunning new chef’s kitchen, grand entertaining spaces, exquisite finishes, and incredible open ocean and Dubai marina views from nearly everywhere in the home. Outside, the Estudio Arqué glass mosaic infinity pool, is a showstopper. This home is available for sale for $21,508,878.
This luxury villa is ready to be completed to your specifications, with a fully customizable floorplan, high-end finishes, and an individualized landscape design. The villa is set on more than a third of an acre in XXII Carat, a collection of 22 luxury villas on the Palm Jumeirah featuring its own private beach. This home is available for sale for $13,989,765.
This villa features a jaw-dropping interior to match its remarkable setting on the island’s exclusive Frond N. All bedrooms are en-suite, with bathrooms boasting 24-carat gold faucets. Floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors reveal views of Dubai Eye and the Dubai skyline, and the infinity pool showcases 24-carat-gold leaves. This home is available for sale for $13,069,457.
Views of the iconic Burj Al Arab from the front yard, and of the Atlantis Hotel from the backyard — it doesn’t get much better than that. This state-of-the-art custom villa has floor-to-ceiling windows, a private pool, and separate staff accommodations. This home is available for sale for $10,891,214.
Contemporary yet ornate, this exceptionally detailed custom estate includes a houseful of coveted features including a home theatre, library, gym, sauna, basement, and private elevator. Pearl Jumeirah is an island just off Jumeirah Beach that’s home to its own Town Centre and the five-star Nikki Beach Resort & Spa. This home is available for sale for $6,262,448.
You can see more Dubai properties for sale on Coldwell Banker Global Luxury.