Downtown living in Dubai now a hot property location

Published:  24 Jan at 6 PM
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Realtors in Dubai are now marketing the city as a ‘residential destination’.

Gone are the days when Dubai was a growing city providing expat professionals with rewarding jobs and a unique, developing environment, with real estate agencies now describing it as a ‘destination’. The rebranding is the result of the city’s changing environment from a massive, modernising oasis set between the desert and the ocean to a ‘des.res’ location for the world’s ultra-wealthy and famous.

According to one estate agency, most buyers of recently-built design-oriented villas and apartments are in it for the long term rather than buying as an investment for the length of their relocation assignment contracts. Boutique developments are all the rage, with Volante Tower in the Business Bay district the latest hot address to come on the market. It’s almost sold out, with just a penthouse and seven apartments left and boasts views over the Dubai Water Canal and the Burj Khalifa as well as its very own, totally exclusive private members’ club.

One innovation brought in to serve the millionaire classes but which should also benefit expat professionals on slightly less than excessive salaries is a set of new legal frameworks aimed at protecting expat buyers of Dubai real estate. Whilst freehold titles for expats property owners came in during 2014 in designated free trade areas, leasehold laws have now been developed to apply where freeholds can’t be had. At present, some 10,000 British expats settle in the emirate every year, with many bringing in their families and choosing locations close to international schools as part of the property purchase process. I

It has to be said that Dubai is ahead of the other emirates as regards its international cultural scene aimed at long-term expat residents and their families. Film festivals, art fairs, the new Dubai Opera and the fantastic Louvre Abu Dhabi are all draws and display the UAE and Dubai’s willingness to compete at an international level. Tourists are beginning to include Dubai in their must-see lists and, as time goes by, it remains to be seen how many long-stayers will begin to miss the region’s original ‘silence and focus’.
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