Revealed: 15 Dubai areas where millionaires are buying homes

More than half of buyers don’t want to wait for the property handover — 'they want to move in now', expert says

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Waheed Abbas

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Published: Tue 21 May 2024, 2:52 PM

Last updated: Tue 21 May 2024, 3:11 PM

New posh communities may have been gaining popularity in Dubai but three staple neighbourhoods remain on top of millionaires' list: Dubai Marina, Downtown and Business Bay.

These three prime residential areas where millionaires are buying properties, said a new study released on Tuesday.


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Millionaires from new markets are now flocking to Dubai to cash in on lower prices and high growth, according to the annual survey conducted by real estate consultancy firm Knight Frank.


Based on a survey of 217 respondents from 11 countries with a value of $20 million, it found that the US, China, Canada, UK and India are the top markets from where millionaires plan to buy property in Dubai.

These areas are among the top 15 places where millionaires are placing their bets when it comes to buying prime property, according to Knight Frank’s Destination Dubai 2024:

  • Dubai South/Expo City
  • Dubai Canal
  • Dubai Hills Estate
  • Palm Jumeirah
  • Emirates Hills
  • Jumeirah Bay Island
  • Jumeirah Gulf Estates
  • World Island
  • Al Qudra
  • Tilal Al Ghaf
  • Emaar South

Faisal Durrani, partner and head of research at Knight Frank, said the emirate's prime residential market price grew by 18.2 per cent in the first quarter. It is projected to grow 5 per cent for the entire year, making it the third fastest globally, behind Auckland and Mumbai.

“Appetite for investing in Dubai is still exceptionally high. Uber-wealthy continues to target Dubai for a second home," Durrani said.

"Around 56 per cent want to purchase units that are completed or newly built while just 14 per cent are interested in an off-plan market. This is an interesting connotation for the market which has seen so many off-plan project launches in the last 18 months. It means 56 per cent of people don’t want to wait for the property handover. They want to move in now and we saw a sharp decrease in the number of ready homes available for sale,” he added.

Dubai maintained its lead as it achieved 431 deals of $10 million-plus last year, followed by London (240) and New York (211).

Homes close to green spaces are a hit

The study also found that uber-wealthy people are "very interested" in investing in Dubai’s property market, led by millionaires with $15-million-plus wealth.

Interestingly, 31 per cent of the ultra-rich are buying property for personal reasons and 64 per cent for investments. They prefer homes that have proximity to parks/green spaces, hospitality and healthcare centres, beaches and sea views and malls, according to the Knight Frank survey.

Durrani said two distinct market cycles have already taken place in the Dubai property market and now it is a third market cycle which just entered its fifth year of price growth.

“Prices in the first quarter were up 20 per cent year-on-year and our forecast for the entire residential market is 3.5 per cent. There is a slowdown from last year and a year before that, but it is still not a bad thing. This is the fifth year of the price rise. So it is inevitable that prices are going to slow and plateau, but difficult to say when prices will decline or plateau. All KPIs don’t point to any slowdown. There is no cliff-edge moment we see,” said Durrani.

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