Dubai’s 'billionaire’s island': Jumeirah Bay is home to the richest of the rich

A sand plot sold for Dh126 million on Jumeirah Bay Island sets a new record


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Mon 24 Apr 2023, 7:49 PM

Jumeirah Bay Island in Dubai, also known as billionaire’s island, has seen a massive increase in interest from the ultra-rich, especially in the post-Covid period, with property prices on the man-made island skyrocketing.

Home to ultra-luxury properties and high-end developments such as the Bulgari Lighthouse, Jumeirah Bay Island registered another record sale on Monday when a 24,500 sqft sand plot was sold for Dh125 million, averaging Dh5,100 per sqft, surpassing the previous record of a deal worth Dh91 million.

Anne Ogilvie and Lyndsey Redstone, associate partners at Knight Frank, represented both the seller and buyer in the deal.

In February 2023, the Island set another record when Dubai’s most expensive penthouse was sold for Dh410 million in Bulgari Lighthouse.

Sellers dictate the market

Chris Whitehead, managing partner at Luxhabitat Sotheby’s International Realty, said high demand for the super prime luxury segment is primarily fuelled by the current lifestyle and wealth shifts being witnessed from incoming European buyers, as well as a recent increased trend from institutional investors moving back into bricks and mortar asset classes.

“Additionally, super prime turnkey properties continue to be in low supply and sellers will dictate pricing and ensure the positive trend required to push the region through the historically slower summer months,” he said.

The seller of the Dh125 million plot reportedly bought it for Dh36.5 million around two years ago and made a profit of over 242 per cent, pocketing Dh88.5 million.

Industry executives say that Jumeirah Bay Island has seen a huge influx of billionaires with very limited, to no plots, available for sale, as most of the buyers are wealthy people who want to build their first or holiday home in the emirate.

In 2022, it was estimated that around 4,000 millionaires moved to the UAE, attracted by the safety and security after the country's successful handling of the pandemic.

Highest density of billionaires

According to Luxhabitat Sotheby’s International Realty, Jumeirah Bay has the highest density of billionaires on a single stretch in the UAE, exceeding Palm Jumeirah, Emirates Hills, and Dubai Hills when it comes to the density of billionaires per square metre.

Data showed super prime areas continued to see positive volume sales growth in the first quarter of 2023 with Jumeirah Bay seeing the highest increase of 220 per cent in transactions with a value reaching Dh2.05 billion, surpassing Al Barari, Downtown and Emirates Hills. Again, Jumeirah Bay was among the top three areas along with Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Hills Estate in terms of super prime apartment transactions during January-March 2023.

The average price was highest in Jumeirah Bay at Dh10,594 per sqft and the average price of the property stood at Dh93.3 million, despite only 22 units being sold in Q1 2023.

Apartments in Jumeirah Bay were sold on average at Dh91.2 million, reflecting an average price increase of as much as 40 per cent in the first quarter. Interestingly, four out of the top ten transactions come from Jumeirah Bay.

No.1 location for ultra-rich

As a highly sought-after real estate destination, land prices have soared threefold in recent years on the Island.

Andrew Cummings, partner and head of prime residential, Knight Frank, said Jumeirah Bay Island has not just cemented itself as the number one location for ultra-high net worth individuals in Dubai, it has created a submarket only accessible by the ultra-wealthy.

“A Dh125 million transaction would normally represent a spectacular penthouse or palatial mansion. However, Jumeirah Bay’s exclusivity means that this only buys you the sand on which to build your dream home. This is another sign that Dubai is the number one destination for international real estate investment due to the attractive lifestyle and business-friendly environment,” he said.


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