Dubai's luxury home market is rising as a rich flee pandemic in the world!

Arab Emirates, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Christophe Reech was fed up with the pandemic locks of the city after almost three decades in London. This morning, he sold his luxury townhouse and threw himself into Dubai's desert sheikhdom to start a new life with his family. freelancer

He said there was no turning back. The super-rich foreign friends of the French business magnate did the same and led to an unprecedented increase in sales of the most exclusive properties in Dubai.

"There is only one strategy here in Dubai: business as usual," said Reech, chairman of an identical group owned by companies in real estate and financial technology. The philosophy is straightforward: "See that everyone is vaccinated and everything is open."

"That attracts people like me, of course," he said.

With uneven vaccines rolling worldwide and waves of infections forcing countries to expand restrictions, foreign buyers flooded the cash market of Dubai, one of the few places in the world where they can dine, shop and do business themselves. The number of luxury villas and penthouses is record and prices are rocketing in this boom and bust market.

In the first quarter of 2021 sales of upscale properties in Dubai, once slow, rose 230 percent compared with the same period last year. Prices rose by as much as 40 percent in some top-end areas, according to Property Finder, the country's biggest real estate site.

A record 90 properties worth 10 million dirhams ($2.7 million) changed hands last month, up 84 in March, over eight years ago, according to the Property Monitor real estate consulting firm. In comparison, 54 such transactions were carried out in all of 2020.

"Tons of people come in to buy millions of dollars of property on the spot, with no due diligence," said Matthew Cooke, partner in the Dubai artificial palm archipelago consulting firm Knight Frank, who runs penthouse sales.

Just as in previous cycles, cash buyers started to snatch homes and turn them into profits at bargain prices. Analysts say it continues until prices rise too high and returns decrease.

It remains unclear how long the craze lasts and what awaits the skyscraper-studded city. The middle stages of the city's saturated real estate market, where values have dropped dramatically since peaks reached seven years ago due to overcrowding, continue to decrease. The average price for residence sales in the Burj Khalifa, the highest building in the world, collapsed this month to $400 per square foot, down from $1300 in 2013.

Jackie Johns, partner at Premier Estates, a Christie's international real estate affiliate, said "The market is in a boom... but people are very aware of the fact that Dubai can run too fast and everything goes apart," in reference to the debt crisis which brought the city to its knees in 2008.

The hot spot on the luxury market is not unique to Dubai, as extremely low interest rates and a desire for family space have seen the wealthy degenerate into suburban houses in cities such as New York and Paris. But in the glittery Emirates, home of the Emirates, and the highest tower on Earth, there are other factors.

Since last summer's first reopening for tourists, Dubai has become the pandemic-friendly holiday location in the world. With no compulsory days of quarantine, international visitors are now celebrating their selfies at hotel resorts, and helicopter pads at Dubai's lively bars and beaches, causing resentment back home.

In January the tourist inflow contributed to the dramatic increase in coronavirus cases that led to the United Kingdom's suspension of flights. But the United Arab Emirates has achieved relatively well during the pandemic, with its young population and low mortality rates. The country, with over 9 million vaccines and large numbers of inoculations, has administered 10.6 million doses with the Chinese state-backed Sinopharm vaccine.

Dubai, a global financial center known as the Middle East volatile oasis, has enjoyed the capital flight for a long time. Homeowners at the Palm Jumeirah, which accounted for 43 per cent of April's total transactions, include Afghanistan's warlords and political elite from countries like Nigeria, Syria and Lebanon, seeking a safe place to park their savings.

Now, large numbers of wealthy buyers come from Europe, India, China and Russia to find better quality of life as the pandemic rages in this man-made archipelago, popularly known as the Palm, and in other exclusively village communities in Dubai. In March, Palm recorded its second largest residential sale ever when a Swiss family purchased a $30.2 million waterfront mansion. The third most expensive homes in the city were bought by an unidentified European family last month for $28.6 million.

This demand is underpinned by plentiful vaccines. While questions relate to the effectiveness of the Sinopharm shot, Dubai offers other options, such as Pfizer-BioNtech and Oxford-Astrazeneca. All you need to do is to obtain a residence visa – the city already extends to high-end property buyers and investors.

Reech, who intends to buy land in Dubai to build his dream house, booked an appointment for Pfizer immediately after his residency. In the United Kingdom, he said, he would have to wait four more months.

New initiatives to attract wealthy foreigners include remote working visas, pension visas and renewable "golden" long-term visas. In an unprecedented move, authorities even offer a select group of foreigners an Emirati citizenship. The UAE has also modified its strict Islamic legal Code to increase its brand as a cosmopolitan city, enabling unmarried couples to live together and non-citizens to follow foreign divorce and heritage laws.

The vision of Dubai for high post-pandemic life has become more important, as foreign investors "try to play a favorable role in the economic recovery," Robert Mogielnicki, a resident scholar of the Washington Institute of the Arab Gulf States, said.

And even if the meteoric rise of the market crashes, analysts say that the wealthy will probably not bear the brunt of fallout. The pandemic has shown the high volumes of the world thrive in a crisis.

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