House Hunting in the United Arab Emirates: A Solar-Powered Palace in Dubai

Following a strict but short Covid-19 lockdown, the city reopened to tourists in July 2020 and the market followed suit, with activity increasing “as buyers re-evaluated their lifestyles and, generally, sought to move to bigger homes,” Mr. Cummings said.

“It was really the start of 2021 that saw the market take off,” he continued, with the year-end total of about 52,000 apartment and villa transactions, totaling 114.2 billion U.A.E. Dirham ($31.1 billion), outstripping the total for the two previous years combined.

According to Knight Frank’s Q1 2022 market report, released this week, house prices across Dubai climbed by 10.6 percent in 2021 and a further 2.6 percent in the first three months of 2022, marking the highest rate of year-over-year growth since January 2015.

“The positive market sentiment, driven by the government’s world-leading response to the pandemic, coupled with the successful hosting of the World Expo, the reopening of travel corridors and Dubai’s global safe-haven status continues to underpin the market’s rebound,” said Faisal Durrani, a partner and head of Middle East research at Knight Frank.

He added that “values are still, on average, about 25 percent below their 2014 peak.” But demand remains at record levels, with international and domestic buyers searching for larger homes.

At the high end, Mr. Cummings said, more than 30 sales have been recorded over $10 million so far this year, a number that, with the exception of 2021, would be a record for a full year. Recent changes to visa laws enabling buyers to obtain Golden Visas for pre-construction purchases are also likely to have a positive effect on the market, he said.

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