By Hussain Sajwani, Chairman, DAMAC Properties
Dubai is often referred to as the city of luxury. It’s an apt moniker for a city that is home to a multitude of astonishing attractions, incredible enough to be unheard of elsewhere. Over a mere five years or so, we have witnessed old definitions of luxury giving way to newer ones, particularly so in the premium real estate space, where major city-based players are increasingly seen teaming up with iconic global brands to offer exclusive, limited-edition homes that offer the latest in luxury.
Dubai’s luxury real estate and hospitality segment is the fastest growing in the sector, and the road to luxury growth is increasingly paved with collaborations with global brands, as developers of premium properties seek to capitalize on the growing appetite for luxury living. Beyond boosting business growth, we also recognize the value such prestigious collaborations can bring in terms of enhancing our companies’ reputation and enriching the image of Dubai as a unique luxury destination.
Trump, Versace, FENDI, Bugatti, Just Cavalli, Paramount – among other big names – are all here, and they are turning the city’s premium real estate market inside out, giving new meaning and heft to the concept of luxury living with projects that epitomise architectural finesse, flawless attention to detail and unbounded opulence. In our strategic planning at DAMAC leading up to agreements with these iconic game-changers of the global luxury marketplace, I strived to forge deals with brands that cover the luxury spectrum. This enables us to bring to market a diverse mix of upscale properties from ultra-premium condominiums and hotel apartments to magnificent golf communities such as DAMAC Hills, a 42-million-square-feet development set to be home to one of the most spectacular golf courses in the world – the Trump International Golf Club, Dubai. Sitting not far from the golf course within this mega development is an exclusive collection of residential units that include the first-ever FENDI villas in the world as well as hotel villas by Paramount Hotels & Resorts. To the skeptics, this seems like a lot of luxury to be packed into a single project, but to us and those with ample knowledge of the dynamics of this market, it is viewed as offering choice and meeting a demand.
My response is these properties are characterised by the highest international standards of design and refinement, and they cater to an audience eager to embrace a new level of exclusivity in everyday living, within an all-encompassing community. In Dubai and elsewhere, I see the affluent class expanding, and the increase in purchasing power has coincided with an increase in aspirations. This leads them to seek more flair in their life, and the answer, where living spaces are concerned, is found more and more in limited-edition branded residences and golf communities.
The government’s ambition to establish Dubai as the top luxury destination globally has been key to the evolution of the city’s luxury real estate market. One element that often gets overlooked amid the spiral of praise about the emirate’s iconic buildings and landmarks is the careful and extensive thought that has gone into the city’s planning process, beyond the projects themselves. Since I established DAMAC Properties in 2002, I believed in the vision of the wise leadership to make the impossible possible on this precious land we call Dubai.
Coming back to the trend towards branded luxury residences, I am quite fascinated to watch how a city where premium properties abound is able to continue finding new and interesting ways to keep raising the luxury bar. The game-changing collaborations that are bringing global luxury brands into town are doing just that – setting the bar higher still – and in doing so, they are enhancing the prestige and desirability of Dubai’s real estate market in the eyes of international investors.
The mounting demand for these ultra-luxury homes and serviced apartments points to only one thing: that branded luxury property is not the next big thing in Dubai’s real estate scene – it already is the big thing!