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Super-prime property 'cushioned' in Dubai, says Al Sharq

Dubai’s super-prime residential sector is “cushioned” from the economic slowdown affecting the rest of the market and demand remains high, according to a senior executive from developer Al Sharq Investment.

Matthew Bate, executive manager of Al Sharq Investment, said the company had sold 20 percent of units at its ultra-luxury Alef Residences scheme on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah and is on track for completion by the end of the second quarter 2017.

Bate said sales had been agreed with the scheme’s target market – high net worth individuals (HNWIs) from across the Gulf, in particular the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as well as the UK, Europe and elsewhere.

The scheme, a joint venture between Qatar’s Al Mana Global and Saudi Arabia’s Al Sharq Group, comprises 104 homes serviced by a new W Hotel The Palm, with access to 475 metres of private beach.

Prices go up to AED51 million ($13.8 million) for a duplex penthouse and AED268 million ($72.9 million) for a mansion.

Bate said the developer had not had to amend the scheme due to softening residential real estate prices in Dubai over the last 12 months – real estate consultancies claims prices were down around 10 percent year on year at the end of the second quarter 2016, and 2 percent quarter-on-quarter.

“The market for HNWIs in the Gulf is somewhat isolated from the rest of the real estate market,” Bate told Arabian Business in an interview at the Cityscape conference in Dubai this week. “This is an AED2 billion ($544 million) investment [for us] and we are confident these buyers will always be there and demand is not dropping.”

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