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Business News/ News / World/  Dubai's $204M mansion captivates global market as Indian buyers vie for luxury
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Dubai's $204M mansion captivates global market as Indian buyers vie for luxury

The Marble Palace stands out with its extraordinary price per square foot of 12,500 dirhams, which is more than double the average price of properties in Emirates Hills.

Cranes tower over buildings under construction in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Photographer: Carlos Cazalis/Bloomberg NewsPremium
Cranes tower over buildings under construction in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Photographer: Carlos Cazalis/Bloomberg News

Dubai is currently showcasing an extravagant mansion reminiscent of Versailles, listed at a staggering 750 million dirhams ($204 million). This luxurious property claims the title of the city's most expensive house for sale as the demand for opulent real estate remains fervent.

As reported by Bloomberg, nestled in the sought-after Emirates Hills neighborhood the mansion offers an expansive 60,000 square feet of indoor space, boasting five bedrooms with the primary suite alone surpassing the size of most homes at 4,000 square feet. The ground floor is thoughtfully designed with spacious areas for dining and entertainment.

Lavish amenities such as a 15-car garage, 19 bathrooms, indoor and outdoor pools two domes, an 80,000-liter coral reef aquarium a power substation, and panic rooms add to its allure.

Situated on a generous 70,000-square-foot lot within a gated community, the mansion provides breathtaking views overlooking a scenic golf course.

The property nicknamed the Marble Palace by the selling agents—was built using an estimated 80 million dirhams to 100 million dirhams in marble Italian stone. Construction took nearly 12 years and was completed in 2018, according to Luxhabitat Sotheby’s International Realty, which is selling the property. Tasks included the application of 700,000 sheets of gold leaf by 70 skilled workers toiling more than nine months, the brokerage says. The home is currently decorated with about 400 pieces from the owner’s personal art collection, primarily 19th century and 20th century statues and paintings; the owner is prepared to negotiate about including them and furnishings in the purchase.

The owner, a local property developer, declined to be named.

It’s not everybody’s taste or style, Luxhabitat Sotheby’s broker Kunal Singh says, well aware that buyers will either love it or hate it. 

The Dubai property market has been on a tear since late 2020, an uplift that has lasted much longer than other global property booms during the Covid-19 pandemic. The rally is partially a correction after a market decline of about six years. Dubai’s handling of the pandemic enabled the city to reopen quickly attracting bankers who transferred from places like Singapore or Hong Kong.

The world’s wealthy snapped up property as a way to stash their money in an uncertain global economy. And an influx of Russians after Russia invaded Ukraine helped sustain the boom.

Dubai's property market has witnessed a series of remarkable mega deals in recent times. These include the sale of a plot of beachfront land for 125 million dirhams and the purchase of a penthouse along the Persian Gulf for 420 million dirhams.

However, the Marble Palace stands out with its extraordinary price per square foot of 12,500 dirhams, which is more than double the average price of properties in Emirates Hills.

Previously, the most expensive home sale in the neighborhood amounted to 210 million dirhams, with a price per square foot of 5,614 dirhams in August 2022, as documented by Dubai property records. 

Only one listing in the city rivals this mansion: A planned penthouse apartment in a project called Bugatti by Binghatti is also being offered at 750 million dirhams but has yet to be built. Generally, properties that are move-in ready have commanded higher prices than those under construction. That apartmentor sky mansion, as the developer calls it—will come with a car elevator and is due to hit the market in about three years.

Singh estimates that there are only about five to 10 potential buyers in the world are wealthy enough—and interested in its look—to buy the Marble Palace.

Two people have viewed the home in the past three weeks, Singh says. One, a Russian who had a representative view the property, would have to figure out how to move that amount of money. The second is an Indian client who already owns three properties in Emirates Hills; Singh says his wife is on the fence, leaning toward something more contemporary.

This is something you would buy to show off to bring some elite people, leaders, politicians, says Kerry Michael, marketing director for Luxhabitat Sotheby’s.

The person who buys it definitely is in politics, is in leadership. They want to entertain people. You can’t do that on the Palm without getting noticed, without getting media, she says, referring to the Palm Jumeirah, the manmade archipelago where there are many high-end homes. In Emirates Hills, you can invite the Obamas, you can invite the sheikhs into this palace and entertain. 

Singh says the property’s price is partly justified by the value of the time and materials that went into building it. The location is minutes from the Palm Jumeirah and about 25 minutes by car from the Dubai International Financial Center business district.

Emirates Hills, a gated community, was created two decades ago and has often been described as Dubai’s Beverly Hills, without the movie-industry connections. A golf course runs through the middle. The total lot size of the Marble Palace is one of the largest in the community. An adjacent plot of about 6,000 square feet could be purchased or leased from the developer, potentially for a tennis or padel ball court.

The primary suite includes his-and-her bathrooms. The second-largest bedroom suite is 2,500 square feet, and guest rooms are each about 1,000 square feet; one is currently configured to store wine. There are 12 staff rooms with space for up to 25, and two bank vaults. The owner built the home and lives in it by himself following a divorce. 

 

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Published: 15 Jun 2023, 06:24 AM IST
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