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A BUDDING cosmopolitan city that encompasses many of the vital lifestyle elements that cater to different individuals, Dubai has cemented itself as a leading hub for businesses and families alike.
Now the city built on sand wants to state its permanence. Dubai is maturing in its mentality. It no longer wants to be seen as a transient, get rich quick city - a place where everything built during its construction boom in the early 2000s was the world's first, biggest or best.
Following the global financial and real estate downturn in 2008, many questioned whether this gleaming, young city had the resilience to bounce back.
And the answer is undeniably yes - but this time, with new strings on its bow.
It's a fitting metaphor as music - and the arts in a wider sense - is one of the ways in which Dubai is carving out a new identity as a place of integrity and cultural innovation. Its aim now is to cement a reputation as the leading creative hub of the Middle East. And in turn, Dubai hopes that it will become a place where individuals and families from all over the world will want to put down roots for the long term.
With Dubai being home to 200 nationalities, it already has a vibrant, diverse community to provide the building blocks.
The ease of doing business prompts companies and young entrepreneurs to set up in Dubai. But it also comes as no surprise that investors look at Dubai with keen interest, as it accommodates individuals from diverse backgrounds and interests. Or perhaps it is simply the availability of international-grade education systems and family-friendly activities that encourage families to relocate.
Strong regulatory policies undertaken by the government in recent years to avoid market speculation, coupled with solid economic fundamentals and worldclass infrastructure, reinforce Dubai's position as a global hub for trade, transport and tourism, and further shape Dubai to become a favourable destination for regional and international property investors.
This is in addition to Dubai's strategic geographical location, providing access to all regional and international markets - a third of the world can be reached within a four-hour flight from Dubai and two-thirds within eight hours. The fastest growing regions in terms of number of passengers is Eastern Europe (+33 per cent) followed by Asia (+26 per cent) and South America (+19 per cent).
In terms of residential opportunities, Dubai offers an expansive range of property types that cater to its broad platform of investors. However, in recent years developers in Dubai have changed their approach to ensure that new projects align with the requirements of the high net worth global citizen. One such development that is setting new boundaries and will become a new landmark is The Royal Atlantis Residences, located adjacent to the iconic Atlantis, The Palm resort, on the Palm Jumeirah.
Conceived by design partners - New York based award-winning architects KPF, Parisian interior designer Sybille de Margerie, water feature creators WET and sky pool designer The David Mexico Design Group - the developer is raising the bar to ensure that The Royal Atlantis Residences is best-in-class in Dubai, and globally.
What makes this development so different from what is available in the emirate is the vast choice of apartment styles on offer. Across the 231 units available, purchasers can choose from a whopping 82 different layout variations - enabling residents to choose the home that aligns with their own specific needs and requirements, whether for family living, a holiday home to add to their global portfolio, or as an investment purchase.
In addition, The Royal Atlantis takes resort living to a new level of luxury. Not only do residents benefit from the stunning unique architecture and high specification interiors, they also have access to a plethora of amenities such as private infinity pools with uninterrupted sea views, access to world-class restaurants with award-winning celebrity chefs, as well as private beaches, a residents-only gym and a Givenchy spa, all at their doorstep.
In 2016, buyers from 136 different nationalities purchased property in Dubai.
The government's continued commitment to investment in its city - a substantial 27 per cent of government spending is allocated to infrastructure - coupled with the ease of doing business and a tax-free environment, has continued to attract global investors to the Emirate.
In a recent Global Lifestyle review conducted by Knight Frank, Dubai was ranked as the fourth most important city for global entrepreneurs and the fifth most important for families. The evolution of this magnificent metropolis now puts Dubai on a par with other key global cities such as London, New York, Singapore and Hong Kong.
While the reasons to invest in Dubai property may vary, ultimately there are key factors that buyers look for. Demand for properties undertaken by reputed developers with proven track records of successful and timely delivery continues to be active. This is particularly true for off-plan property purchases. Knight Frank has also seen active demand for properties within developed masterplans. Whether existing or under construction, projects in amenity-equipped locations continue to build interest.
Buyers are drawn to the vibrancy and central location of Downtown Dubai given its proximity to the Central Business District and key facilities such as the largest mall in the world, The Dubai Mall. Communities such as Emirates Hills and Arabian Ranches still prove popular with families due to the proximity to first-class schools, clinics and retail centres. Other key areas such as Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marina provide opportunities for those seeking unique and prestigious waterfront apartments and villas, surrounded by luxury hotels and resorts.
Despite its relatively young age, the property market in Dubai has transformed over the past years and is well established globally. With continued government spending on infrastructure projects, increased availability of quality investment stock, and the development of more transparent processes and procedures, Dubai's real estate industry is set to expand further and attract more sophisticated investors from across the globe. W