Dubai luxury home market soars as world’s rich flee covid

News Network
May 6, 2021

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After nearly three decades in London, Christophe Reech was fed up with the city's pandemic lockdowns. This spring, he sold his luxury townhouse and jetted off to the desert sheikhdom of Dubai to start a new life with his family.

There was no turning back, he said. The French business magnate's super wealthy foreign friends were doing the same, driving an unprecedented surge in sales of Dubai's most-exclusive properties.

“Here in Dubai, there's only one strategy: Business as usual,” said Reech, the chairman of an eponymous group that owns real estate and financial technology companies. The philosophy is simple: “Let's make sure everyone's vaccinated and keep everything open."

“Of course that attracts people like me," he said.

As vaccines roll out unevenly worldwide and waves of infections force countries to extend restrictions, foreign buyers flush with cash have flooded Dubai's high-end property market, one of the few places in the world where they can dine, shop and do business in person.

They're snapping up record numbers of luxury villas and penthouses, sending prices rocketing in this boom-and-bust market.

Sales of Dubai's upscale properties, once slow, soared 230 per cent in the first quarter of 2021, compared to the same period last year.

Prices in some top-end areas rose as much as 40 per cent, according to Property Finder, the country's largest real-estate website.

A record-breaking 90 properties worth 10 million dirhams each (USD 2.7 million) changed hands last month, on top of 84 in March, surpassing heights hit eight years ago, according to real estate consultancy Property Monitor. For comparison, there were 54 such transactions in all of 2020.

"Tons of people are coming in and buying multimillion dollar properties on the spot, with no due diligence time whatsoever,” said Matthew Cooke, a partner at consultancy Knight Frank, who manages penthouse sales on Dubai's Palm Jumeirah artificial archipelago.

As with previous cycles, cash buyers started snatching up homes at bargain prices and flipping them for profits. Analysts say that will continue until prices rise too high and returns diminish.

How long the craze lasts and what awaits the skyscraper-studded city then remains unclear. Home prices are still falling in the middle tiers of the city's saturated property market, which has seen values drop sharply since peaks reached seven years ago due to overbuilding.

Average residence sale prices in the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, collapsed to USD 400 per square foot this month from USD 1,300 in 2013.

“The market is going through a boom time ... but people are very aware that Dubai can run too quickly and it all falls apart," said Jackie Johns, partner at Premier Estates, an affiliate of Christie's International Real Estate, referring to the debt-driven crisis that brought the city to its knees in 2008.

The hot streak in the luxury market isn't unique to Dubai, as ultra-low interest rates and families' desire for more space has seen the wealthy in cities like New York and Paris decamp to suburban mansions. But there are other factors at play in the glitzy emirate, home to the long-haul carrier Emirates and tallest tower on Earth.

Since first reopening to tourists last summer, Dubai has pitched itself as the world's pandemic-friendly vacation spot.

With no mandatory dayslong quarantines, foreign visitors now party in Dubai's bustling bars and on its beaches, their selfies at hotel-resorts and helicopter pads stirring resentment back home.

The tourist influx helped drive the country's dramatic surge in coronavirus cases in January, prompting the UK to suspend flights.

But the United Arab Emirates, with its young population and low mortality rates, has fared relatively well during the pandemic.

The country of over 9 million, which relied heavily on the Chinese state-backed Sinopharm vaccine for its inoculation campaign, has administered 10.6 million vaccine doses.

A global financial center known as an oasis in the volatile Middle East, Dubai long has benefitted from capital flight. Homeowners on the Palm Jumeirah — which saw 43 per cent of all April transactions — include Afghan warlords and the political elite from countries like Nigeria, Syria and Lebanon, all searching for a safe place to park their savings.

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Grace
 - 
Tuesday, 18 May 2021

The fewest elders, the lowest dead toll. As simple as that.

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News Network
November 23,2021

Bengaluru, Nov 23: The JD(S) on Monday fielded only seven candidates for the upcoming Legislative Council elections to 25 seats. Elections are scheduled to be held on December 10.

The regional party will contest for the local authorities’ seats in Mandya, Tumakuru, Mysuru, Kolar, Bengaluru Rural, Kodagu and Hassan.

Former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy said the JD(S) had won four seats in the previous elections. “As announced earlier, we have stuck to seven seats. Our aim is to win all these seven seats,” he said.

The JD(S) list includes a sitting member of the upper house HM Ramesh Gowda, who will be the party’s candidate from the Bengaluru Rural local authorities’ seat.

Although his term ends June 2022, Ramesh said that he decided to contest as he has a “good grasp” of issues in Bengaluru Rural. “I hail from Hoskote and I’m aware of issues faced by people in Bengaluru Rural. I still have six more months for my term to end. However, the process for those elections, too, will begin in another three months. So I decided to contest now," he said.

If he wins from Bengaluru Rural, Ramesh will have to resign from his current membership and take a fresh oath as a Legislative Council member. He is a second-time contestant.
The party has nominated another incumbent MLC Appaji Gowda who will seek a re-election from the Mandya local authorities’ seat.

Suraj Revanna, former prime minister and JD(S) supremo HD Devegowda's grandson and former minister HD Revanna's son, is the face of the party’s first family in these elections. Suraj is a first-time contestant making his bid to enter the upper house.

The JD(S) has also brought in four fresh faces: Anil Kumar (Tumakuru), CN Manje Gowda (Mysuru), Vakkaleri Ramu (Kolar) and HU Issaq Khan (Kodagu).

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coastaldigest.com news network
November 27,2021

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Mangaluru, Nov 27: Staff and customers of a car showroom at Padil on the outskirts of the city were taken aback when a wild boar barged in and created havoc. 

The incident occurred on Wednesday at around 1p.m. The entire scene was captured on CCTV camera and the footage is now doing rounds on social media.

The animal chased and tried to gore a person present at the scene. But, he managed to escape unhurt. 

The wild boar crossed the highway and entered the premises through the main entrance. 

The showroom personnel ran helter-skelter to avoid being gored by the wild animal.

After this encounter, the wild boar escaped into the nearby bushes.

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News Network
November 29,2021

Mangaluru, Nov 29: Former Health Minister U T Khader has urged the government of Karnataka to take all precautions in the wake of the threat of Omicron variant of covid-19 and not to create panic among people.

Addressing the media, the Mangaluru MLA said: “All the necessary precautions should be taken at all stages. The government should not create any confusion among the people. There is a need to intensify vaccination drives in the district, to ensure that all the beneficiaries are administered with vaccines to achieve 100 % success.”

The government should also mull over booster doses in the country. “Many countries have commenced booster dose vaccination drives, but we have not started yet. Covid warriors, who work in the frontline healthcare sector, should be given booster doses. The government should also take a decision on commencing vaccination drives for children below 18 years,” he said.

On oxygen generation units in government hospitals in the state, the former minister said that many units lack staff for maintenance. “An average of Rs 80 lakh for oxygen plants were spent by the government. If there are no staff for maintenance, then the units will remain unutilised,” he said.

The government should also release funds for covid-19 pandemic management, said the MLA.

On mobile applications introduced for Asha workers and lab technicians in the state, Khader said at present they have been using it in their mobile phones. All Asha workers and lab technicians should be provided with tabs so that they can upload the data immediately, he added.

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