An Interview with Managing Partner Chris Whitehead

Posted On: 01 08 2019

Why do you think Dubai is, now more than ever, a luxury property buyer’s market?

It’s mainly due to the level of luxury property being offered. In the last five years, Dubai has seen an evolution in luxury product as each developer competes to attract the growing influx of high net worth individuals. By and large, luxury property buyers already own trophy assets internationally, and these same buyers have a level of lifestyle that they wish to maintain. As a result, developers have had to push standards further than ever before through architecture, design and innovation.

What are the key communities Gulf Sotheby’s work in?

We predominately work with luxury developments, and specific high value assets within communities that are considered luxury. For example, we are the market leaders at Emirates Hills, and we have really strong relationships with Palm Jumeirah villas and exclusive projects such as One Palm, which is located on the island. We also work with Al Barari, Dubai Marina and Downtown penthouses. More recently we have taken on high value properties with Dubai Hills such as Hills Grove and Fairway Vistas.

3) Why is opening an office in DIFC so significant?

Being the central financial district of Dubai, The DIFC (Dubai International Financial Centre) is home to many of the professionals and businesses that we service. Our presence there makes us easily accessible to our client base and it’s also in perfect alignment with our brand and where we see ourselves in the market. We are the first and only real estate agency to be accepted into the financial district, showing the strength and value of working with us.

4) How have you seen Dubai evolve?

As you can imagine, being a 20 year veteran of Dubai I have seen the city rise from the desert. Not only has the skyline changed, but the infrastructure has developed at an unbelievable rate. The shift in the economy, from being dependent on oil to being more focused on trade, has been remarkable. I have seen the population grow from under one million people to three in the last 15 years. So yes, Dubai has evolved a lot.

5) What gives a Dubai Home its wow factor compared to international properties?

Lots of things, but chiefly its safety, climate, free trade, the opportunities that are available, its accessibility, its tax free status and its myriad of lifestyle benefits.

6) What changes do you foresee in the market over the next 12 months?

We expect to see more of what we’ve seen over the last 12 months, and to continue the incentives that are attracting overseas investment and residency. I think we will see Chinese presence continue to increase both in terms of population and goods with the completion of the Silk Road agreement. I also think there will be continued stabilisation in the real estate sector, as greater affordability and the extremely low entry point we now have benefits buyers by yielding high returns.

To view any of Gulf Sotheby’s luxury properties in Dubai Click Here

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