Whether you're looking to live the high life in the city, are seeking a quiet hideaway on the edge of town or a wonderful waterfront retreat, the Middle Eastern locations of Istanbul, Doha, Bahrain and Dubai have plenty to offer the discerning property investor this year.
Luxury property is very much on the up in Istanbul. According to Knight Frank’s Global Price Index, by September 2015 Turkey was one of five countries that recorded double-digit annual price growth. In fact, the country was topping the rankings with prices up 18.9 per cent on the previous year. A strong level of foreign investment is thought to be part of the reason for the increase and this is currently showing no signs of declining.
Bahrain scored highly on Bloomberg Markets' Most Promising Emerging and Frontier Markets ranking for 2015, hitting the number five spot, whilst major new developments and infrastructure have helped to boost the economy and property demand in Doha.
The price of rental property in Doha has soared, resulting in excellent prospects for investors. Freehold property ownership is restricted to certain areas, such as The Pearl-Qatar, which has helped keep prices buoyant, say estate agency, LS: Keep Moving.
As far as Dubai goes, it remains one of the prime locations for luxury developments and investment opportunities and doesn’t look set to lose its reputation any time soon.
Bebek in the modern district of Beşiktaş, about seven miles from the centre of Istanbul, is one of the favoured waterfront locations. Situated on the European shore of the Bosporus, Bebek revels in fabulous views across the bay and a much sought-after lifestyle.
The grand historic waterfront properties, with private jetties, typically come with price tags of $30m+, whereas villas set slightly back from the water, but still with bay views, are available for $15m upwards.
The area of Alkent on the outskirts of Istanbul is also a hub of high-class developments. This select area overlooks Lake Büyükçekmece and the Marmara Sea, yet is only 20 minutes from Istanbul Atatürk Airport and five minutes from the marina.
One notable development is Oceanic Bay View, a gated community of luxury villas built on eco-friendly principles. The five-bedroom villa, over three floors, is 405sqm, with all home systems controlled by technology. “The technology means the integrated home systems can be controlled remotely,” explains Adil Yaman from Universal21. A useful ability for holiday homeowners, no doubt. Villas start from $1,595,000.
The vibrant area of Mecidiyeköy in Istanbul has been transformed by the two Trump Towers, lavishly designed in true Trump style. The high-end residences, with floor to ceiling windows, offer views across the city, forest and nearby Bosporus strait.
Some of the most sought-after locations for foreign prime property investors are The Pearl-Qatar and West Bay Lagoon, where freehold properties are available.
Regarded as being the 'premier residential tower' in Doha, the 62-storey Kempinski Residences and Suites offer contemporary living and modern amenities. The Sky Villas, on floors 58 and 62, provide spectacular views over the Doha skyline. Opened in 2010, re-sale apartments from one to four bedrooms are available, but get snapped up quickly.
The combination of a luxury private residence and resort-style living is achieved to a tee at La Plage Villas in The Pearl. A six-bedroom villa arranged over three floors, with 1212sqm of space, is on the market for $12.6m. Expertly designed and with every need catered for, you could relax in an infinity pool, enjoy your own private landscaped garden or have direct access to a private beach.
At a slightly lower price, but still maintaining luxurious standards, a five-bedroom penthouse with a direct marina view in the Pearl’s Sabban Towers will set you back $3.9m.
One of the top property hotspots in Bahrain are the Amwaj Islands. These manmade islands were created from reclaimed land and are famed for their engineering mastery. Sometimes known as the ‘floating city’ each of the islands has its own unique style and characteristics.
Not surprisingly, beachfront properties are the biggest pull here. A top beach villa, with high-end interior fittings, five bedrooms, Mobalpa designed kitchen, home gym and maid’s rooms will set you back $2,386,701.
The Dragon Hotel and Resort is located close to the entrance of the Amwaj Islands and has 12 luxury beachfront villas. The architecture is inspired by the shape of a sleeping dragon and each five bedroom property has its own swimming pool and garden on a plot of up to 613sqm. Villas benefit from 24-hour concierge and security, as well as a private swimming pool and Jacuzzi.
Dubai is still filled with plenty of opportunities for the luxury property investor. One of the most unusual new developments is the Kleindienst Group’s Floating Seahorse. Dubbed “the first of its kind in the world”, this unique project is part house, part boat. Only 42 Floating Seahorse residences are being built, with one level of the three—with glass walls, of course— completely underwater.
Uniquely fabricated with marine approved materials and technology, the space beneath the homes, where an artificial coral reef is being constructed, will become a protected area for seahorses. The 1,700sqft villas cost in the region of $1.8m, with only a few remaining.
Back on dry land, the Emirates Hills area remains a top location for prime property, with a prestigious eight-bedroom villa on an exceptional 31,266sqft plot selling for $34,849,374.
Also continuing to thrive is Emaar Properties’ Arabian Ranches developments. Marketed as a ‘lifestyle community’, the elite luxury Polo Homes are adjacent to the Polo Club and offer a haven away from city life. A six-bedroom polo home, on a 24,070sqft plot, is currently selling for $6,506,677
All prices subject to change. Price converted to USD and correct at the time of going to press.