There is a growing demand for high-quality and innovative design solutions in the prime residential market across the region.

According to the Q2 2019 Real Estate Report published by Jones Lang LaSalle, around 50,000 residential units are expected to enter UAE’s market in the second half of 2019 and residential supply is expected to exceed 700,000 by the end of 2021.

Contributing to the upward trend are projects such as Dubai Creek Harbour, Al Habtoor City and Emaar’s Mina Rashid in Dubai. In Abu Dhabi, the recently announced Yas Bay and Alreeman II are amongst the projects to watch, with the latter already having generated $114 million in sales for developer Aldar upon its June 2019 launch.

“Building on visa reforms, changes in freehold policies and diversification of economy, the demand for high-quality residential design continues to grow across the Middle East as potential home owners plan for long-term commitment to the region,” says Ellen Søhoel, Founder, XBD Collective in Dubai. “Clients finally have the opportunity to either build from the ground up or make major alterations to their properties.”

There is also a shift in client expectations. Architects, interior designers and developers are working to meet the aspirations of a generation of home-owners that expect the industry to push creative boundaries and deliver concepts that are unprecedented in the region.

“In the past, premium projects were expected to have ostentatious detailing and over the top features. Nowadays, both private clients and developers are finally appreciating a contemporary, uncluttered aesthetic,” says Ivar Krasiniki, Founding Partner and Design Director of Edge Architects. Nearing completion, their 46-storey, $272 million 1/JBR residential tower on Dubai’s famous beachfront stands out for its minimal yet bold design. “The future of the residential market will be focused on value addition, where prestige is expressed through masterfully resolved functions and the quality of the materials and fittings.”  

Martin Fryzelka, Managing Director, Preciosa Lighting Middle East also sees a rise in the demand for contemporary design in the Middle East’s residential sector: “Not that long ago, more than 50% of our projects in the Middle East were classic or neo-classic. Now, more than 90% of our clients require a contemporary interpretation.” In 2018, Preciosa won 37 residential projects that specified a minimum of $275,000 worth of bespoke lighting solutions. The Czech brand expects at least 20% growth in 2019-2020.

After posting a record $136 million in sales bookings in the first quarter of 2019, UAE-based real estate developer Sobha Realty recently announced the launch of One Park Avenue, its latest residential tower in Dubai. “One Park Avenue was born out of our mission to disrupt the status quo in Dubai’s residential market” said Francis Alfred, Managing Director and CEO. The development will reimagine residential projects through a contemporary lens where new-age services come together with green living.