Dubai is a city known for huge ostentatious villas and, with aspirations as the ‘Beverly Hills of Dubai’, Emirates Hills is a neighbourhood full of just such palatial abodes.
But this 10 bedroom home, which takes up two full-sized villa plots at the prestigious gated community, makes many of its plush neighbours pale in comparison. Taking up a whopping 32,200 square feet in terms of built up area – roughly the same size as a small factory – the super modern white facaded villa is so big that the entrance hall, complete with Buddha statue and huge hanging light sculpture, feels more akin to a hotel lobby than a family home.
An enormous lounge also reminiscent of a hotel lobby leads on to not one, but two kitchens – one for family cooking and another for entertaining. A downstairs guest suite comes with its own large lounge area, private terrace and bathroom and a private gym comes with new cardiovascular equipment, TV and shower. And of course there is a home office as large as many people’s entire apartment.
There is a lift to save you the trouble of walking up the grand staircase to the first floor. The five bedrooms upstairs all come with their own walk in closets and en-suite bath and shower rooms. The master bedroom also includes a dressing room, private steam room and full bathroom.
A second floor includes a lounge area as well as a roof terrace, bar, sun deck and large hot tub with views of the Montgomerie golf course and the Dubai Marina.
A large basement includes two more double bedrooms and two twin bedrooms as well as a TV room with vintage memorabilia and Vogue-style designs and with access to a sunken garden.
Below stairs the villa includes accommodation for a housekeeper, a guard, a dormitory for three maids and their kitchen, bathroom and dining facilities as well as a laundry room.
A large swimming pool in the garden comes with underwater speakers so that you can hear your favourite tunes even while you take a dip. And in the fully air conditioned underground parking area which has space for five cars and a cleaning area, there is even space to put up personalised logos to match the vehicles.
But such luxury comes with an eye wateringly high price tag. The villa is currently on the market Dh179 million – nearly six times as much as some of the neighbouring villas in the district.
Q&A with Ian Kirkby, Luxury Sales Director at selling agent Luxhabitat:
Who lives in a house like this?
The owner is a European private banker who bought the house as shell and core and has spent the last two years finishing the property. He plans to stay in Dubai and quite likes the idea of doing up another house now that he has finished this one.
How does it compare to other house prices?
If this sale goes through, I believe it will be the most expensive property sale in Dubai for six months and the most expensive ever in Emirates Hills.
Given the fact that house prices in Dubai are falling, how can a house go one the market for this much?
A lot of sellers in Emirates Hills are people who bought back in 2001 when they paid Dh10 million for a villa and are now selling it for at least Dh50 million. These people can afford to sit and wait until the right offer comes in.
What sort of people are looking at this sort of property?
We are currently doing three or four viewings every week on this property so there are definitely people still out there with the money to buy it. The majority of buyers are Eastern Europeans, Russians, Iranians and 40 per cent of viewings are from local families who want something palatial but at the same time westernised and contemporary design.
Given current market conditions how can anyone afford it?
In Dubai we have seen that the market for mid-market properties which cost between Dh5 million to Dh15 million has stalled as global economic conditions have worsened and the oil price has fallen. However, this has not affected the super wealthy. They don’t mind if prices fall or rise by an extra 10 per cent.
Top 5 most valuable homes in the world at the start of 2016
1. Buckingham Palace, London – US$1.56 billion
2. Antilla tower, Mumbai – US$1 billion
3. Vila Leopolda, Côte d’Azure, France – US$736 million
4. The White House, Washington – US$320m
5. Fairfield, The Hamptons, US – US248 million
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