When I take the occasional break from marketing international properties to clients from around the world, there's a game I like to play. If money were no object, where in Dubai would I like to live? Would it be a beachfront penthouse at Alef Residences? A stunning mansion at XXII Carat? Or maybe something in Downtown would suit my fancy, such as one of the gorgeous full-floor penthouses at The 118 Downtown. Perhaps a luxury home overlooking the Dubai Canal at Volante.
As a purveyor of luxury homes and developments, it's interesting to stop and think which property truly captures the essence of luxury for me. This of course brings me to that age-old question that I have been asked quite often by clients and colleagues alike - what is luxury? With regard to real estate, especially in Dubai, people have a fixed idea of what defines luxury, and it usually takes the form of an incredibly large and glamorous mansion with cavernous interiors and stunning views of the city.
Dubai has a number of established luxury communities with homes that certainly fit that image, and each community has its specific USPs that make it popular among residents. The Alef and XXII Carat, for example, are two very distinct developments that share a fantastic location - the Palm Jumeirah. The former is a luxury apartment and penthouse development with spacious contemporary interiors and overlooking beautiful ocean panoramas. It is fully serviced by the adjoining W Hotel and has an exclusive Resident's Club.
XXII Carat, on the other hand, is a very limited collection of beachfront villas in their own private enclave, with a very opulent interior design scheme. In an area like Downtown Dubai, you will find The 118 Downtown, which also features an exclusive selection of residences and a bespoke concierge service to handle the small details of your everyday life.
If I were to consider a more established community and one geared toward families, I would certainly look into one of the splendid villas at Emirates Hills. Over the past few weeks, I have had the privilege of meeting with vendors in the area for the purposes of appraising their homes, and each villa I have seen has managed to surpass the one before it.
The same can be said for the villas at Al Barari, and one particular villa I viewed just last week that features a truly magnificent sense of interior design. With incredible facilities that include custom-designed European kitchens, home gyms, private theatres and gorgeous pool decks, these villas possess the rare quality of being a great family home as well as a place to entertain guests.
Ultimately, whatever their specialty and the perks they offer, the key factors that hold true across all of these areas are good architecture, well-planned interior design, high quality materials and, most importantly, location. Dubai's finest properties, and the ones that I would be most likely to consider buying, all contain just the right combination of these elements, delivering stylish and elegant homes that are well-connected to the rest of the city.
If it were up to me, I could play this game all day as the options really endless. Of course, while the question of the best place to live in Dubai is purely hypothetical, it is one that our private client office does indeed get asked quite frequently. Thankfully, our answers are not limited by the price tag.
We are very fortunate to live in a city that offers such diversity in its lifestyles. From beachfront to golf course, from skyline views to stunning marinas and water canals, polo fields to nature reserves and lush green parks. Dubai truly is a place where luxury resides.
The writer is founder and CEO of LuxuryProperty.com. Views expressed are his own and do not reflect the newspaper's policy.