Luke Jones, Luxhabitat's Al Barari expert gives potential investors and residents of Dubai a low-down on the area and why now is the best time to buy an Al Barari villa or apartment.
Q) Give us a quick snapshot of the Al Barari area.
LJ: Al Barari is a lush, green paradise located in the Nad Al Sheba district. A private gated community, it consists of 189 exclusive villas and more recently the off plan apartments and of the course The Nest making Barari the lowest density urban space in Dubai. There are 2,000 species of trees and plants that span the 4.2 million square feet development, with over 80% of the area covered in greenery, creating a micro-climate in the locality. The community additionally hosts several meandering walkways and pathways amidst the greenery, in addition to an organic restaurant called 'The Farm', tennis courts as well as the amazing Body Language fitness centre.
There are several types of available ready villas and off-plan projects for this master development. Besides the four basic villa types, namely: Dahlia, Bromellia, Acacia, and Camellia, the development has released 3 significant off-plan projects, one being Ashjar, which features 21 low-rise towers that host 1,2 and 3 bedroom flats; 7th Heaven, which is a seven storeys tall apartment complex that features 1,2,3 and 4 bedrooms; and of course, the most notable 'The Nest' villas which are a selection of 99 smaller, residential villas with plot sizes ranging from 9,000 to 15,000 square feet and built-up areas between 6,300 to 7,000 square feet. Prices range from 8 million and could go up to 16 million. The launch for The Nest was very successful all villas have been sold. There are 50 of these villas are going to be used as rentals privately managed by Al Barari. Al Barari also has 28 freehold plots called 'The Reserve', where the buyers are given the unique option to build and design their own villas. This particular project attracts an ultra high networth clientele, with plot sizes going up to a substantial 60,000 square feet. All these projects are due for completion between 2016 and 2017, and will be constructed keeping the botanical surroundings in tow with its development.
Q) What are the current market and price trends in the area?
LJ: Al Barari is the perfect location for a lot of savvy buyers. A rare combination of construction quality, lifestyle choice, and of course, infrastructure going into the development only adds value in the long run. Of course some residents will upgrade and extend the villa, whereas some may choose to buy extra land from the developer in the hope of adding extra value to the property. From a price perspective, I transacted a B type in October for 17.7 million, they’re now selling at around the 16 million mark. So yes, even the Al Barari area has had a correction.
In terms of price trends, prices have dropped in recent times for these villas. After almost a year of a stand-off between buyers and sellers, sellers are finally starting to offer a fair market price. This is the perfect time to purchase a villa in this exclusive locality; in the emergence of a buyer's market.
Q) What is a typical buyer of an Al Barari property like?
LJ: Both in the off-plan and the re-sale market, I usually see different types of investors and residents, most of them from Europe, India and the GCC. Generally they are white-collar professionals, high income earners or ultra high networth individuals that are family oriented. They also tend to like the outdoors, which Al Barari provides. Most of them are end-users, but it is not uncommon to see people use their Al Barari houses as a holiday home or a significant part of their real estate portfolio.
Q) Why do people choose to invest or live in this area?
LJ: Rich foliage and emphasis on sustainability in its surroundings, privacy, quality of the villas as well as its design are the three main reasons why people choose to stay in Al Barari. The price per square feet for these villas offers much more value to investors than the Emirates Hills area. In addition to this, Al Barari will soon have access to a service road that will connect the area to Downtown and the Dubai Marina areas. This service road will be completed within a year. On completion of construction, one can access the Downtown area within 12 minutes and the Dubai Marina area within 15-20 minutes.
Q) What are the current price points to own a property in Al Barari?
LJ: A standard ready villa costs between AED 12 to 17 million. However, LUXHABITAT also hosts a handful of what I'd like to call "super villas." These villas are exclusive and highly upgraded with European fittings, plot extensions and renovations and can fetch up to AED 45- 50 million on sale. We currently have the only villa for sale in The Reserve, which actually has been used in the cover of this year's The Private Collection magazine. We also have another Super villa in the Desert Leaf that is without doubt one of the most exclusive villas on the market.
Q) Lastly, any parting advice to potential sellers and buyers of Al Barari properties?
LJ: Sellers need to understand that there has been a price correction in the market for Al Barari. A buyer's market is now clearly emerging. With the additional oversupply of property inventory in this area, sellers should be prepared to negotiate and have a degree of flexibility in order to achieve a transaction. Another consideration for buyers and sellers would be to find a professional experienced broker they can trust who really understands the market and can meet all their needs and requirements. And lastly, for buyers rest assured you're buying a premium product in one of Dubai’s most prestigious developments.