A wave of Singaporean and Iranian money is set to hit the Dubai prime property market as the city recovers from the financial crisis.
Knight Frank said yesterday that prime villa prices in Dubai rose 20 per cent last year, with Indians, Pakistanis and Russians emerging as the top three buying nationalities.
But the broker expects buyers from Iran and Singapore to lead the international investor pack this year - targeting prime properties.
The agent found that the number of high net worth individuals with more than US$30 million (Dh110.1m) rose by 5 per cent in 2012. In Singapore the report found that there were 1,345 high net worth individuals last year - a number it predicts to grow by 43 per cent over the coming decade.
"Dubai is already very cosmopolitan and the largest segments of buyers at present are Indians and Pakistanis, followed by Saudi Arabians and other GCC nationals. Russians, Europeans and other western nationalities also continue to invest and reside in the UAE," said Helen Tatham, the director of residential at Knight Frank Dubai. "What's interesting, however, is that developers have started to expand beyond the traditional markets and are targeting buyers from Africa and Asia."
UAE high net worth buyers were found to be the second highest proportion of overseas buyers in Jakarta, Indonesia and the third highest in Paris, Vienna and Nairobi.
Over the next couple of years Knight Frank predicts that rich UAE buyers will also flock to Monaco, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur as the global prime property markets become more international.
A survey of Knight Frank's development analysts found that nearly 40 per cent more of those questioned said that prices for new property in the Middle East and Africa had increased over the past year compared with those who said prices had fallen - the highest proportion of any region globally.
About 25 per cent more of those questioned also said prices for new property in the region had increased over the past three months - the second highest region in the world after Asia-Pacific.