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Plot of Sand in Dubai Sells for Record $34 Million

Most expensive plot of sand sold on Jumeirah Bay island
Most expensive plot of sand sold on Jumeirah Bay island. Credit: Imre Solt / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

A big piece of sandy land on an island in Dubai was recently sold for 125 million dirhams (US$34 million), making it the most expensive sale ever in that area.

Even though it’s not a fancy mansion, penthouse, or designer apartment, this empty lot on Jumeirah Bay Island is highly sought-after and was sold for over 5,000 dirhams ($1,361) per square foot.

The island is shaped like a seahorse and can be reached by a bridge from the mainland of Dubai. The buyer, whose name is not known, doesn’t live in the United Arab Emirates and plans to build a holiday home on the property.

“It’s 125 million for sand,” Andrew Cummings, head of prime residential at Knight Frank in Dubai said.

He further said, “Everything that’s been making the press has predominantly been spectacular villas, it’s been incredible penthouses and all this stuff. But this is just a massive record breaker for a land plot.”

Dubai’s Real Estate

According to the Dubai Land Department, the property was purchased for 36.5 million dirhams ($9.9 million) two years ago, which means the seller made a hefty profit of 88.5 million dirhams ($24 million).

Dubai’s real estate market has become very attractive due to high oil prices, wealthy individuals seeking to invest in property, and the city’s reputation as a low-tax, low-crime haven during times of pandemics and wars.

Russian buyers have been purchasing properties in Dubai, while new “golden” visas for long-term residents are enticing other wealthy investors to buy real estate in the city. Despite previous issues with overbuilding, some brokers now say that there is a shortage of properties – especially high-end properties – in Dubai.

Knight Frank’s Lyndsey Redstone, one of the brokers said, “Sellers are in quite a strong position at the moment to dictate where the prices are, because there are such limited options available for people to choose from, especially beachfront.”

Lands on Jumeirah Bay Island

The recently sold parcel of land is one of only 128 pieces of land available on Jumeirah Bay Island, developed by Meraas Holding and backed by the government. This makes the property very exclusive when compared to the thousands of homes on the Palm Jumeirah development.

While the rules prevent subdividing the land, some buyers have combined parcels to create space for large mansions. Only a few homes on the island have been completed, while others are under construction, and some have yet to begin.

In addition to private homes, Jumeirah Bay Island is home to the luxurious Bulgari Resort and the upcoming Bulgari Lighthouse Tower, where apartment sales have already reached high prices before construction is even completed.

In February, the most expensive apartment – a nine-bedroom penthouse with five parking spaces – was sold for 410 million dirhams ($111.6 million).

Real estate brokers predict that more records will be broken in the future. For example, the seller of the recently sold property also owns an identical plot of land next to it, which he plans to sell for 135 million dirhams ($36.7 million).

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