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Six Senses sells 75% of branded Dubai units ahead of 2024 debut

Building, Water, Vacation
Construction is under way for Six Senses Residences The Palm, an area of 1.2m sq ft on Palm Jumeirah
  • Real estate broker sold $22m of Six Senses Residences last month
  • 162 residences to be ready for 2024, with 75% already snapped up 
  • Branded residences in the emirate command premium of up to 40% 

The first Six Senses Residences in Dubai is planned for 2024 as the CEO of the global luxury hospitality brand reports demand from affluent and existing UAE residents.

Neil Jacobs said the progressing construction of Six Senses Residences The Palm, alongside a 61-room hotel, represents a “new milestone for the brand”. 

“The property price growth being seen in Dubai’s prime market is something that is here to stay,” he told AGBI. “We see inquiries for Six Senses Residences The Palm, Dubai from affluent expatriates coming to Dubai and from existing residents looking to make the city their primary home.”

Dubai real estate broker Metropolitan Premium Properties said last month it has sold properties at Six Senses Residences worth over $22 million.

“Six Senses Residences forms an integral part of our growth plans as we continue to expand into key urban centres around the world. With Dubai’s status as a leading city, it was naturally a priority for us,” Jacobs said.

The project will feature 162 branded residences stretching along a private beach on the Western Crescent of Palm Jumeirah, with 75 percent of the units already snapped up by investors.

Prices for a two-bed apartment start at about $2m while a penthouse will cost buyers at least $5.6m.

Six Senses CEO Neil Jacobs
Six Senses CEO Neil Jacobs

The development will spread across an area of 1.2 million sq ft, with construction under way. Excavation works have been completed and shoring is in progress, with the project slated to be completed in 2024.

The branded residences on The Palm will include two- to four-bedroom apartments, some with private pools, 121 penthouses, 32 sky villas, and nine signature beachfront villas, all managed by Six Senses and with access to the hotel’s facilities.

“Dubai is a popular destination known for its contemporary, ultramodern architecture, beautiful shorelines and outstanding restaurant scene. It was less of a question of ‘why’ and more of a question of ‘when’,” said Jacobs who joined Six Senses in 2012 and previously held senior roles at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Starwood Capital Group.

Since taking the helm at the Thailand-based company, he said his focus has been to elevate the brand in terms of responsible design, green initiatives, and wellness programming.

It has expanded its private residence offering in destinations including Fiji, Turkey, and Seychelles, with projects in London and Bangkok also on the way.

“In the eyes of the international buyer, Dubai’s profile is strengthened by its low-interest rates, innovative new visa initiatives, and pipeline of high-end turnkey residential property,” he said.

“At the start of 2022, Dubai also flipped its working week, making the city more appealing for expats and digital nomads looking to relocate,” he said.

Three-quarters of the units at Six Senses Residences The Palm have already been sold

The emirate’s love affair with branded residences has flourished since 2010 when the Armani Residences Burj Khalifa first entered the market.

There are 580 branded residence schemes worldwide with almost 100,000 units between them, and the market is predicted to exceed more than 900 by 2026.

The UAE has 39 completed residences and is among the countries with the greatest number of projects planned, alongside the US and Mexico.

Dubai is one of the top three branded residential markets globally, a list topped by Miami.

There are two clear concentrations of branded residential property – Central Dubai, stretching outward from Downtown Dubai, along Dubai Canal and out to Jumeirah 1, and New Dubai, encompassing The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Lake Towers.

Jacobs expects the UAE to attract the largest net inflow of high net worth individuals globally in 2022, and see a growing demand for branded residences.

“A key differentiator for branded residences is the range and quality of amenities on offer,” he said.

“For those in urban areas, creating a retreat for residents, which feels a world away from its busy surroundings, is all the more important as consumer priorities shift towards having spaces for relaxation and connection on the doorstep.

“Now (almost) normal service has resumed for global travel, the convenience of a city-centre residence equipped with seamless housekeeping and a lock-up-and-leave solution can’t be understated.

“The top branded residential schemes offer on-site teams, ready to anticipate residents’ every need, ensuring each stay is seamless and effortless.”

As more high net worth individuals move to the UAE, there is a growing demand for branded residences like Six Senses Residences

Six Senses Residences The Palm, Dubai will offer “uncompromising lifestyle”, he said, with residents having access to the hotel’s facilities and full use of leisure, sports, business, and recreational facilities.

These include a micro-farm, tennis courts, padel courts and dedicated running tracks, as well as the 60,000-sq ft social and wellness club which includes a longevity clinic, biohacking room and massage circuit pool.

Jacobs said: “As international travel continues to return and many people go back to city-based offices, interest is rising once again for residences in urban centres – particularly from highly mobile individuals looking for the services, amenities, turnkey convenience, and the ‘world away’ experience branded residences offer.

“Alongside Dubai, and the recent launches of Six Senses Residences London at The Whiteley and Six Senses Residences The Forestias on the outskirts of Bangkok, these projects represent the expansion of the brand’s residential footprint.”

Jacobs also said that following the success of Six Senses Residences Courchevel, alpine destinations also remain a priority, with Six Senses Residences Crans-Montana in the Swiss Alps opening early next year, followed by Six Senses Residences Kitzbühel Alps in Austria completing at the end of 2024.

From luxury car manufacturers to fashion houses and high-end hospitality names, residential buildings by businesses known for everything but real estate are increasingly making their mark in Dubai.

Six Senses
The natural interiors of Six Senses Residences reflect the style of its wellness spa resorts

Luxury branded residences in the emirate, also including the likes of Four Seasons and Bulgari, are commanding a premium of up to 40 percent over similar non-branded product specifications, said Prathyusha Gurrapu, head of research and advisory, at consultants CORE.

Dean Foley, head of residential project sales and marketing at Knight Frank Middle East, said: “We have seen an explosion of this asset class with strong demand from HNWI and ultra-high-net-worth individual (UHNWI) buyers from across the globe.

“Such has been the rate of expansion that Dubai is now a global leader rivalling Miami and New York for completed and pipeline projects.”

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