Life in St. Johns Wood

St Johns Wood is a residential neighbourhood in Central London’s, City of Westminster. I have memories in St Johns Wood from my childhood spanning to my young adulthood. It is a very popular location with many different demographics. Americans like to stay in St Johns Wood to be in close proximity to The American School, whilst buyers from The Middle East love it due to its central yet peaceful residential nature.

St Johns Wood High Street

The Royal Park:

Regents Park:

Regents Park is such an extensive park, there are so many different features and aspects.

Regents Park St Johns Wood

Primrose Hill:

Throughout my childhood, I would spend weekends at Primrose Hill, with my childhood friend Tina. There was just so much for us to do, we were never bored.

As young children, our favourite activity in Primrose Hill was zooming down from the peak on our bicycles. We would sweat and pant to go up the hill with our small legs, but we knew it was worth the journey. Once we would reach the peak we would wait to catch our breath and take in the splendid view from the top of the hill. Then for the surge of adrenaline and the thrill, we would zoom down through the grass and daffodils and scream in excitement.

I also learned to roller-blade at Primrose Hill, despite occurring quite a few cuts and grazes on my knees in the process. As time progressed and we grew a bit older we would start spending time at the outdoor gym, called the Hill Trim Trail.

Sports:

The school I attended, North Bridge House, was also next door to Regents Park. Our teachers would take us to the park for break times as well as P.E sessions. It was very convenient as the park has a multitude of sporting facilities, such as multiple netball & tennis courts, cricket, rounders, rugby and football pitches as well as a running track. There are also multiple playgrounds and ponds which are home to rowing and paddling boats.

Children’s Playground:

In addition to the wide range of sporting facilities, Regents Park is also home to multiple children’s playgrounds to cater to children of all ages. There are traditional play areas such as seesaws, sandpits and climbing frames as well as more adventurous play areas featuring timber treehouses.

Nature and Wildlife:

Regents Park is also home to extraordinary gardens and parklands as well as heavenly wildlife, significantly birdlife. The fact that the park is in Central London makes it all the more breathtaking. When I think back to my childhood, I realise I really didn’t comprehend the beauty of this park, its diverse range of environments, the woodlands, meadows and gardens.

The largest collection of roses within London can be found at the Regents Park rose garden, where there is approximately 12,000 roses planted. Close to the waterfall at the inner circle, one can also find a group of ancient fossilised tree trunks.

The Royal Academy of Music, has recently created an app which provides a soundscape for visitors to listen to. The songs which play are an interpretation of the characteristics of different trees in the park. The tone of the music differs based on the tree the visitor is close to.

Research has shown that trees provide benefits for the people that surround them. Heart rate and stress levels are known to slow as well as blood pressure. House prices are also positively linked to mature trees.

Jubilee Gates:

Jubilee Gates St Johns Wood

This majestic park also features grand iron gates which were installed to mark the Silver Jubilee of King George V and the official opening of Queen Mary’s Gardens in 1935.

London Zoo:

London Zoo was first opened in the early 1800’s. It has become the worlds oldest scientific zoo!

It is home to 22,000 animals and the forefront of technology and progress.

London Zoo is a world leader in the research and protection of endangered animals as well as a huge London tourist attraction. It aims to inspire future generations about the conservation of wildlife and its challenges. It has been quoted by Sir David Attenborough that ‘No television programme can replace the actual reality of standing close to an elephant for a child to understand what an elephant is’.

Open Air Theatre:

The oldest professional outdoor theatre in England is The Open Air Theatre which was established in 1932, it is home to one of the largest auditoriums in the capital.

Notable Residents & Property:

I used to walk to Selfridges on Oxford Street, through Baker Street from Regents Park and St Johns Wood. I would be amazed by the incredible homes and villas and just stare in awe imaging the lives that happened inside.

The spectacular Winefield House is the residence of the American Ambassador, it is located at Regents Park, having been built in the 1930’s. It is home to the largest private garden in the capital after only Buckingham Palace.

The Holme is a private residence of the Saudi Royal Family situated at Regents Park. Several days in a year its garden is open to the public.

The Omani Royal Family also has a private residence located at Regents Park, which is known now as Grove House, originally Nuffield Lodge. The private residence of the Brunei Royal Family is also situated in St Johns Wood.

St Paul McCartney once removed his shoes on a hot summers day and walked across a zebra crossing on Abbey Road. This later became the famous photo of ‘The Beatles’ Abbey Road album, which was recorded in St Johns Wood too. Sir Paul McCartney is still the proud owner of his property adjacent to the high street. It has become one of the most affluent postcodes in London and yet still managed to maintain its trendy and bohemian feel.

St Johns Wood High Street

In more recent times, Regents Park has also become home to artist Damien Hirst and the iconic fashion designer Tom Ford. Christian Candy the billionaire property tycoon is another one of the residents in St Johns Wood with a mason by the park, his residence is one of the largest in London at over 45,000 square feet.

Another notable feature of my walks was the London Central Mosque, I found the architecture and culture fascinating. The mosque had been donated to the Mulsim community by King George VI. King Saudi and Sheikh Zayed had given generous donations for the construction in 1969.

Lords Cricket Ground:

My daily route to school as a child would pass the awe-inspiring Lord’s Cricket Ground. As a young teenager, I could not fully comprehend the significance of this cricket stadium. Lord’s, having opened in 1814, is known as the ‘home of cricket’.

Lord's Cricket Ground

The oldest sports museum is the world is housed here, it is home to a collection of memorabilia such as a now stuffed sparrow which had once been struck mid-air by Jahangir Khan in a 1936 match.

These grounds are not just historic and beautiful but also enjoy many architectural feats.

In 1999 the Media Centre at Lords Cricket Grounds had won the RIBA Stirling prize for architecture, the structure was commissioned, using boat-building technology, for the Cricket World Cup the same year.

Universities:

Universities in St Johns Wood

During my time working at Foxtons Estate Agency in Central London, I would meet many prestigious Middle Eastern families whose kids were studying at the universities around Regents Park. London Business School, London School of Film and Media and Regents University are just a few of the universities situated at St Johns Wood. St Johns Wood is also a popular location for students studying at UCL (University College London), University of Westminster, SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) and LSE (London School of Economics).

Wellington Hospital:

The Wellington Hospital in St Johns Wood is another significant consideration as it is The UK’s biggest private hospital that provides specialist complex care.

Features of the hospital are a hydrotherapy pool, rehabilitation gyms, there are even on-site translators for international patients. The UK’s largest intensive care unit is also here at The Wellington Hospital.

Delicatessens and Cafes:

Despite urbanisation and the presence of high street chains, St John’s Wood has managed to maintain its charming and quaint character, unlike many other London High Streets. The neighbourhood is well known for independent delicatessens, boutiques and cafes such as Maison Blanc famous for its authentic French pâtisserie.

Cafes St Johns Wood

Another hotspot for delicious freshly baked bread as well as the pastry is Gails Artisan Bakery.

London’s original delicatessen Panzer is where the foodie hub of St Johns Wood begins. Panzers is famous worldwide for its carve-to-order hand-sliced salmon station. Customers are able to select how smoked they wish their salmon to be! Many celebrities are known to frequent Panzers, such as Nigella Lawson.

What’s the hot news happening in Queensway? Paris-style street dining planned.

A £3 billion project has been unveiled by a conglomerate of high-end property developers. This will see Queensway transformed, featuring elegant glass pods with copper frames and umbrellas in order to create a Parisian vibe. Outdoor dining and wider pavements are key features to promote people walking rather than driving, bringing an al fresco atmosphere to West London. The regeneration will completely transform the location to provide a new experience. The work is on track to be complete by 2026.

Queensway Central London

Londons’ first-ever department store The Whitley’s is set to be turned into the luxury and exclusive Six Senses Hotel and Spa as well as provide luxury residential homes.

The overhaul will transform the location, it will feature Parisian-styled street pavilions, public realm improvements as well as landmark developments plus a new entrance to The Hyde Park. This will be a new elite corner of London for living, shopping, dining and leisure. The two flagship properties of this redevelopment are Park Modern which is overlooking Hyde Park and The Whiteley which is Londons’ first-ever department store. This is the largest investment Queensway has ever seen, the entire retail tone of the street will be completely transformed. The street will offer world-class new homes as well as shops restaurants and public spaces.

The key developments:

Queensway Paris-style street dining

1. Park Modern luxury residences are currently under construction. With splendid views onto Hyde Park, this development is home to 52 new luxury apartments, three penthouses and two mews houses.

2. A brand new entrance to Kensington Gardens, with a new pedestrian-friendly crossing to Hyde Park.

Queensway Paris-style street dining

3. The Whiteley, set to complete in late 2023, has architecture by the world-leading Foster & Partners. It blends modern architecture so graceful with the retained and restored Grade II listed features which include the iconic dome plus the entire building frontage. The Whiteley will provide 139 luxury apartments with extra high ceilings. There will be 20 shops, cafes and restaurants as well as a cinema gym and the Flagship Six Senses hotel and spa.

Queensway is one of London’s best situated high streets. An improved pedestrian journey will provide an excellent route to connect Hyde Park to Notting Hill. For this project, public realm experts Public will be advising. They bring with them a wealth of experience and a track record of having transformed Marylebone and Mayfair.

UK Market Update: May 2022

The UK’s property market is showing no signs of slowing down, with prices climbing at their fastest rate since 2007. In February alone there was a 0.5% increase in pricing, which puts annual growth over 10%.

According to Halifax, the typical UK property has reported its biggest annual capital gains since they began this index over 40 years ago. Even amidst challenges from the post-COVID world! This strong momentum will sustain this vibrant industry through rising interest rates and the increased costs associated with everyday living.

With the recent financial squeeze on many UK households, it was expected that this would have an immediate impact on property prices. However, rising interest rates and inflation have only seemed to spur more buyers through fear of missing out further down the line!

The UK property market is booming, with prices increasing and demand constant. UK property owners are reaping the benefits of a resilient investment asset, with rising prices and greater potential for capital growth. The benefits don’t stop just here, the UK rental market is also at a 13-year high, fuelled by increased demand.

So investors find the market to provide even more opportunity than ever before – not only do investors have bigger returns but they also benefit from strong rental markets that allow short-term gains too with a higher rental return!

The rising prices are attracting investors and the reassurance that comes from an asset that has been proven resilient in times of economic uncertainty makes it one to consider now.

Dubai Market Update: May 2022

The Dubai property market is booming. In April, listings website Property Finder said sales transactions worth DH18.2 billion were recorded in that month alone. The highest figure since 2009!

The prices for villas in Dubai have been on an upwards trend. The total number of transactions conducted within Dubai’s residential property market rose 43% annually to 6342 over April alone according to consultancy CBRE’s report released earlier.

The report by CBRE shows that villa sales have increased 20% over the past year while apartments went up 9%. There was also a 1.9% increase in villa sales prices month on month in April.

In fact, some prime located properties have seen prices rise by almost 60% over the last 12 months. The largest increase in value has actually occurred at the top end of the market. To further demonstrate this can note that property values for villas in Palm Jumeirah had increased 5% in April alone whilst Al Barari and Jumeirah Golf Estates increased by 4.9% and 4.6% respectively.

The UAE property market is steadily recovering on the back of government initiatives. Residency permits for retirees and remote workers, as well as expansion within the 10-year golden visa program, have all played a part in this growth where it’s also benefited from an economic boost due to Expo 2020 Dubai!

The country also benefits from its extensive coronavirus vaccination program that has helped keep cases low. Despite some distant concerns about global economic stability at first glance, there are now more millionaires and billionaires in Dubai than ever before!

The economy and property market is booming so much that almost every month a new record is broken within the Dubai real estate market:

  • The most number of transactions within a month
  • The highest price per square foot achieved in Dubai (Bulgari Resort and Residences)
  • The sale of the most expensive property in Dubai
  • The highest priced villa sold in The Emirates Hills community for 102.8 million Dirhams
  • The most expensive off plan beachfront mansion sold for 115 million Dirhams due to be complete in Jumeirah Bay Island in 2024
  • The most expensive off-plan property to be purchased on a mortgage basis

We now observe a shortage of inventory in the prime luxury segment secondary market which drives up interest in prime off-plan property. As long as the property is of good high quality in a good location, there’s no shortage of buyers.

The Hot Debate: Will The Launch of Crossrail Affect Property Prices?

The Crossrail line has caused much debate about regeneration and house price growth. However our analysis has found that only a third of locations close to Crossrail stations have seen their values increase above local markets since the start of construction! The Crossrail effect has, however, been a major player in London’s real estate market for years now, and now with Elizabeth line finally open and speedy connectivity becoming a reality, we could see an even greater price growth.

Journey time along routes is expected to be reduced by up to 30%. This means that residents of previously more isolated locations can easily access key employment centres like The City and The West End.

Past rail initiatives have shown residential properties near stations to outperform wider markets.
Five years after the opening of the Jubilee extension there was an average of 7.3% property price growth for the local areas above the rest of the market.

Some areas surrounding new Crossrail stations haven’t been over-performing, but once full service starts on the line and connectivity steps up we expect to see a premium emerge for those who live nearby.

We anticipate Crossrail to have a larger impact on properties further out from Central London, as centrally located properties are already very well connected. However, the benefit to Central London would be an increased influx of people of retail and employment opportunities.

The full impact of Crossrail on property prices is yet to be seen and we do expect further growth.

A Day in Chelsea: My Diary

Chelsea is one of the most popular and exclusive neighborhoods in London, with its trendy restaurants, bars, and exclusive shops set on its leafy streets which are adorned with charming architecture. It makes no surprise that this neighbourhood is a magnet for expats and locals alike.

Chelsea in Bloom

Chelsea in Bloom

The Chelsea in Bloom is a beautiful time of the year when the streets around Sloane Square, Duke Of York Square, and many more areas come alive with fresh flowers. It’s truly stunning to see all these colorful displays filling up so much space. I can’t help but feel excited as I walk through the streets of Chelsea, taking in all of the sights and sounds around me.

Bluebird

I decide to have breakfast at the iconic Bluebird in Chelsea, situated on the prestigious Kings Road. I find my way downstairs to the courtyard, a tranquil haven with a casual and laid-back vibe – it’s the ideal place to start my day. I sit and people-watch whilst reading a good book; as I know spotting celebrities here is quite common! I enjoy fresh juice and breakfast which sets me up nicely for the day ahead.

Duke of York Square

maldon oyester chelsea

Another great spot to head to for foodies is The Duke of York Square in SW3. Every week, they hold a food market with fresh, local produce and delicious prepared foods. I make sure to stop by and pick up some oysters – my favourite! – and sometimes I can’t resist grabbing a chocolate muffin.

Chelsea is a really a foodie’s paradise, offering everything from street food to fine dining. When it comes to casual dining, I love Comptoir Poilâne, which offers some of the best bread in the city. For something a little more special, I’d recommend The Ivy or Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant.

Shopping on The Kings Road & Sloane Street

hostoeic chelsea road

The Kings Road, with its rich history, is the core of Chelsea. The name comes from its history as the private road which King Charles II would use to travel to Kew Palace in the 17th century. These days, the road runs from Sloane Square at the border with Knightsbridge and Belgravia all the way through to the Chelsea Design Quarter, which sits on the border between Chelsea and Fulham. In other words, if you want to see and be seen in Chelsea, The Kings Road is where you need to be. What’s more, thanks to its central location, Kings Road is within easy reach of all the other key areas of London.

After I’ve had my fill of the wonderful food culture Chelsea has to offer, I head to the shops for my dose of retail therapy. This chic and leafy neighbourhood hosts an eclectic mix of trendy boutiques and countless luxury brand names as well as the high street staples and not to mention the one and only Harrods. The Kings Road is home to designer boutiques as well as affordable high street fashion making it suitable for all budgets. And if you get tired of shopping, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants to relax in. I always enjoy spending a day exploring this neighbourhood and all it has to offer.

If you’re looking for a truly luxurious shopping experience, Sloane Street is the place to be. This world-renowned shopping destination is home to some of the most exclusive brands, including Tiffany & Co, Chanel, and Cartier. Whether you’re looking for a new piece of jewelry, a designer handbag, or a luxurious watch, you’ll be spoilt for choice at this prestigious shopping destination.

The Arts

natural history museum chelsea

A visit to Chelsea would not be complete without visiting the arts. The V&A Museum is a true treasure trove, a must-see for anyone interested in the arts. The permanent collection is vast, comprising over 2 million objects with a history spanning 3,000 years. You’ll be amazed by the sheer variety of objects on display, from ancient Egyptian artifacts to modern artworks. Whether you’re an art lover or simply looking for an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon, be sure to add the V&A Museum to your list of must-sees. Another stop is The Saatchi Gallery. This massive space is filled floor to ceiling with contemporary art, making it a true feast for the eyes. I was particularly impressed by the amount of natural light that flowed into the space, as it really helped to bring the art alive.

Just down the road from The Saatchi Gallery is the Natural History Museum, which houses an incredible Dinosaur Gallery. This is my personal favourite attraction in Chelsea, as I’ve always been fascinated by dinosaurs. Seeing these massive creatures up close is truly awe-inspiring, and I highly recommend checking out this gallery if you have the chance.

Chelsea Embankment and Chelsea Physic Garden

I take a late afternoon stroll along the River Thames at Chelsea Embankment. I find myself drawn to this part of Chelsea, with its heritage houses, flower-bedecked houseboats, and stunning river views. Walking along the embankment is a peaceful way to unwind after a busy day, and it’s also a great way to see some of Chelsea’s most beautiful sights. I pass The Chelsea Physic Garden, a hidden oasis in the heart of London. Founded in 1673, it is the oldest botanical garden in England. The garden was first established by the Apothecaries to grow medicinal plants. Today, it houses around 5,000 different medicinal, herbal and edible plants. The garden is also home to a range of rare and endangered plants.

Sports

There’s no shortage of things to do for sports fans in Chelsea, with the Chelsea FC located at Stamford Bridge and the Hurlingham private members sports club at Fulham. The Hurlingham Club is set in 42 acres of magnificent grounds on the River Thames and is recognized as one of Britain’s greatest private member clubs. It has a wide range of social events and networking opportunities, making it the perfect place to enjoy a luxurious lifestyle. If you’re looking for something a little more active, Chelsea FC offers a range of match day experiences as well as behind-the-scenes tours of Stamford Bridge.

Royal Albert Hall

royal albert hall

I end the day by taking in the culture at the iconic Royal Albert Hall, a marvel of architecture and engineering, opened by Queen Victoria in honour of her husband. The distinctive exterior consists entirely of over 6 million red bricks combined with 80 thousand blocks made from terracotta clay to create such beauty. Its most striking feature is the continuous terracotta frieze spanning the entire circumference of the hall. One can not fully appreciate the beauty without seeing it themselves. I finish the evening with a quick drink at one of many venues situated on the trendy Lots Road.

Guide To Different Locations in Dubai

Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina is an affluent waterfront neighbourhood with a plethora of amenities, facilities, and entertainment options. Starting from The Marina Walk which is home to several al fresco restaurants and cafes dotted around the Marina with stunning water-views and upscale yachts cruising around. As well as The Dubai Marina Mall and not to forget Pier-7, which is a popular spot, home to 7 fine dining restaurants. JBR’s The Beach is next door to Dubai Marina and offers residents access to more shopping and dining experiences by the coastline. Bluewater’s Island is Meraas latest addition to the location and is home to Caesars Palace and The Dubai Eye; the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, adding to the long-term allure of Dubai Marina which has long become a favourite with Dubai investors.

Dubai Marina is home to a collection of luxury skyscrapers with over 200 residential towers with outstanding views of the city as well as the harbour.

Palm Jumeirah

The Palm Jumeirah is self-proclaimed to be the eighth wonder of the world and is the world’s largest man-made Island. The island is one of Dubai’s landmarks as well as being one of Dubai’s predominant luxury hotspots with luxury villas, branded residences, and opulent apartments. The Palm Jumeirah being in the unique shape of a palm is split into three distinctive parts, the trunk, the fronds, and the crescent all connected via monorail. The trunk is home to the Shoreline apartments as well as the Golden Mile apartments. It is also home to a wonderful park for some outdoor recreational activities. The trunk leads to the 16 Fronds which are home to the luxurious villas many celebrities have called home. The Palm Jumeirah is home to several 5-star hotels such as The Atlantis Hotel, which is a major attraction, located at the peak of the crescent. The Palm Jumeirah is known for its grandeur and opulent lifestyle ideal for the Dubai socialites. 

The Pointe by Nakheel is a popular shopping and dining destination and home to the world’s largest seawater musical fountain. At the trunk the Nakheel Mall is the latest addition to The Palm Jumeirah offering over 300 retail outlets, dining facilities and a 15-screen cinema.

Of course, it goes without mentioning to note many of the apartments and villas feature private beaches and those that don’t have access to the beaches on the Palm.

Downtown Dubai:

Downtown Dubai requires no introduction as its home to so many of the famous landmarks of the city. The real estate in the neighbourhood consists of luxury high rise apartments as well as The Old Town which are low and mid-rise apartments inspired by old Arabic Architecture and design. Downtown Dubai known as ‘the centre of now’, it is home to;

  • Dubai Mall
  • Souk Al Bahar
  • Dubai Fountain, The World’s tallest choreographed fountain
  • Dubai Opera
  • Burj Khalifa, The world’s tallest skyscraper
  • Armani Hotel
  • The Boulevard

Downtown Dubai is Dubai’s largest tourist attraction with Burj Khalifa being one of the most visited attractions in the world. Downtown Dubai is a hub for events, activities, festivals, and parades all throughout the year and is arguably the most dynamic location within the city. The neighbourhood is known for its luxurious lifestyle. Downtown Dubai is also one of Dubai’s most pedestrian friendly neighbourhoods within the city. Living in Downtown, residents have absolutely everything on their doorstep and almost no reason to leave the community, unless they want an escape to the beach that is. Downtown Dubai has set a benchmark for communities within the city.

Dubai Hills

Dubai Hills has very recently become one of the most popular locations for buyers within the city. The community has been extremely well designed by Emaar Properties, crafted around an 18-hole championship golf course. The community has done extremely well due to its fantastic proximity to all sides of Dubai. Downtown Dubai is a mere 12-minute drive away whilst Palm Jumeirah and Mall of the Emirates is a mere 10-minute drive away. The incredible central location gives residents in access to all major road networks. The community is fantastically integrated with high end luxury villas and apartment blocks surrounding a beautiful lush green park. The high level of comfort and convenience experienced in Dubai Hills have put it on the map and onto so many buyers’ radars.

Dubai Hills Mall has just opened its doors, it is a fantastic retail, leisure, and entertainment complex. The mall has everything you could ask for as well as an indoor rollercoaster! The Dubai Hills community is also home to the world-famous Kings College Hospital and the Dubai Hills Golf Course. Dubai Hills features tennis courts, volleyball courts, football and basketball grounds, skate park and so many more recreational facilities.

  • Burj Khalifa – 10 minute’s drive
  • Dubai Mall – 10 minute’s drive
  • The Mall of The Emirates – 10 minute’s drive
  • Dubai Marina – 10 minute’s drive

Damac Hills

Damac Hills is a peaceful and lush green gated community set around an award-winning world class 18-hole PGA championship golf course. The golf course, branded by Trump, is ranked among the best in the world. The development includes over 3000 villas and townhouses and above 4000 apartments. It is also home to serviced hotel villas and serviced apartments as well as hotels and hotel apartments. The development features 400,000 square metres of parkland. Damac Hills provides residents with an escape from the hustle and bustle of Dubai life and welcomes them to the peaceful and serene soundings of nature. The area therefore is very pet friendly with the vast expanse of parkland. As well as the parkland Damac Hills features, tennis courts, football pitches, lakes, horse riding fields, stable and petting zoo as well as skate parks and much much more. The Trump International Golf Club designed by Gil Hanse, is a first of its kind to be found in the Middle East. The clubhouse houses a golf academy, indoor studios, fine-dining restaurants, wellness centre, spa, infinity pool and a shop. There is access to several sports bars as well as a cigar lounge.

Families love Damac Hills as there is the excellent Jebel Ali School conveniently location within the community teaching the British curriculum. Damac Hills although being a family community is not a traditional suburb, on the contrary it is very contemporary in its feel and design. Homes are either overlooking the golf course, the park or the (as in the case of some apartments) the roadway inspired by Rodeo Drive in California.

Damac Hills is also home to Malibu Bay Water Park, this is Dubai’s first wave pool situated within a residential community. Being submerged within sand it gives visitors and residents the feel of being on a sandy beach. The pool spans 24,700 square feet.

District One

District One is perfectly located in Mohammed Bin Rashid City, right behind Downtown Dubai, situated near to Meydan. The location is ideal as it is just a few minute’s drive from Downtown Dubai as well as Al Khail Road. The project was launched in 2014 and covers a huge land of 501 hectares which over 60% is dedicated to open spaces, more than any other community. The centrepiece of this development is the Crystal Lagoon, which is the world’s largest man-made lagoon, created with a patented technology to keep it blue all year around. Residents can swim, kayak and paddle board in the lagoon. It is 7km of man-made beaches, waterways, woodlands, and parkland. District One also features cycling and running tracks surrounded by shrubs and trees. The Meydan racecourse and grandstand is nearby as is the 9-hole golf course and Meydans 5-star hotel.

Jumeirah Golf Estates

This is a development which combines luxury property with golf as a lifestyle. Coming home to Jumeirah Golf Estates means coming home to a breath-taking landscape. It is a truly remarkable development of apartments, ultra-high-end townhouses and 4–6-bedroom luxury villas. A gated community with villas surrounding two championship golf courses. There are currently 16 districts within Jumeirah Golf Estates.

Within the community, you can find three distinctive architectural styles. Most take their inspiration from the Tuscan countryside however newer phases such as Hillside and Jumeirah Luxury villas have a more contemporary aesthetic. The Andalus homes are inspired by Spanish coastal architecture.

Living amongst nature offers residents so much to do. A 16km walking/jogging track is found around the perimeter of Jumeirah Golf Estates perfect for an early morning jog or a stroll with your dog. There are also 15 lakes throughout the community which you can come across on your walk or jog.

Jumeirah Golf Estates is set upon 120 million square feet. And of that only 25% is residential development, the remaining 75% is dedicated to landscaping, nature, golf, and leisure for residents.

Two 18-hole golf courses have been designed by the Australian champion golfer Greg Norman, they have been named Earth and Fire. And are give two distinct colour palettes to reflect their names.

The clubhouse which is central to the community hosts fitness facilities, a swimming pool, a tennis academy and a children’s centre for after-school activities.

Jumeirah Golf Estates is a few minute’s drive from a large supermarket at Me’aisem City Centre, which also contains a diverse selection of shops.

Dubai Property Investor Visa

Three Year Residency Visa

To apply for a three year residency visa through property, you must:

1- Own a property which is completed and handed over to you

2- Own a property which is worth a minimum of one million Dirhams (net of closing costs)

If the visa application is processed a few months after the purchase of the property an independent valuation will be required for the property to demonstrate its value of at least AED one million. This valuation will take into account the last ten transactions within the previous 3 years as well as current property listings and the condition of the property.

Five Year Residency Visa

This is a new option available in Dubai for investors who invest AED 5 million or above, to be granted a 5-year visa. To  qualify for the five year residency visa, the property must be maintained for at least three years. The AED 5 million may be spread across three properties.

Retirement Visa

The United Arab Emirates announced this visa for those above the age of 55 who wish to retire in the beautiful city of Dubai. It is applicable to those who invest AED 2 million or have savings of 1 million plus a monthly income of at least AED 20,000.

Some additional documents required:

  • Your passport copy
  • The title deed of the property
  • 6 passport size photos
  • Current visa\status copy
  • Bank statements
  • Certificate of good conduct from the Dubai Police
  • Health\Medical insurance
  • Utility bill

Mortgage Guide to Buy a Property in Dubai

So, you have decided upon purchasing a property in Dubai, a fantastic idea. You are in luck as properties in Dubai come with various options for financing including post-handover payment plans, mortgages, and different payment methods. Although a significant share of the property market in Dubai is transacted in cash the market had experienced an all-time high of mortgage purchased properties in 2021, with the figure reaching a total of DH127 billion, exceeding previous records.

It is advisable to shop around and compare rates to find the best solution which fits your situation. If you’re an expat in Dubai and this is your first mortgage, typically, you can borrow up to between 80-85% of the property value, provided the property value is below AED 5M. UAE Nationals are able to borrow slightly higher.

The majority of major banks in Dubai offer home loans, so you can find yourself spoilt for choice, but each bank will have its own terms and conditions. Audrey’s International has excellent relationships with many banks and lenders and can assist you throughout the entire process to secure the dream property.

Who is eligible for a mortgage in Dubai?

You must be at least 21 years old to be eligible for a mortgage in Dubai as well as demonstrate a stable income and be able to complete the loan repayment prior to the legal retirement age. The minimum salary a foreign resident must have to be eligible is AED10,000, and you must have been at your current job for at least six months or a year depending on the lender. The rules are slightly different for self-employed borrowers and their business should be running for a minimum of two years.

Typically, lenders will allow a borrower up to 25% of their monthly income. However, they will first take into consideration, existing debts, credit cards, car loans, as well as dependents and other lifestyle costs. They will then use this information to calculate what is known as the debt-to-income ratio. As a result, this helps to reduce the risk of default and ensures that borrowers are able to repay their loans.

What are the different types of mortgages available in Dubai?

FIXED-RATE MORTGAGE

The interest rate will be set for you and will not change throughout the agreed period, this is usually under five years. However, you may find yourself a lender providing a fixed rate for the loan’s lifetime. With a fixed-rate mortgage, you can plan your financial outlays easier and you will not need to pay more in case of an increase in interest rates. However, if interest rates go down you won’t be able to take advantage of this.

VARIABLE RATE MORTGAGE

With a variable rate mortgage, the interest rates will be adjusted according to the market conditions. If you chose such a mortgage it’s best to ensure you have the liquidity to handle increased payments in case of an adverse movement in the interest rates.

OFFSET MORTGAGE

An offset mortgage is very interesting as it links a traditional mortgage to a deposit account. Therefore, the more money in this deposit account the less your interest payments towards your mortgage. This is a fantastic opportunity providing liquidity and lower mortgage payments to those who can save money or tend to have larger amounts of money in their account at any time. You can still access your money in the deposit account at any time, without any restrictions.

Mortgage costs

When purchasing a property with a mortgage in Dubai, you will be required to pay a mortgage registration cost of 0.25% of the loan value. You may also be required to pay the lender a fee as well as the valuation fee and mortgage protection insurance.

Documents required for a mortgage application

  • A copy of your passport.
  • Proof of residence in the UAE and proof of your current address.
  • Financial documents, such as salary certificate, bank statements.
  • Marriage Certificate if purchasing in joint names

Step-by-Step guide to purchase with a mortgage

  • When you’re ready to buy a home, you’ll need to decide how to best secure financing. You can speak to your own bank and other banks direct to apply for a mortgage, however this can become time-consuming. The other option available is to speak to a mortgage broker to represent you. The broker can help you compare offers from different lenders and may be able to negotiate more favourable terms on your behalf. Ultimately, the best approach for you will depend on your unique circumstances.
  • Before you start shopping for a home, it’s important to get a pre-approval letter from the bank. With this you will know how much you can borrow and what to expect for the monthly payments. Pre-approval letters are valid for 60 days, so it’s important to apply for one before you start looking for a home. The process of getting a pre-approval letter is relatively simple.
  • Once you have an idea of what you can afford, you can begin your search for the perfect property. When you find your dream property, be sure to have a loan pre-approval in hand so that you can make a confident offer.
  • Once the deal is negotiated and agreed, your real estate agent will prepare an MOU for you, and you should pay the deposit to confirm your purchase.
  • The bank will request the property documents, Title Deed, Sellers Passport Copy and Floor plan.
  • The bank will arrange for a valuation on the property before providing the final approval. This helps to ensure that the loan amount is appropriate for the value of the property. The bank will arrange for a professional appraiser to visit the property and assess its value. This process usually takes a few days, and once the appraiser has provided their report, the bank will be able to provide final approval for the loan.
  • If the seller has a bank liability on the property your lender will settle this. Once the original property documents are released by the seller’s bank, the next stage will be applying for an NOC from the developer.
  • Once the NOC arrives and you go for completion, your lender will release funds to the seller and the property will be legally transferred from the seller to you. You will then be given a Title Deed registered with the Dubai Land Department.

UK Property Mortgage Guide

If you find buying a property in the UK is tempting you, then do check out our mortgage guide for expats as well as non-residents.

Before looking at properties for sale in UK, check out our guide to make a calculation of how much you can realistically borrow from the bank and what property prices you can afford.

There are no restrictions on foreigners applying for a UK mortgage, but UK mortgage conditions can differ depending on whether you are a resident or non-resident in the UK.

Here are some points we would advise you to take into consideration when taking a mortgage:

  • We can arrange a discussion for you with one of our expert mortgage consultants. This will really help get your property search off to the best start. Even better you can go through a pre-application to get definite terms, this will help speed up the process after having found your dream property.
  • Arranging a mortgage through your own bank can often be a great idea as you are a known customer to them however it is advised to compare with different rates in the market to secure the best deal.
  • Interest Rates currently range around 1-3%.  However, rates do vary on a case-to-case basis and depend on different lenders criteria as well as your circumstances and requirements.
  • The loan-to-value (LTV) ratio provided for international buyers can range between 65-75%.
  • Mortgages in the UK have two different options for payments. And purchasers can select between an Interest Only or Interest and Capital repayment option. Interest Only mortgage terms are between 5-15 years whilst interest and capital repayment mortgages are up to 25 years. Both, however, do depend upon the age of the borrower.
  • Interest rates can be arranged for a fixed-term of 2-10 years to give you peace of mind so that you can calculate your monthly payments and not need to re-mortgage for 5 years.
  • Some banks are more lenient than others when it comes to lending money. For example, there are some banks that will lend money up to the age of 80! This is great news for seniors.
  • Sometimes to avoid hefty stamp duty bills a guarantor may be used for a mortgage.
  • Lenders often look at rental income for investment properties as well as client’s income. It’s important to factor in different income sources when calculating what you can afford.

Interest-Only or Repayment Mortgage?

In the UK, there are many different terms and options available for mortgages. This can be confusing for borrowers, but luckily, we have the best mortgage professionals at hand that can help guide you through the process. With so many options available, it’s important to find the mortgage that best suits your needs.

One decision that buyers need to make when selecting their mortgage is whether they will be taking out an interest-only mortgage or a repayment mortgage.

Repayment Mortgage

If you are taking a repayment mortgage your monthly costs will be split into repayment of the debt and interest payments. In the initial years, the amount you spend on interest payments will be significantly more than paying off your debt. However, as you approach the end of your mortgage you will be paying the lion’s share of your debt and less interest.

Interest-Only Mortgage

Conversely, an interest-only mortgage provides significantly lower monthly costs, however, at the end of the term, you still owe the bank the same amount of money that you borrowed. The advantage of an interest-only mortgage is that whilst the property is rented out you will have some income that you can either save to pay off the property eventually or consider as your ROI. Once you sell the property and pay back the mortgage, you will have earned the income plus the capital gains of the property.

Typically, we find that end users prefer repayment mortgages for homes they wish to live in. Investors typically chose interest-only mortgages for their investment properties, so as to keep outgoings low and profits higher.

Fixed Rate Mortgages

Fixed-rate mortgages are becoming more and more popular these days due to uncertainty in the economic climate. As the name suggests the interest rate will be fixed for a certain number of years, typically between 2-10 years. The benefit of a fixed-rate mortgage is you will know your outgoings exactly for a certain number of years, despite changes in the economy. Once the term is finished the rate will revert to the lender’s standard variable rate. You also have the option to apply for another fixed-rate term at this stage.

Of course, on the other hand should interest rates fall you will be tied into the fixed rate term for the number of years you initially elected for.

Variable Rate Mortgage

Variable rate mortgages follow the Bank of England’s base interest rate as well as the bank’s lending criteria.

Tracker Mortgage

A tracker mortgage like a variable rate mortgage will follow the Bank of England’s interest rates, however, this will be set a certain amount above the Bank of Englands rates. So, when the rates go up so will the mortgage payments and when the rates come down the mortgage payments will do too.

Capped Rate Mortgage

A capped rate mortgage follows the same concept as the tracker however it will have a set cap which it will not increase above, this provides a certain amount of certainty for the client.

Janna
Janna
Hi there 👋
How can I help you?
3:40
Start Chat
Chat now