Hot seat: Charlotte Rhodes

Charlotte Rhodes is a sales executive for Edwards and Towers, an estate agent that specialises in selling properties on The Palm.<em><br /></em>

Hot seat, The Knowledge

It seems like property in Dubai just keeps getting more and more expensive. Is that true?
Yes it is true that the prices are still increasing, however we think that several developments have now reached a peak. Dubai aims to be the number one tourist destination in the world and the prices reflect this.

Why are the costs so high?
We are seeing more and more people from around the world moving to Dubai to live and work and therefore demand for properties is at an all-time high. That, together with the interest from investors, is all having an impact on prices.

There is talk of property prices calming down next year. Do you think that is likely to be the case?
We do not see any likelihood of the prices decreasing next year, but no one can predict the market. However, from November 2008, the property industry in Dubai is being regulated, and the Real Estate Regulatory Agency is aiming to have real estate brokers registered to regulate the market, following their code of ethics.

You specialise in selling properties on the Palms. Could you tell us what sort of people you get looking at property on the islands?
We get a variety of people from all over the world: Russia, Europe, Australia and elsewhere. They range from investors to families and professional couples who are looking to buy a home. You also get wealthy people who will spend millions on an apartment.

What is it like dealing with those sorts of people?

It is great meeting people from different walks of life. Everybody has a different reason for buying the property and we are happy to help out families to find their perfect holiday home, as well as investors looking for a great deal

Why do you think they are proving so popular?
The Palms in particular are extremely popular because they are iconic developments – recognisable around the world. The amenities and facilities on offer, such as private beaches and pools, restaurants and bars, are of great interest. Also opening soon is the Atlantis Hotel with more than 30 other hotels opening in the next three years. This will give residents and owners five-star living.

Is there any truth to the rumour that there are different laws for living on the Palms?
No there are no different laws on the Palm than any other area in Dubai. However, the developers have their own rules and regulations within each community. These govern things like whether you can have pets and parking – general residents’ requirements.

How much would it cost to get a nice place on any of the Palms?
Our apartment prices range from Dhs2,764 per sq. ft for a studio, up to Dhs12,550 p/sq ft for a two bed apartment in Trump Tower. Villas range from Dhs3,150 per sq ft to Dhs4,500 per sq ft. The average price, say, for a two-bed apartment with a sea view is about Dhs4million. They go up to six. For a villa it is Dhs15million and they go up to Dhs30million.

What do you think of the Trump Tower? Do you think that it will help to boost the popularity of the Palm?
It will be an iconic development for the Middle East, and especially the Dubai. The Palm will benefit from the high-end living it brings and we expect that property prices will increase to reflect this.

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