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How much space will $1m buy you in Dubai or New York?

Beneļ¬ts reported by UAE expats include higher salaries - 58 per cent compared to a global average of 40 per cent. (File)

By Parag Deulgaonkar

A million US dollars (Dh3.67 million) can buy an apartment in Dubai that is four and seven times bigger than Singapore and London, reveals Knight Frank’s Wealth Report 2015.

Dubai, which has been ranked among the top 40 cities for UNWI in 2015, remains an “affordable” property investment destination compared to 19 cities compared, with the report stating prices rose 13 per cent in 2013 and just 0.3 per cent in 2014.

One can buy 145 square metres of prime property in Dubai compared to 17 square metres in Monaco, 20 square metres in Hong Kong, 39 square metres in Singapore and 21 square metres in London for $1 million.

For that investment, one gets 41 square metres in Sydney, 50 square metres in Paris, 79 square metres in Moscow, 48 square metres in Shanghai and 96 square metres in Mumbai.

Among the list of 20 cities surveyed, Dubai is placed 19th with Cape Town taking the last slot, where a $1 million buys 284 square metres.

A Wealth-X and Sotheby's International Realty reported said that non-European ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWI) - those with $30 million or above in assets – were investing in Dubai’s luxury property market.

Read: Super-rich opt for Dubai’s Palm, Downtown properties over Monaco

When it comes to price growth, the prime international residential index puts New York in first place with prices rising 18.8 per cent in 2014.

Aspen, Colorado, came in second, with prices rising 16 per cent. Bali, Indonesia, and Istanbul, Turkey, saw a 15 per cent increase, while Abu Dhabi made it to top five with a 14.7 per cent price rise.

Private investors accounted for a quarter of all commercial property deals in 2014, contributing an estimated $153 billion of commercial property deals transacted, the report said.

Many of these transactions were funded by ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) - those with $30 million in assets or more - through family-owned funds, companies or private offices.

The figure represents a seven per cent rise from $143 billion invested by UHNWIs the previous year, contributing to an estimated total of $646 billion worth of commercial property deals conducted throughout 2014.

The results of the Knight Frank Wealth Report’s Capital Markets Survey show UHNWIs are now looking beyond prime or trophy offices and retail space as a safe haven for their funds; they are prepared to look up the risk curve to non-core locations.