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Global Muslim High Net Worth Individuals Eye Branded Residences In Saudi Holy Cities

A new report by property consultancy Knight Frank has found immense interest among wealthy Muslims worldwide in purchasing branded residences in the Saudi holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.

The study surveyed 506 rich Muslim individuals across nine countries about their appetite for real estate investment in the two cities. The respondents already own over 2,250 properties globally, with 29% holding between 3-5 homes currently.

According to the findings, 92% of participants are looking to buy branded residences in Makkah and Madinah if the right opportunities arise. Furthermore, 57% said they are “very likely” to purchase, provided the property meets their expectations.

The survey revealed a willingness to spend lavishly on branded homes in the holy cities, with 45% of respondents prepared to pay over $10,000 per square meter (SAR37,500/sqm).

However, Knight Frank identified barriers like limited quality stock, lack of Islamic financing options, and no availability yet of partial ownership models, which are currently muting interest levels among global Muslim HNWIs.

For Makkah investors, securing a reputable property management firm was the most important factor, followed by brand identity, especially for those with a net worth above $3 million. There was also a strong preference for hotel-branded residences, favoured by 61% of potential buyers.

In Madinah, most wealthy investors preferred retail or luxury-branded residential options, underscoring the need for tailored products in both holy cities.

Knight Frank stressed the need for developers to focus on professional management services to attract international buyers who want assurances their investments will be secure and well-maintained.

While the report highlighted untapped global demand, it also noted significant appetite domestically. 69% of high-net-worth Saudis are keen to purchase branded residences, with some willing to spend over 20,000 SAR per sqm in cities like Riyadh, Dammam and Jeddah.

Overall, the findings underline the exciting possibilities for developers offering branded residential products in Saudi Arabia , especially in the high-growth religious tourism sector. Capturing global Muslim investor interest could significantly boost the Kingdom’s real estate market.

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