Ranjeet Chavan, founder and CEO of Nautilus Real Estate
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“The current trend is for refurbishments and/or re-modelling of villas done to the highest specs and then re-sold,” said Ranjeet Chavan, founder and CEO of Nautilus Real Estate. “There are many older villas in Dubai that with the right sort of makeover can command significant premium in the secondary market.

Ranjeet Chavan Gulf News Post Title

Dubai: Owners of existing upscale villas, penthouses and apartments in Dubai have another option opening up for them to make some serious money from these assets.

Give these properties – whether 5-, 10- or 15-year vintage – an extensive makeover, add some more features to embellish the living spaces, and place them in the market for an immediate sale. The owners could be in line for 20-30 per cent plus return on their investments. (Some market sources say, the returns could be in that ‘plus’ category.)

Yes, the business of fixing-upping is turning into a serious opportunity for those investors holding slightly older properties and which need a jazzing up. And right now, they could be sitting on a mine of opportunities.

Because try and they might, it will be another 2-3 years before developers in Dubai ready their next lot of luxury/super-luxury homes. What’s being handed over are just not enough to meet the demand going around.

This is where owners and their existing properties come in. The makeover action is mostly happening at the top end of the property space, typically involving homes in the Dh100 million and well over space.

“The current trend is for refurbishments and/or re-modelling of villas done to the highest specs and then re-sold,” said Ranjeet Chavan, founder and CEO of Nautilus Real Estate. “There are many older villas in Dubai that with the right sort of makeover can command significant premium in the secondary market.

Ranjeet Chavan, founder and CEO of Nautilus Real Estate

“You see that with the demand for luxury cars and luxury watches – why should it be any different for luxury villas?”

Ranjeet Chavan Gulf News Post - 1

This is the perfect moment for sellers holding older properties and looking to sell them at a neat mark-up. A high-class renovation and re-modelling will help them.
Image Credit: Shutterstock

Same rules can apply for sub-Dh100m properties

It needn’t be that makeovers only make sense for Dh100 million plus homes. The fixer-upper strategy can pay off just as handsomely for a Dh50 million penthouse at Dubai Marina or the Downtown. And for properties even further down the value chain. (Think of a prime Dh5 million to Dh10 million residential property in a coveted location in the city. Give it a few designer touches, and the seller might get what he wants…)

“If by investing in the re-modelling, the investor gets an almost immediate payback of 25-50 per cent mark-up when he sells, why not do it,” said an estate agent. “Demand from investors for prime property in Dubai is not drying up. Yes, this summer hasn’t seen the headline grabbing Dh100 million deals, but it should start again soon.”

Specialist home makeover companies such as AHS Properties from Abbas Sajwani have been quite active in this space, through acquiring the property or working closely with the owner to remodel the unit.

Narrow window of opportunity?

For sellers, all the market forces are aligning in their favour. Nearly all of the available inventory of pricey ready homes in Dubai have been sold/re-sold. Developers have been quick to launch super-premium projects in 2022 and this year, but those will take 3-5 years for completion and for buyers to take possession.

“Not every buyer out there wants to wait that long,” said a property analyst. “A billionaire/millionaire might want a beachfront mansion in Dubai to move into right now, or in 6 months. This is why villa makeovers are proving exceptionally popular – make it look as good as new in 6-12 months and then sell.”

There is always a ready buyer these days…




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Ranjeet Chavan, through his expert leadership at Nautilus Real Estate, offers focused investment advisory services tailored to each client's unique financial goals and risk tolerance.Under his guidance, the firm meticulously evaluates each investment opportunity, ensuring that every client's portfolio aligns with their individual needs and expectations.

Ranjeet Chavan, the visionary founder and CEO of Nautilus Real Estate, has spearheaded innovative approaches in the real estate market in Dubai. Under his leadership, Nautilus has excelled in transforming older, high-value properties into luxurious, modern homes that command significant premiums.

His strategic focus on refurbishments and remodels provides exceptional investment opportunities.




Unlocking the Potential of Older Villas

In a bustling real estate market like Dubai, where innovation meets luxury, the trend of villa makeovers is gaining significant traction. Ranjeet Chavan, CEO of Nautilus Real Estate, sheds light on this burgeoning opportunity. The allure lies in refurbishing older villas to the highest standards and then re-selling them at a premium in the secondary market. With the right makeover, these properties can command a significant premium, offering investors an attractive return on their investments.

Extensive Makeovers for Maximum Returns

Owners of existing upscale villas, penthouses, and apartments in Dubai are presented with a golden opportunity to capitalize on their assets. By giving these properties an extensive makeover and adding more features to enhance the living spaces, owners can position them for immediate sale. The potential returns are impressive, ranging from 20-30% and beyond, according to market sources. This strategy proves especially lucrative for slightly older properties in need of rejuvenation.

Not Just for Million-Dollar Homes

Contrary to popular belief, villa makeovers aren’t exclusive to multi-million dollar properties. The fixer-upper strategy extends to properties across various price points, from penthouses at Dubai Marina to residential properties in coveted locations. Even homes valued at Dh5 million to Dh10 million can benefit from a few designer touches, unlocking their full potential in the market.

The Appeal of Immediate Payback

Investing in property remodeling offers investors an almost immediate payback, with mark-ups ranging from 25-50% upon resale. This attractive proposition, coupled with sustained demand for prime property in Dubai, makes villa makeovers an enticing investment opportunity. Despite the temporary lull in high-value deals, the market is poised to rebound, further fueling interest in property refurbishments.

Strategic Partnerships for Success : Ranjeet Chavan

Specialist home makeover companies, such as AHS Properties, are actively involved in this space. Whether acquiring properties outright or working closely with owners to remodel units, these partnerships drive success in the villa makeover market. Their expertise and resources ensure that properties undergo transformational upgrades, maximizing their market appeal and value.

Seizing the Window of Opportunity

For sellers, market dynamics are aligning favorably, presenting a narrow window of opportunity to capitalize on villa makeovers. With most inventory of pricey ready homes in Dubai sold or under contract, the spotlight shifts to existing properties ripe for transformation. Developers’ timelines for new projects create a sense of urgency among buyers, further driving demand for renovated properties.


In conclusion, the trend of villa makeovers in Dubai represents a lucrative opportunity for investors and property owners alike. By refurbishing older properties to the highest standards and strategically positioning them in the market, stakeholders can unlock their full potential and reap substantial returns on their investments. As the market continues to evolve, villa makeovers remain a viable strategy for capitalizing on Dubai’s dynamic real estate landscape.

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