The market for luxurious homes in Dubai saw prime rental prices rise by 18.3 percent in the first quarter of 2013, according to a report by property firm Knight Frank.
The increase was the highest of all cities monitored in the Prime Global Rental Index report, with international prices rising by an average of 0.2 percent.
Tel Aviv was the only other Middle Eastern city ranked among the top 16 cities in terms of prime rental price increases. The Middle East sector as a whole grew by 13.1 percent in the first three months of the year, the report found.
Emerging markets were strong contributors to the upsurge in the index, with luxury rents in Nairobi and Beijing rising by 13.9 percent and 12.3 percent respectively in the year to March.
The index was brought down by weakening rental performance in the more developed financial sectors, with prime property prices in Honk Kong, New York and London rising by an average of just 2.7 percent over the same time period.
Knight Frank credited the surge in the emerging market index to changes in global mobility.
“The latest figures suggest it is increasingly a west to east shift with many multinationals relocating a growing portion of their key talent to growth markets in Africa, China and the Middle East,” the report said.
Emerging markets are expected to continue to top the global rental index rankings, “as established industries in Europe and the U.S. look to tap into new world markets,” added Knight Frank.
It has now been 15 consecutive quarters since the global rental index last saw a decline, with prime rental prices up a combined 20.3 percent over the near four-year period.
Whilst the prime rental market continued to surge, global house prices also rose by two percent in Q1 of 2013, according to another index published by Knight Frank.
The Middle East was once again the main contributor to this rise, with regional prices soaring by 10.6 percent on average, said the previous report.