Dubai’s top five real estate developers - the history of their excellence!

Dubai’s top five real estate developers - the history of their excellence!

Tuesday 01 August 2023Wed 16 Feb
Dubai’s top five real estate developers - the history of their excellence!

Dubai is home to some of the world’s greatest developments, including the world’s tallest tower - The Burj Khalifa, the iconic man-made Palm Jumeirah Island, the world’s seven star hotel - Burj Al Arab and the list goes on.

It’s a city that’s rich in culture, abundant in stunning architecture and home to the world’s finest experiences - but the minds behind these developments and world records are Dubai’s oldest household names such as Emaar, Nakheel, Damac and the list goes on.

So, ever wondered where those stories began from? How did their journey start and what brought them here - turning Dubai into the city it is today…

We’ve uncovered all things you need to know about these top five developers, so let’s get right into their history and their excellence!

Nakheel Properties

Starting off with the developers behind Dubai’s famous Palm Jumeirah Island is Nakheel Properties. This is a Dubai-based real estate developer known for creating some of the most iconic and innovative properties in the region. Founded in 2000 as a government-owned company, Nakheel has since established itself as one of the leading developers in the Middle East, responsible for shaping the skyline of Dubai and transforming it into a world-renowned tourist and business destination.

Nakheel's history is a testament to its resilience and innovation. The company was originally established to build a wide range of real estate developments in Dubai, from residential communities to commercial and leisure projects. Since its inception, Nakheel has delivered some of the most ambitious and impressive real estate projects in Dubai, including the world-famous Palm Jumeirah, The World Islands, Deira Islands, and more.

The Palm Jumeirah, a man-made island in the shape of a palm tree, is Nakheel's most iconic project to date. The development features luxurious residential properties, hotels, and world-class entertainment and leisure facilities, attracting visitors from all over the world. The World Islands, another of Nakheel's groundbreaking developments, is a collection of man-made islands shaped like the continents of the world, offering unique residential and commercial opportunities.

In addition to its impressive portfolio of real estate developments, Nakheel has also played a pivotal role in the growth of Dubai's tourism and hospitality industry. The company has developed several hotels, resorts, and leisure destinations, including Ibn Battuta Mall, Dragon Mart, and the recently opened Nakheel Mall.

Today, Nakheel continues to be a leader in the region's real estate industry, with a vision to create sustainable and innovative communities that enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors alike.

EMAAR Properties

The masterminds behind Dubai Mall and the world’s tallest tower’ The Burj Khalifa ar eno other than EMAAR Properties. They were established in 1997, and are Dubai-based real estate developers known for their world-class properties that have played a huge role in transforming the city's skyline.

Emaar Properties' portfolio of properties includes some of the most iconic and sought-after destinations in Dubai, including the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building; The Dubai Mall, the world's largest shopping and entertainment destination; and Dubai Marina, a luxury waterfront community. The company's developments also include many residential complexes such as Emaar Beachfront, Downtown Dubai, Emirates Hills, Dubai Hills Estate, and Arabian Ranches.

One of Emaar Properties' most significant achievements was the development of the Burj Khalifa, which stands at 828 metres tall and has over 160 floors. The Burj Khalifa is an architectural marvel that has a sleek, tapered design and innovative engineering making it an iconic landmark in Dubai and a symbol of the city's ambition and innovation. Nice, right?

Emaar Properties has received many awards for its contributions to Dubai's real estate and tourism sectors, including being named the "Most Admired Real Estate Company" in the Arab World by Arabian Business in 2020. The company's commitment to excellence, innovation, and sustainability has made it a trusted partner for investors, residents, and visitors in Dubai and around the world.

In addition to its real estate developments, Emaar Properties also has interests in the hospitality, leisure, and retail sectors, with hotels and resorts across the world, as well as its own brand of lifestyle products and accessories. They have currently undertaken multiple residential projects on hand including the launch of Arabian Ranches 3 and Creek Waters at the Dubai Creek Harbour.

DAMAC Properties

Damac Properties is a Dubai-based real estate development company and was founded by entrepreneur; Hussain Sajwani in 2002. Damac has since then established itself as a premier developer of luxury properties in Dubai and has been instrumental in shaping the city's skyline with its iconic projects. What’s another iconic skyscraper, right?

Damac's portfolio includes a wide range of properties, including luxury villas, apartments, and hotels. Some of the company's most notable developments include the Damac Hills master community, the Akoya Oxygen community, and the Trump International Golf Club Dubai.

Damac Properties has also made its place in the hospitality sector, with its luxury hotel and serviced apartment brands, including DAMAC Maison and DAMAC Hotels & Resorts. These are definitely the top spots for serviced hotel-apartments and mini-staycations. The company's hotels are located in some of the most sought-after destinations in Dubai, including Business Bay and Downtown Dubai.

In addition to luxury and innovation, Damac Properties is also committed to sustainability and has implemented several green initiatives across its developments, including the use of sustainable materials and the installation of energy-efficient systems.

Similar to the others, Damac has also won numerous awards for its exceptional developments and commitment to quality. In 2017, the company was recognized as the "Best Luxury Real Estate Developer" in the Middle East at the Luxury Lifestyle Awards.

Meraas - Dubai Holding

Meraas is a Dubai-based real estate developer and investment company that has played a huge role in shaping the city's landscape. Established in 2007 under Dubai Holding, Meraas has been part of developing some of Dubai's most iconic destinations, including City Walk, The Beach at JBR, La Mer, and Bluewaters Island.

Meraas is known for its innovative approach to urban development, with a focus on creating unique and immersive experiences for visitors and residents. The company's developments often combine world-class retail, dining, entertainment, and hospitality offerings with stunning architecture and design.

One of Meraas' most notable projects is La Mer, which is a beachfront destination that combines shopping, dining, entertainment, and leisure offerings, all under one roof. Similar to La Mer is Bluewaters Island is home to the iconic Ain Dubai, the world's largest observation wheel and Caesars Palace. This Island too, brings luxury, retail and dining all under one roof.

In addition to its focus on creating immersive experiences, Meraas is also committed to sustainability. The company has implemented several green initiatives across its developments, including the use of renewable energy, sustainable materials, and water conservation measures.

Meraas' commitment to innovation, design, and sustainability has been recognized with numerous awards, including the "Best Mixed-Use Development" award for City Walk at the Arabian Property Awards. The company's developments have also been praised for their contribution to Dubai's tourism industry and the city's overall economic growth.

Overall, Meraas has established itself as a leading real estate developer in Dubai, with a focus on creating exciting and different destinations that appeal to the nearer generations and bring a combination of luxury, lifestyle, and sustainability. The company's commitment to innovation and design has helped to shape Dubai's landscape, making it a more vibrant and exciting place to live, work, and visit.


Meydan is a Dubai-based real estate developer that was established in 2007. The company is known for its focus on developing luxury properties and world-class horse racing facilities. The company's name - Meydan is derived from the Arabic word for "a place where people congregate and compete".

One of Meydan's most notable developments is the Meydan Racecourse, which is home to the Dubai World Cup, the world's richest horse race. The racecourse is also used for other major horse racing events throughout the year. In addition to the racecourse, Meydan has also developed a range of luxury properties in Dubai, including residential villas, townhouses, and apartments.

Meydan's flagship residential development is Meydan Sobha, a joint venture with the Sobha Group. The development is located in Mohammed Bin Rashid City, a new development that is set to become one of the most sought-after residential destinations in Dubai. Meydan Sobha features a mix of luxury villas, townhouses, and apartments, with a range of amenities and services, including schools, parks, and retail outlets.

In addition to its real estate developments, Meydan is also involved in the development of sports and entertainment facilities in Dubai. The company is developing Meydan One, a new mixed-use development that will feature the world's tallest residential tower, a shopping mall, a five-star hotel, and a range of leisure and entertainment facilities.

Meydan is known for its commitment to innovation and sustainability. The company uses advanced building technologies and sustainable design practices to create properties that are both functional and environmentally responsible. It also focuses on creating integrated communities that offer a range of amenities and services, including parks, schools, and healthcare facilities.

Isn’t the history and excellence behind the city’s top developments fantastic? If you are keen to learn more about the upcoming developments in the city, then you could get in touch with our Head of Developer Sales; Fintan Flannelly.

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