Year in review: The most popular business stories of 2016

The list of our 15 most-read posts of the year show that readers cannot get enough of UAE property news…

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15. Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, 2015 – in pictures

Find out how rental prices in Dubai changed in 2015 and the average annual rates you will pay, according to data provided by Asteco.

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14. The Dubai dream: Dh48m Palm Jumeirah villa with Burj Al Arab views – in pictures

It was villas such as these that helped to spread Dubai’s image as a millionaires’ playground. Take a look around this sumptuous property.

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13. Inside Etihad Airways’ new First Class Lounge & Spa at Abu Dhabi International Airport – in pictures

Etihad Airways has officially opened its new flagship lounge and spa at Terminal 3 with inspiration from the world’s most prestigious hotels, private members’ clubs and fine dining establishments.

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12. Where Abu Dhabi rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2016 – in pictures

Find out how rental prices in Abu Dhabi have changed during the first quarter of 2016 and the average annual rates you will pay, according to data provided by Asteco.

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11. Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q3 2016 – in pictures

Find out how rental prices in Dubai have changed during the third quarter of 2016 during the third quarter of 2016 and the average annual rates you will pay, according to data provided by Asteco.

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10. Top 10 villas for sale on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah — in pictures

Stunning views, blue waters, spacious gardens and lavish interiors – the villas on Palm Jumeirah are the epitome of luxury. Take a look at 10 of the best currently on the market with Luxhabitat.

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9. Where Abu Dhabi rents have risen and fallen, 2015 — in pictures

Find out how rental prices in Abu Dhabi have changed in 2015 and the average annual rates you will pay, according to data provided by Asteco.

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8. Dh65m Dubai villa on Palm Jumeirah lets you swim under your lounge

How many villas on Palm Jumeirah have swimming pools that run under the house? This Dh65 million villa is extraordinary in many ways. Take a look around.

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7. Dh179m Dubai villa set to be Emirates Hills’ most expensive — in pictures

Dubai is a city known for huge ostentatious villas and, with aspirations as the “Beverly Hills of Dubai”, Emirates Hills is a neighbourhood full of just such palatial abodes.

But this 10-bedroom home, which takes up two full-sized villa plots at the prestigious gated community, makes many of its plush neighbours pale in comparison. Taking up a whopping 32,200 square feet in terms of built-up area – roughly the same size as a small factory – the super-modern white facaded villa is so big that the entrance hall, complete with Buddha statue and huge hanging light sculpture, feels more akin to a hotel lobby than a family home.

But such luxury comes with an eye-wateringly high price tag. The villa is currently on the market Dh179 million – nearly six times as much as some of the neighbouring villas in the district.

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6. Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2016 — in pictures

Find out how rental prices in Dubai have changed during the first quarter of 2016 and the average annual rates you will pay, according to data provided by Asteco.

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5. iPhone 7 Plus vs Samsung S7 Edge vs iPhone 6: Cameras put to the test in the UAE

The two reigning smartphone makers, Apple and Samsung, have both touted the cameras on their newest phones as one of the top selling points. So who has the better camera?

The National photographer Delores Johnson tested both phones side-by-side, with an iPhone 6 for comparison.

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4. UAE banks warn customers on new international tax compliance measures

Local banks are starting to warn their customers about new international tax compliance measures that will take effect in January as governments ramp up efforts to catch tax evaders.

HSBC sent a circular to clients alerting them to the new measures that are being ordered by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development, a 35-member grouping of mostly European nations. The measures will make it more difficult for people to avoid paying taxes and will start taking effect next month.

“These local laws will mean that from the beginning of January 2017, governments will start requiring all banks and other financial institutions to ask customers for information with a view to determining where they are resident for tax purposes,” HSBC said.

“Therefore, from the beginning of 2017 onwards, we will be contacting some of our customers to collect information related to their tax status.”

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3. Emaar to build tower higher than Burj Khalifa and new ‘mega-retail district’ for Expo 2020

Santiago Calatrava, the Spanish-Swiss architect behind a new US$1 billion Dubai tower that will stand higher than Burj Khalifa, says it will represent a nation like The Eiffel Tower.

The Paris landmark was built for the 1889 Paris Expo. Dubai’s Emaar Properties is aiming to emulate that architectural impact as preparations get under way for Dubai’s own Expo 2020.

Emaar Properties will attempt to deliver the new Dubai Creek tower and a linked “mega-retail district” at the same time so that they are both open by the time Dubai’s Expo 2020 event begins.

The tower is likely to be built under three packages, with one company handling the foundation, another building its concrete core and a third carrying out the fabrication of the steel cables, which will be among some of the longest ever used.

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2. Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, H1 2016 — in pictures

Find out how rental prices in Dubai have changed during the first half of 2016 and the average annual rates you will pay, according to data provided by Asteco.

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1. The Dh50m Dubai villa that comes with a Porsche, Range Rover and Rolls-Royce — in pictures

It’s a lot of money for this Al Barari villa, but maybe the luxury car fleet will tempt you. Take a look around.