If you wanted to make a quick buck in property, Dubai would have been the place to do it in the last couple of years. And the desert of superlatives is still going strong despite a partial slowdown.
According to CBRE Group, apartment prices increased by a more modest 3.2 percent in the second quarter of 2014, bringing gains over the last year to 21 percent. But that's exactly the problem.
Memories of the last real estate bubble that blew up in 2009 and exposed a debt-laden Emirate are still fresh.
"In our view, the residential market is getting close to the top and we would perhaps expect growth for another 12-18 months, but certainly not at the rate we've been seeing. It's been unsustainable," Craig Plumb, Head of Research, MENA, at Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), told CNBC.
The government has moved to cool the rally, doubling transaction fees to four percent and introducing revised caps on mortgages at the end of last year. Still, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned repeatedly over the summer that more measures are needed to avoid a replay of the previous disaster.
"The threat of another period of anomalous growth as we saw in 2007-08 was curbed through the effective combination of government backed legislation and general affordability has helped to rein in growth. This is reflected in the falling number of transactions, particularly at the top end of the villa market," Steve Morgan, Chief Executive at Cluttons Middle East, explained to CNBC.