MENA Investors Shift Focus from UAE Residential to Hospitality Market

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UAE’s residential market continues to be the most preferred investment choice for MENA investors. According to JLL’s 2014 MENA Investors Sentiment Survey, the regional interest in UAE’s residential sector is still very high. However, many of participants have also shared that they were planning to focus more on the country’s hospitality real estate market next year.

According to the report, Investors from the Middle East and North Africa believe that UAE’s residential market will witness a minor slowdown over the next one year. Still, the residential sector remains a top choice among regional investors and about 97% of the survey’s participants have shared that they want to invest more. However, many of them now see that this market at present offers limited opportunities for growth. The research has found that in 2015 MENA investors will shift their focus from UAE’s residential sector to the hospitality real estate and office markets.

Saudi Arabia’s residential and industrial markets will also be among the most preferred investment options in MENA. The country is already enjoying a higher attention from MENA investors. This year, over 60% of investors showed interest in some of Saudi Arabia’s leading sectors. In comparison, in 2013, they were estimated at barely 38%.

Investors’ interest in Egypt has also increased. According to the report, that is due to the country’s improving economy and new political stability.

Top regional markets for MENA investors:

  • Residential, UAE
  • Residential, Saudi Arabia
  • Hospitality, UAE
  • Retail, UAE
  • Industrial/Logistics, Saudi Arabia

The survey has also discovered that more and more investors from the Middle East and North Africa have started to seek for investment opportunities outside of the region. The most popular global market among them is UK’s office sector, followed by the office market in Western Europe. Investments in the residential sectors in the United Kingdom and North America have also increased.

Last, but not least, the research states that MENA investors are showing more willingness in selling their assets. For just one year, this attitude has increased from 6% to 14%. In addition, there is an increased focus on sustainable building. Last year, it was estimated at 67%, but in 2014 it has reached 80%.

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