Real Estate Still Top Investment for UAE Residents

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Real estate is the most popular class for investment for UAE residents, according to a new survey. Although investors prefer property over the traditional “safe haven” asset of gold, they choose overseas properties, with only 12% owning real estate in the UAE, feeling the property prices in Dubai are inflated.

New survey, released by YouGov and global property investment house IP Global, polled a thousand UAE residents, mostly Arab expats, who were interested in investing. The research reveals that real estate makes up 53 percent of UAE residents’ investment portfolios, while gold falls second with only 43 percent. The other popular asset classes are bonds and stocks, as well as fixed/time deposits, which are present in the investment portfolios of 29 percent of UAE residents. Although property is more popular than gold, it turns out that investors prefer foreign markets – 41 percent of those who invested in real estate have invested overseas, while only 12 percent of them own property in the UAE. Overseas markets are seen as more robust and less volatile than the property market in Dubai.

However, the results also indicate that this tendency may shift, as 57 percent of the property investors say they would choose Dubai as their next property investment destination. In comparison, London, which is highly regarded as the traditional property “safe haven” of the world, is preferred by only 21 percent of the respondents. 13 percent of the people surveyed preferred New York and Sydney, while 8 percent chose Miami, Manchester and Melbourne as their preferred overseas property market to invest in. And the most important factor to consider when investing in property abroad is “legal foreign ownership”, according to 53 percent of the respondents.

According to researchers, confidence in Dubai property market is increasing, despite the recent fall in prices. After the announcement of Dubai winning the bid to host Expo 2020, there has been a surge in prices, but now the market is cooling off, with experts saying it will soon balance itself. This will encourage UAE-based property investors to return to Dubai’s market, the researchers suggest.

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