2021 Best Year for Major Real Estate Investment in UAE

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  • UAE remains top choice of many global property investors 

The UAE’s real estate market is currently experiencing renewed vigor and momentum, which can be attributed to peaked rental and capital appreciation across some of the high-end properties located in the country. Real estate investment advisory firm Medallion Associates made the statement recently amid reports of strong property transactions in the local sector.    

The UAE’s sustained attractiveness lies in the market’s various unique value propositions, including its intense focus on innovations and technologies and decisive and rapid actions against COVID-19.  According to Medallion Associates, in spite of the difficulties brought about by the pandemic, domestic real estate transactions have presented an upbeat market outlook.   

Masood Al Awar, Chief Executive Officer, Medallion Associates, said: “Global investors with a long-term investment view and strategy have a resilient outlook for Dubai and the UAE. We attribute it to the Emirates’ investor-friendly policies, national economic growth potentials and profit landscape. Further, investors are drawn to the country’s strong economic fundamentals fueled by its capabilities to drive growth based on key factors such as strong job market, steady growing population, excellent infrastructure, world-class healthcare and education systems, as well as an attractive tax base.”

We are confident that our role is to attract and execute real estate investment transactions through the complex asset funding and financing with fund structure will stimulate new activities within the emirate’s real estate community, which will further accelerate its recovery and bolster its growth,” Al Awar revealed.   

Amid the pandemic, Dubai’s real estate market posted a total of 35,600 transactions worth AED 72 billion in 2020 compared to AED 82 billion in 2019–thus making the country one of the highly preferred sophisticated and smart investment destinations.

Furthermore, recent increase of villa prices in Dubai was recorded. According to a report released by Reidin, villa sales prices in the emirate have surged since September 2020. The villa segment witnessed a quarterly sales price change of 2.7 per cent and rentals also increased by 2 per cent in the last quarter of 2020. Whereas in Abu Dhabi, villa sales prices increased by 2.7 per cent quarterly, and rent prices slightly declined by 0.8 per cent. Villa sales prices, meantime, rose 2.2 per cent.

Moreover, as per the same Reidin report, Dubai’s residential property market posted over AED 56 billion in sales volume during 2020, with a total value of ready property transactions exceeding AED 34 billion in the same year. This is 13 per cent higher than what was posted in 2019. The residential transaction value in Dubai’s ready property market remained at AED 1.2 million per transaction while the average transaction price in the off-line property market declined to AED 1.1 million in 2020. With this, the ready property transactions in Dubai and Abu Dhabi slightly increased by 2 per cent compared to 2019.

Al Awar also noted: “Even during the toughest of times, the real estate market in Dubai and the UAE in general continued to attract investors from Europe and the United States as global migration movement is picking pace. These investors want four key drivers to relocate, which are macroeconomic stability, safety and security; modern infrastructure; higher living standards; and economic policy consistency.”

The tourism sector, a pillar of Dubai’s non-oil economy, is also driving the developments in the real estate sector. Almost 1.1 million tourists visited Dubai after the lockdown was lifted in July up until November last year, bringing the total visitors to enter the country to 4.9 million between January and November 2020.

Furthermore, the recent historic decision of the UAE Government offering citizenship to eligible foreigners is a welcome development for the country’s real estate segment. The new policy, which is enacted to attract more talents who can contribute to the country’s progress, will positively impact the market with the subsequent entry of more prospective property investors.

Real estate is seen to benefit as well from the government’s stimulus packages to be rolled out in 2021, especially in Dubai, which was one of the first to open under strict precautionary and safety measures.

In addition, for 2021, it has been revealed that the total government expenditure is set at AED 57.1 billion, with 41 per cent allocated for infrastructure and transportation, 31 per cent for social development and 22 per cent for security, justice and safety. These investments will likely boost the real estate sector, bringing it into a whole new level of competition in the regional and global market.

This year, the UAE is offering investors major growth opportunities amid planned construction of many revenue-generating properties. As per the announcements of key property developers, 69,500 residential units in the UAE are in the pipeline for 2021.  However, the market will likely see lower materialization rate. Around 2,900 units entered the Abu Dhabi real estate market in 2020, and an approximately 17,000 units are in the pipeline over the next two years.

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