Expo 2020 Dubai generates property demand - GulfToday

Expo 2020 Dubai generates property demand


Picture used for illustrative purposes only.

Inayat-ur-Rahman, Business Editor

The Dubai real estate sector has witnessed an upward trend in the rental market in Q3, 2021, with an estimated 14% increase in affordable housing and up to 30% increase in luxury housing in selected areas.

The fourth quarter is expected to follow suit with the commencement of Expo 2020 Dubai, according to Zoom Property Insights.

The first ten days of the marquee event recorded 411,768 visitors, and it is expected to welcome up to 25 million visitors from different countries throughout its six-month run. From these figures, it can be ascertained that the areas located close to the event site will remain

busy during this world fair. There is an expected growth both in terms of rental prices and demand in these areas.

Dubai property market quarterly reports from different property portals show that the Q3 saw an increased activity in Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC), Al Nahda, Bur Dubai, Dubai Silicon Oasis and Deira for affordable flats, while tenants seeking luxury apartments for rent preferred Dubai Marina, Downtown Dubai, Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR), Palm Jumeirah, and City Walk.

Mirdif, DAMAC Hills 2, JVC, Reem and Dubai South topped the charts for affordable rental villas. For luxury villas, Jumeirah, Al Barsha, Umm Suqeim, Arabian Ranches and Dubai Hills Estate remained the top pick of tenants. As per Zoom Property Insights, these areas will remain at the forefront in Q4, 2021 as well.

The shift of demand towards large homes, return of foreign investors to Dubai, and expatriate-friendly policies are the major reasons accredited to increase in demand and property prices, apart from the ongoing Expo 2020. The recently announced golden visa scheme and 100% business ownership policies have also resulted in increased entrepreneurial and investment activities in Dubai. The change due to these policies is reflecting in the rental property market, as both the demand and prices are witnessing substantial growth this year so far.

Ata Shobeiry, CEO at Zoom Property, said: “The promising statistics in 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2021 paved the way for a strong fourth quarter. Due to the ongoing Expo and a strong comeback by the Dubai property market post-pandemic setback, rental prices will see a significant increase in the last quarter.”

Apart from the rental market, property sales are also speculated to witness a surge in Q4, as the third quarter showed promising results. With 15,926 deals worth Dhs 42.35 billion, it has become the best ever third quarter vis-à-vis transaction value in the history of the Dubai property market.

Zoom Property is an emerging property portal in the UAE with a primary focus on Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah markets. The portal also features international properties in KSA, UK and other regions. The platform not only facilitates buyers and renters but is also popular among developers, real estate brokerages and property sellers. https://www.zoomproperty.com/en

Meanwhile, leading industry developers forecast a steady recovery in the real estate market with a promising interest from resilient investors, brokers and homebuyers.

The live Cityscape Global exhibition, taking place on Nov.9 – 11, 2021 at the Dubai Exhibition Centre (DEC) at Dubai Expo 2020 site, will present top development enterprises including DAMAC Properties and Azizi Developments.

Damac properties’ Senior Vice President, Niall McLoughlin, is confident that the current recovery we are seeing in the real estate market will continue for the coming months.

“I see in the medium term, a continuation of a buyer’s market, as competitive prices and payment plans continue attracting customers. With the recent rise of people moving into villas, developers are trying to make community life as appealing as possible, offering residents countless amenities.”

The pandemic has placed significant importance on larger living spaces and the inclusion of high-end facilities. As the world has adapted to a semi-permanent work-from-home system, developers are eager to start constructing new properties with larger living spaces to meet the demand of potential investors and organisations.

McLoughlin says, “At Damac, we believe the current shift into working from home is a sign of our times and we have seen this move being permanently adopted by global entities, particularly when planning future real estate exhibitions, as Cityscape Global has done with its hybrid model approach this year. As developers, we welcome change with open arms in efforts to expand our portfolio and innovate.”

“About 19,056 new units were launched in 2021, which is the lowest since 2012 according to CBRE.  One of our main goals of participating at Cityscape is enhancing our relationships with our existing customer base and continue growing our plethora of units.”

In an effort to advance their inclusion in the rapidly digitalised real estate industry, Damac has modernised their Damac Living App, gearing it towards making every home-related process available to residents and homeowners at the touch of a button, eliminating the physical visit to offices needed for administrative tasks.

“The pandemic made us review how we can improve our digital presence. We are growing our IT team to accommodate our vision of being a real estate industry tech-leader. Not only have we implemented virtual home tours but are exploring other realms of virtual reality to improve the home buying experience.”

Likewise, Farhad Azizi, the CEO of award-winning developer based in Dubai - Azizi Developments, echoes Damac’s sentiment of enhancing the buyer experience by advancing living spaces.

“We’ve announced the addition of new facilities at our flagship community Riviera including a 3.2km running and cycling track winding through the entire community, numerous basketball and tennis courts, playgrounds, as well as plenty of parks and greenery throughout. We want to make sure that this development lives up to - and surpasses — all our stakeholder expectations. We are not here to just construct mere buildings; we want to enrich lifestyles for generations to come”

The leading developers are confident in the influx of buyers in the region, particularly with their luxury developments across Dubai.

“We are very confident that by 2023 the remaining 20% of unsold units will be sold, aligning with the UAE’s 2021 vision of instrumenting iconic, luxury properties -considering they are well-differentiated in terms of location, pricing, sizing, amenities, and lifestyles offered. We plan to pursue the very feasible and lucrative opportunity of converting some of our properties into hotel units, for which there is a high demand due to Expo 2020. We are already in negotiations with hospitality providers to explore such options and are looking into leasing and other revenue generating assets to further our growth and profitability.”

“Although the exhibition only lasts for six months, the decade following the event known as the ‘Expo effect’, maintains the positive impact that the Expo traditionally has on the host country’s economy and real estate market. We see that previous host cities such as Milan and Shanghai experience an increase in property prices after the event, and with the UAE’s prompt response to the Covid-19 pandemic, international investors can witness the resilience of the market first-hand. Azizi has received a noticeably increasing demand from European investors over the last two quarters, with sales to nationals from the continent having surged by nearly 40%.”

The value of transactions within the luxury residential industry rose by 25% in the first quarter of 2021, compared to the previous year according to Luxhabitat Sotheby’s. The brokerage notes the rebound in home sales in the second quarter of 2021, with an increase in the total volume of transactions for the home market in Dubai becoming more than Dhs 16.7 billion, compared to the Dhs5 billion in the same period last year.

According to Chris Speller, Cityscape Group Director, “In terms of future trends, Expo 2020 has opened a new focus for investors in areas close to the Expo 2020 site. While the property occupancy is still low, the expansion of Maktoum airport has anticipated a dramatic increase in tourism to these areas. With upgraded infrastructure including new metro links, additional commercial and residential spaces – the area is rapidly growing. There has been an influx of tourists who have been working from home, from Dubai and this is expected to steadily increase.”

The live and in-person event will be held in adherence with Informa AllSecure, an enhanced health and safety standards that raise the bar on safe, hygienic, productive, and high-quality organised event experiences. The Summit returns with support from its key sponsors Colliers, JLL, Kohler, Land Sterling, LWK + Partners, Regus and WhiteBricks, on the 7th and 8th of November. Registration for Cityscape Global, the live and in-person summit and exhibition that takes place from 9th-11th November at DEC, is now open.

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