Weekly Dubai real estate news digest. Issue 24

Bright prospects for 2014
Welcome to the twenty-fourth issue of Market Insight, your weekly guide to what's happening in the Dubai real estate market.
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MARKET INSIGHT. Weekly guide to Dubai's property scene
Issue 24 |  December 15, 2013

Bright prospects for 2014

The Middle East has been making headlines over the last month, starting with Dubai's win to host Expo 2020 followed by the emirate's benchmark index going up to 0.8%. Dubai's economy grew 4.9% in the first half of the year, driven by tourism and the hotel industry with the tourism sector growing by 13.7%. 

The Expo is expected to welcome over 25 million visitors during the six months' period. As a result, the city is upping efforts to build its retail, hospitality and residential facilities to meet the anticipated demand. Leading developer Emaar announced that it will be developing an integrated urban centre and golf destination in a prime location at Dubai World Central, the home to both the Expo as well as the Al Maktoum International Airport. Earlies, Jones Lang LaSalle said in a report that the Expo 2020 win would likely be a catalyst to the airport, which started passenger services in October. 

Prospects are looking positive overall. Emaar gained 3.6% during the month. In the construction segment, Arabtec's third-quarter net income jumped to AED100.8 million from AED35 million a year earlier, on the back of new projects. The UAE's markets have risen significantly in the first 11 months of the year. The domestic economy has strengthened and the underlying confidence among companies and investors is high, says Saleem Khokhar, head of equities at NBAD Asset Management Group. According to him, all these factors set the stage for what should be a "solid showing in 2014."

Market Insight is aimed at examining the emirate's dynamic market and forecasting industry trends. The UAE's growth can be seen in the rising prices in the market as well as through the announcement of massive new projects. Developers in the city are truly gearing up for the Expo, looking at key areas of traffic and working on projects to handle a surge of new visitors. We hope our round-up of key stories and expert opinions have helped trace the changes that Dubai is witnessing. We'll be sure to follow up on Dubai's dynamism in the coming months and update our readers on the hottest new properties and the city's progress. 


Pashma Manglani


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Discovery Gardens rents up by 20%

Rents in Discovery Gardens have shot up by almost 20% to 30% in the past two months, according to data collected by Emirates 24/7.

Listings on various real estate portals show rents for one-bed units to range between AED60,000 per annum and AED65,000 per annum.

In comparison, Asteco Property Management's third quarter report had put one-bed lease rates at AED50,000 per year. Rentals were at AED40,000 per annum in 2012. The Real Estate Regulatory Agency's rental index shows rents for one-bed between AED50,000 to AED60,000.

Read more on Emirates 24/7

New towers at Union station

Hundreds of new flats and offices could be built above Dubai's busiest metro station in Deira if plans for a new public-private partnership take off.

Dubai's Road and Transport Authority (RTA) is asking international real estate companies to submit bids for developing blocks of flats and offices above the two-level Union Metro station complex in Deira. It said that it would be inviting property developers to submit plants to build a number of towers above the 19,000 square metres station - the largest underground metro station complex in the world.

The project aims at raising efficiency and increasing users of mass transit systems by replanning districts around metro stations. 

Read more on The National

Emaar set to develop DWC urban centre

Emaar Properties said it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Dubai World Central to develop an integrated urban centre and golf destination in a prime location at Dubai World Central, the home to Expo 2020 and the Al Maktoum International Airport. 

The new development reflects the need for more strategic projects that can meet the growing demand for luxury residences resulting from the ongoing increase in the number of senior investors, executives and employees at Dubai World Central. 

Read more on Gulf News

Regulating the holiday home market

The Dubai government will start requiring landlords who rent out furnished properties on a short-term basis to get licenses as the emirate attempts to standardise its property market and increase tourist accommodation ahead of Expo 2020.

In a decree, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid, vice president of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, ordered that anyone renting out holiday lets on a daily, weekly or monthly basis would be required to apply for a license from the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), the body which classifies Dubai hotels.

A statement on the news agency WAM said that the department would grant new holiday home licenses to landlords only with properties in specific Dubai neighbourhoods, without saying where these will be located. It also did not disclose how much the licenses would cost. Currently, short-term holiday lets falls into a grey area of Dubai property law. 

Read more on The National

Up to 90% finance for ready properties

A local Islamic bank is offering up to 90% home loan to property buyers in the UAE, with the option of even getting financing for the registration fee.

A call centre employee at Ajman Bank confirmed that the scheme was being offered until the end of the month with a maximum finance of AED10 million for ready properties for a maximum period of 25 years.

The Central Bank's new mortgage regulations have not come into effect as of yet. Bankers in the city said no new information was yet available on when the new rules will come into force.

Read more on Emirates 24/7

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