Weekly Dubai real estate news digest. Issue 81

Property sector is game-changer
Welcome to the eighty-first 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 81 |  January 18, 2014

Property sector is game-changer

Dubai has always prioritised being on the global map with its developments. It's clear that this has had the desired impact, making Dubai one of the most watched cities when it comes to innovative mega-projects in the field of real estate. 

When it comes to luxury developments, it's hard for other cities to compete. In fact, now, the city's ambitious World Islands project may be offering interested investors an opportunity to buy their own private island. Dutch Docklands is working closely with Oqyana Real Estate to help design private islands, housing luxury villas with a private beach. 

The UAE's innovative projects have also made it on the list of 2015's most exciting buildings to look out for, compiled by CNN.com. The Louvre Abu Dhabi and Marina 101 in Dubai have been listed among the 13 buildings worldwide with Al Noor Tower in Casablanca, developed by Dubai-based Middle East Development, also finding place in the list.

While keeping its focus on being globally recognised, the emirate's real estate market has shifted focus on the demands of end-users in the country, prioritising affordable housing projects. According to the Dubai Municipality, a proposal is currently under review to ensure affordable living options. The proposal, if put into action, will help reduce traffic jams and contribute to economic stability.

Market Insight is aimed at examining the emirate's dynamic market and forecasting industry trends. It's definitely a period of flux for the UAE's real estate market but the one thing that's definite is the sector has proven itself to be a game-changer for the country's economy, attracting international investment. Most experts also agree that the market is entering a period of sustainability after a period of rapid price growth.  Masood Al Awar, CEO of Tasweek Real Estate Development and Marketing said in an interview with Arabian Business, ‘We know that every eight or seven years there are some disturbances in the market and nothing can climb so rapidly. I think 2015 will be the peak but if we sustain it, [growth] can be prolonged to avoid the downturn… avoid the pitfalls [of 2008].’


Pashma Manglani


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Proposal to ensure affordable housing under review

Dubai has turned its attention to ensure there is enough affordable housing for its residents and according to a senior official, a proposal to look into this is currently under review.

If made law, the proposal will not only provide more economic stability, but also reduce traffic jams, said Abdullah Rafia, acting director-general for engineering and planning, Dubai Municipality. The proposal to develop a law that will balance out luxury and affordable housing — while reducing traffic congestion — is part of the overall strategy of “building a sustainable city”, Rafia told Gulf News. “Laws take some time to mature. There is a lot of discussion about the law itself. It’s more about building a sustainable city, signalling affordable housing, but not necessarily to limit luxury housing." 


Read more on Gulf News

UAE among top construction markets in GCC

The UAE is the second most expensive market to engage in construction activity among Gulf states, with Qatar being the costliest, according to a new survey by the specialist consultancy EC Harris.

Gulf News reported that the stream of new projects set to emerge from the pipeline this year would have been enough to set off an inflationary spiral but changes in oil prices has altered the picture. “Abu Dhabi is best placed to be able to continue to fund budget commitments … but with oil trading hovering around $50 a barrel earlier this month, it is possible that current and capital spending priorities may come under review,” said Christopher Seymour, partner and head of UAE Property at EC Harris. 

Read more on Gulf News

AED218b worth of deals recorded in 2014

The value of Dubai property deals in 2014 fell 7.6% compared with the previous year, reflecting a slowdown in the emirate’s housing market, official figures show.

Overall property or land sold or mortgaged in 2014 stood at AED218 billion, down from AED236bn the previous year, according to Dubai Land Department (DLD) data released yesterday. DLD, the official government body responsible for registering property sales in the emirate, said that the number of property transactions taking place in Dubai fell by nearly 10,000 or 15% from 63,652 in 2013 to 53,871 in 2014. 

Read more on AMEInfo

Luxury floating villas on offer

For those looking for a different take on luxury projects, Dubai's ambitious World Islands project may be offering a set of floating private island villas, The National reported.

Work on an archipelago of 20 private man-made islands built in the shape of the continent of Australiasia could finally start, property developer Oqyana Real Estate said on Sunday. The firm signed a deal with floating island expert Dutch Docklands to create a series of private island villas at its long-delayed scheme, Oqyana World First development. Under the terms of the deal, Dutch Docklands will help design personalised private islands, each of which will house just one luxury villa and each with its own private beach. 

Read more on The National

Housing fee to cover all of Dubai

All expat occupants of rented and freehold residential properties in Dubai are now being charged housing fees, with the system of levying civic charges through utility bills covering all areas in the emirate from 2014 end.

Khaleej Times reported that this is as per the rental index of their areas issued by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera). It has been four years since the Dubai Municipality started collecting housing fee for all general civic services it is providing through utility bills from the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa). 

Read more on Khaleej Times

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