Despite the pandemic, the real estate market in the UAE remains optimistic and has already recorded great numbers for the first quarter of 2021. Major developers, including Emaar have been quoted to be “upbeat” about the industry on the whole. Sales and interest in property buying/renting have skyrocketed and according to a recent poll, Dubai is to see property prices rise for the first time in 6 years.
In an exclusive, AMEinfo spoke to Marwan Al Sheikh, CEO at Medait Star Real Estate, to clarify some of these developments and more. Al Sheikh leads the coordination of property auctions or exchanges, brings in collaborations, and networks with industry specialists, among his many specialties and backgrounds. Medait offers high-end purchase consultation and up-to-date market research.
1. What has prompted the enthusiasm behind UAE’s property market, during the pandemic?
It is a very well-known fact that Dubai’s economy is based on trade, tourism, and its international influence as a hub for business services, all of which were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as most businesses were forced to close down and most expats lost their jobs and income.
The real estate market in Dubai plummeted as a result. However, after the lockdown and curfews were lifted, the sector started to move and low market prices prompted investors to grab investment opportunities.
2. Who is or will be investing today?
As the economy revived in Dubai, locals, expats, and foreign investors began to delve into the real estate market, mostly due to the affordability of the prices compared to previous years.
Investors who plan to live and stay in UAE permanently, brought families and friends, furthering property sales.
3. When is the ideal time to invest?
Since the lockdown has been lifted for over a year now, vaccine drives are successfully targeting more and more of the UAE population, and economic growth has seen a considerable revival since 2020.
Essentially, we are at a sensitive time where the price curve hasn’t hit the roof yet as real estate prices are only expected to go higher in the foreseeable future. The present time would be perfect to start investing.
4. Besides prices, what other factors should influence buying?
Affordability is the main factor that influences a buyer, but also:
a- The location – Staying and working in an environment that provides a sense of luxury at an affordable price has many investors excited to buy in UAE.
b- Quality – The UAE is known for its high standards in terms of great quality products and services for its hard-working residents, and its complemented by various entertainment outlets for residents and visitors alike.
5. What is the ideal location to invest in with a budget ranging from 250k to 1 million dirhams?
With the upcoming Expo 2020, the ideal locations to invest in Dubai would be the following, as these are the areas accessible to the Dubai Expo exhibition center:
Dubai Sports City: A neighborhood that packs a lot in terms of lifestyle and residential options, at a wallet-friendly price. Home to the International Cricket Stadium and Els Club, this upcoming development is the most sought-after destination for investors. There’s a mix of villa compounds and apartment complexes with a range of options for those considering investing in Sports City. Likewise, tenants can choose between studios to 3-bedroom apartments and a range of independent villas. It is one of the freehold areas in Dubai.
Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO): It is a coveted address in Dubai. More commonly known as Silicon Oasis, it is a suburb buzzing with technology and innovation in the commercial sector. The development offers a free trade zone and facilitates companies operating within the technology park. According to Bayut’s 2020 Annual Rental Report, DSO is one of the most popular areas with affordable apartments for rent. The Dubai Silicon Oasis features many residential buildings and gated sub-communities, and accommodation options for individuals and families alike.
Dubai Marina: It is an affluent residential neighborhood known for The Beach at JBR, a leisure complex with alfresco dining and sandy stretches to relax on. Smart cafes and pop-up craft markets line the waterside promenade Dubai Marina Walk, while the Dubai Marina Mall is packed with chain and luxury fashion brands.
Dubai Hills: It is an aspirational city within a city with elegantly planned neighborhoods. Sustainably designed, this masterfully planned 2,700-acre multi-purpose development forms an integral part of the Mohammed Bin Rashid City. It is ideally situated between Downtown Dubai and Dubai Marina.
6. Is Prop tech carving out market share from traditionally brokered deals?
Proptech in the real estate sector has changed the way we purchase, sell and interact with our properties. It makes processes more effective and appealing.
Proptech makes and provides better and easier solutions to real estate developers as well as brokers.
Tokenization is considered the best way to secure assets. It is more efficient nowadays with all the technology surrounding us.
7. Are commercial properties the slowest to recover as businesses shift to remote work and smaller offices?
Properties, whether commercial or residential can be a good investment opportunity as long as the marketing concepts are observed and implied. Generally, commercial properties offer more financially rewarding than residential ones. However, there would be a bigger responsibility and time commitment compared to residential property.
It is true that there was a big impact caused by the pandemic and most businesses turned home-based, but then again, with the drop in prices, commercial property sales have seen a spike and are gaining back their lofty status.