The sad death of the UAE President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan has dampened the spirits of property buyers this Ramadan, which should have been a peak buying period. But they will be back, not least after the smooth transfer of power to his son Sheikh Khalifa, exemplifying the stability and security of the UAE.
Dubai estate agents employed extra staff in anticipation of a rush of sales this Ramadan with the extra time off work for nationals and expatriates allowing more time for shopping for property.
In the event the sad demise of UAE President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan has left agencies unexpectedly quiet. But behind the scenes investors are already feeling reassured by the smooth transfer of power to his son Sheikh Khalifa which underlines the UAE's reputation as a stable and secure place to do business and own property.
Local stocks rallied by one per cent on the first day of trading after a three-day closure as a mark of respect for Sheikh Zayed. The public sector will now have a period of mourning until the end of the Eid holiday, expected on November 20. But the private sector is back at work, albeit with working hours reduced in traditional Ramadan style.
Thus property buying is expected to get back into swing quickly. The official launch of sales on the huge Palm, Deira should mark the return of off-plan sales with a vengeance. A glance at the first artists' impressions suggests that The Palm, Deira will be substantially bigger than The Palm, Jumeriah, or The Palm, Jebel Ali.
Dubai Crown Prince General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said that The Palm, Deira was in response to investor demand when he announced the project last month. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for investors to snap-up this massive real estate project.
Meanwhile leading Gulf economist Dr. Henry T. Azzam has become more bullish about the outlook for the regional property boom. In an article published by Gulf News last week he was notably more optimistic than earlier this year when he talked openly about the possibility of a bubble bursting in Dubai property around this time.
Once again, the developers of Dubai have confounded their critics. It is a lesson of the past 20 years that those who choose to participate in the success of the city are amply rewarded while the critics just end up looking stupid.
Dubai property prices remain very reasonable on any criteria, and until that changes buyers will buy property, and that is all that is needed to sustain the present boom.