Free resource - A guide to the Dubai property market.

Discussion in 'Dubai property' started by totallyproperty, Feb 17, 2016.

  1. totallyproperty

    totallyproperty Administrator Staff Member

    Dubai real estate market maturing with age

    If there is one real estate market which epitomises the rise and fall (and rise again) of property prices this century it has to be the Dubai real estate market. This was a market which was off the radar of many property investors at the turn-of-the-century although very quickly became one of the hottest property sectors in the world. However, as property prices continued to move higher investors seemed to think that Dubai was immune from any worldwide economic downturn.

    The Dubai authorities

    The beginning of the Dubai property boom can be traced back to the early part of the century when the Dubai authorities invested significant amounts of money to attract overseas companies. What started as a trickle of overseas investment very soon became a wall of investment heading for one of the best-known Emirates. We saw a significant increase in the expat population, the financial services sector began to grow and the story very quickly became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Many investors began to think that the Dubai property market was immune from any outside influences and would continue to grow at a very impressive rate for the foreseeable future.

    Demand for real estate in Dubai

    As the Dubai economy continued to grow and the expat community followed suit it became obvious there was a significant shortfall in accommodation. This saw a massive investment in both traditional accommodation and office properties attracting some of the world’s best-known property companies. A lack of regulation limited the influence that the Dubai authorities had on investors, troubles in overseas property markets placed more focus on Dubai and the self-fulfilling prophecy just got stronger and stronger.

    The 2008 economic downturn

    In 2008 the US led mortgage crisis led to the deepest depression in the worldwide economy since the 1930s. As bodies such as the IMF began to downgrade worldwide economic growth investors continued to plough money into the Dubai property market. Even when the financial markets stalled in 2008/9 there was still a belief that the Dubai property market was somehow immune. However, as the situation worsened in the US, overseas investors began to repatriate their money and property developers were struggling with cash flow, reality hit home.

    The lack of regulation, a financial sector which was in disarray and developers suddenly disappearing overnight amid rumours of financial problems very quickly popped the Dubai property bubble.

    Regulatory framework

    Thankfully the Dubai authorities reacted to demands from international investors to introduce a more stringent regulatory framework. Greater control over financial services was introduced, speculative lending was limited and more protection for investors was placed on the statute books. This very quickly put the Dubai real estate market on a much firmer footing, investors began to look for value as the risk/reward ratio changed dramatically.

    The gradual improvement in the worldwide economy saw many investors moving back into Dubai real estate although initially on a much smaller scale. While it would be wrong to suggest that Dubai is now a “mature” real estate market it is certainly on a much sounder footing than it was in the aftermath of the worldwide economic downturn of 2008/9. Investors have more confidence in the system, the money markets are more liquid and greater control on expat investment, immigration and business in the region has given a solid base for the future.
  2. nmb

    nmb Well-Known Member

    The Dubai property market we see today is very different to that which collapsed in the aftermath of the 2008 economic crisis. The market has matured, regulators now have more power and the more speculative edge which attracted many investors in the first place has been reduced. However, for those with a creative mind there are still many potentially lucrative investments in the Dubai property market. It may have matured but it is still alive and kicking!
  3. Dubai2020

    Dubai2020 New Member

    Agree with nmb, well said!
  4. I found it interesting that the ongoing reduction in Dubai property prices is now described as a “healthy correction” as it would probably have been called a collapse in years gone by. Oh how things have changed?
  5. davinder

    davinder New Member

    yes there is a correction, the prices inflated after the announcement of expo2020, but since things have changed quite a lot....especially since the transfer fee doubled to 4 percent, this drove out the speculators from the market...not that it doesn't happen yet, but on a tiny scale unlike before....also new quality projects has increased the competition, thus affecting time better to invest in dubai than now!
  6. lookinginvest

    lookinginvest Member

    Surely speculators help with the liquidity of property markets around the world? It is not good to drive all speculators out of the market because short-term trading does obviously help liquidity.
  7. davinder

    davinder New Member

    well yea I agree and speculators in (few) numbers are definitely required in any market, which wasn't the case of Dubai until recently.
  8. realdeals

    realdeals Active Member

    The key to the long-term success of the Dubai property market is simply down to the economy. If the region continues to attract new businesses and new employment opportunities this will in turn increase demand for office space and living accommodation.
  9. steveUAE

    steveUAE New Member

    I am not sure how do you view speculators can have any benefits. I have been investing in UAE market for a long time. I buy a property with the mindset that I will not sell it for at least 8 years. Speculators in UAE markets not only lack knowledge, but also the cash and financial means to hold the properties and payments required for even few months. That is why the market here goes through high cycles of up and down. And it seems they have a fish memory when it comes to losses!!! In 20 years of investment in real estate, only 2% or less of speculators can make money on the long run. Their odds would be better gambling in Las Vegas.
  10. mischa

    mischa New Member

    yeah buddy, its true... key of success in dubai market
  11. Range IPI

    Range IPI New Member

    Yeah, Dubai property market is quite mature and increasing competition. Investors in UAE property marketplaces must have the knowledge of money and financial methods to contain the properties and necessary repayments.
  12. Having invested hugely in Al Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaima RAK, UAE since 2008 I had plenty of time to reflect and would like to share my thoughts. I hope this will make others thinking of investing in RAK or Dubai or UAE and GCC in general to rethink.

    My investment has resulted in huge financial worries and a lot of stress. I had invested all my savings and more. It has cost me financially but it also costs me in terms of my time and psychology health. Fortunately, I am over the worse but would like to share my experience in the hope others could avoid similar fate. I have invested in RAK unwisely and naively.

    Consider the following

    GCC region

    I don't want to get political but you can't ignore the political reality of GCC region as could pose a risk to investors. It's interesting to note that all GCC countries are governed by one man rule with absolute power and virtually no accountability. The rule is usually supported by a family who sees the country as its own. The prevailing law of the country primarily targeting the poor and the foreigners especially the cheap labourers from the poor South Asian countries.

    The recent crisis in the GCC where one king of Saudi took action against another emir of Qatar with no regards to any regional or international laws or any need for mediation. There was no debate or consensus etc. There was no consideration given to the very poorest labourers who left stranded. Most likely the common folk will suffer. Its not going to impact much the elite on either sides. Now the same emir wants to to pursue emir of UAE in international court as I suppose there's is no mechanisms regionally. This shows how lawless the region is. There is no accountability or Rule of law when it comes to the ruling elite as long as they pledge their allegiance to their western masters who likely to deem this current crisis as family matter between GCC.

    Also worth considering the ethical aspect of investing in reality sector which employs cheap labour. These labourers often work in a very poor conditions for very little money. They are forced to work long hours in extreme heat. These labourers have paid a lot of money to get to GCC with often misinformation and false promises. These are often poor uneducated simple people. In GCC they are at the mercy of their sponsors who are usually GCC citizens. When they are surplus to requirements they are simply abundant expecting them to sort their own arrangements for travel back to their home countries acquiring further expenses which they have to pay back.


    UAE is said to be a federal state but this is only in a name when it comes issue relating to individual emirate. Unlike a conventional federal state UAE is made of autonomous individual emirate such as Dubai and Ras Al Khaima (RAK). Each emirate is governed by emir supported by his family. As in GCC countries these emirates are almost independent states when it comes to matters like reality sector. Like in GCC these autocratic rulers have absolute authority and no accountability. The emir can decide how and who can run its agencies. Such decisions are not usually based on abilities rather on connections to the emir.

    Dubai and RAK

    Dubai has tried to develop rules etc to compete with other destinations. RAK is also trying to follow its footsteps. However as stated above ultimately the emir can override any rules. The emir can decide to pardon a criminal as he seems fit. This is well illustrated in the case of Al Marjan island development. This was initially envisaged to be completed or at least the infrastructure about 7 years ago. The infrastructure is still in the process of being developed with the latest promise of the whole island being completed by next 8-10 years. This has allowed developers to declare force majuere. This has protected the developers but has cost investors like myself dearly. There is very little recourse for investors when things go wrong.


    The whole convoluted and complex set up of UAE seems to be an advantage to developers based in UAE. A developer can be based in one emirate like Dubai and have a project in another emirate like RAK. The lack of accountability means the master developer can proceed as it pleases allowing developers further protection as they use this as FM. This has been illustrated by khoie property and select group who are both based in Dubai with developments in Al Marjan. Both declaring FM blaming the master developer for their incompetence and mismanagement. Developers are able to take advantage of the cheap labour with no regards for any welfare or ethical issues to keep cost down. This only helps their profit and not for the benefit of investors.

    Given the situation above Why would anyone want to invest in UAE or GCC. This is particularly when the GCC investors are looking to the west to invest in safer heaven like London etc where there is rule of law, stability and accountability. Where the queen can't interfere in any sector. I have become wiser at my own expense and will be looking to invest closer to home in England for my future investment.

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