Is the Dubai property market falling apart or finding a level?

Discussion in 'Dubai property' started by Nicholas Wallwork, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. AnyaLuz

    AnyaLuz New Member

    With all the civil wars / peace issues in the middle east, I wonder how it affects Dubai? I still hope and believe Dubai is picking up amidst the crisis around the middle east.
  2. crendonman

    crendonman New Member

    DUBAI ???? It did fall apart and yes it is finding a level....

    High End stuff is increasing in value now for 2 - 3 months but the Volume properties particularly Apartments and Condos are still falling.

    I have bought low and sold high (I was lucky!!) many have already lost a lot of money and many are still hoping to recover their deposits investments etc ...good luck you are going to need it!

    My advice stay out till end of Q1 2012 then we may have reached the bottom.

  3. Salman_Rizvi

    Salman_Rizvi New Member

    Premium properties are doing well , prices are getting better whereas areas like international city are low in demand prices are falling there
  4. Dave_Velasco

    Dave_Velasco New Member

    I guess Dubai is trying to find a good level for their current property market. With their housing market quite booming, but needs more attention - they have chances of finding a good level for their market to enhance it and increase their stability and improvement, as well as competitiveness in the market.
  5. Number49

    Number49 New Member

    First Auction

    Dubai's first bulk auction of repossessed properties
    Kevin Brass

    Dec 7, 2011
    Hundreds of properties are in the foreclosure process in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National

    The Dubai Land Department has sold eight foreclosed properties at auction in the first bulk sale of repossessed homes in the emirate.

    Location, location, location:
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    The sale may clear the way for lenders to offload millions of dirhams in repossessed property. The homes sold between Dh740,000 (US$201,450) and Dh6 million, well above the minimum prices.

    "It was good news to see the [foreclosure] process start to work like other jurisdictions," said Jody Glenn Waugh, a partner with Al Tamimi, a law firm.

    Hundreds of properties are in the foreclosure process in Dubai but they have been slow to come up for auction, where sales are controlled by the Land Department. In May the department auctioned a repossessed villa in The Springs for Dh1.22m, the first and only sale of a foreclosed home under provisions of a mortgage law approved in 2008.

    The sale came more than a year after the British bank Barclays won a court order to repossess the property. "Judgements have been flowing for some time now, but there have been delays getting the property to auction," Mr Waugh said.

    Dubai's 2008 Mortgage Law No 14, was designed to speed up the foreclosure process, giving lenders a chance to recoup their losses on defaulted property.

    Instead of going through civil court, under the new law lenders could execute a foreclosure through a simple hearing before a judge, after giving the client proper notification.

    After the judge's order is issued, the property would be auctioned by the Land Department.

    But the system has been slow to develop, industry executives say. In addition to the process for obtaining judgements, there were issues establishing values for property.

    Some officials were concerned about flooding the market with low-priced homes at a time when prices are already 50 per cent below peak levels in some places, industry experts say.

    The Land Department had previously tried to auction a handful of other properties, but they did not sell.

    "Initially reserve prices were just too high and now they are far more realistic and as a result they are attracting buyers," said Richard Paul, the head of valuations for Cluttons.

    Land Department officials could not be reached for comment.

    The auction may prompt lenders to start more foreclosure proceedings. Banks and mortgage companies have been focusing more on renegotiating deals and using foreclosure as a last resort, industry analysts say.

    "Ultimately [the auction] provides banks with more confidence that if the buyer defaults, they can go through the process," Mr Paul said.

    Long-term, the auction process may also prod mortgage providers to provide more home loans in Dubai, where lenders are still wary.

    "As the [foreclosure] system becomes more streamlined it will give lenders greater comfort to be more aggressive in lending," said Jean-Luc Desbois, the managing director of Home Matters Mortgage Consultants.

    The Land Department staged three auctions last week with 19 properties for sale, including homes in non-freehold areas. The bulk of the eight repossessed properties sold were villas in the Al Thnnyah and Wadi Al Safa areas, plus two apartments in Dubai Marina, according to a sale brochure.

    All the properties sold for more than the reserve price, with bidding brisk, said people who attended the auction. A villa in the Al Thnnyah neighbourhood listed at Dh3.5m sold for Dh5.6m.

    "It was well attended," Mr Desbois said. "The place was full." But auctions are still rare in the UAE, he noted.

    "Investors and buyers are becoming more aware of the ability to purchase property under auction," Mr Desbois said.

    "It is a very new concept for the UAE."

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  6. Number49

    Number49 New Member

    Good News

    It's 6pm on a Friday and Bing Crosby, crooning out of a loudspeaker alongside a waiter who is dressed as Santa and attempting to lure passersby into the waterside restaurant, is dreaming of a white Christmas.

    As this is December in Dubai, he is probably heading for disappointment. But observing the crowds up and down the promenade and packing the thriving and proliferating restaurants around the Marina, it's hard to shake the impression that for Dubai, a city all but written off at the height of the financial freeze, Christmas may have come at last.

    According to Dubai Statistics Centre the emirate's population, creeping up at the rate of about 4,000 newcomers a month, tipped over the two million mark this week for the first time.

    It's an arbitrary figure, of course, but along with a cluster of other clues - such as busier roads, beaches and malls, scarcer taxis and suddenly reanimated building sites - it points towards a tempting conclusion. Whisper it, but after the very public pounding of the past two years, is it possible that Dubai is off the ropes and back in the fight?

    The Marina, a nexus of the two main drivers underpinning the growth of Dubai - property and tourism - is not a bad place to take its pulse. And look out of any window in this suddenly thriving dormitory suburb and it is clear that the heart of "New Dubai" is beating strongly.

    Where over a year ago there was silence, empty walkways and still waters, today once-abandoned building sites ring with the sounds of renewed construction, joggers and walkers compete with rental pedal karts, baby-buggies and cyclists, and the waters churn with the passage of vessels of all sizes, from kayaks and rowing boats to tourist-laden cruise dhows and luxury yachts.

    And there are more concrete clues, as well. Chief among the more obvious is the revived building activity, symbolised by the imminent handover of some of the most impressive buildings to rise on the shores of the Marina, where a forest of striking skyscrapers is creating a stunning skyline that draws camera-wielding tourists by the coachload.

    Due for handover in the next few months, Tameer's Elite Residence and The Princess Tower - at 414m the tallest exclusively residential block in the world - will add a total of 1,460 apartments to the already bustling Marina scene. Select Property, meanwhile, is close to delivering three other neighbouring giants: the Torch - due for completion originally in 2008 - Botanica and Bay Central, which together will add another 1,700 households in a total of 3,160 about to come online.

    Bad news perhaps for landlords, who may well see rents in the Marina fall further, but good news for the shops, restaurants and other business that are now flocking to the area

    Experts voice cautious optimism.

    "I'd agree that Dubai is on the road to recovery," says Craig Plumb, head of research for the Mena region for real-estate company Jones Lang LaSalle, but he takes his clues from outside the property sector.

    "There are lots of signs that Dubai is bouncing back, but real estate tends to lag the rest of the economy. So what you'd normally find is that the trade and tourist levels will pick up, the schools will get busy and the taxis will get busy, before the real-estate market comes back and that's very much what's happening here."

    Stroll out of the Marina and you will find that along the nearby Sheikh Zayed Road work has started again on a key piece of government-funded infrastructure - Al Sufouh Tramway. Work on the project, which was launched in 2008, appeared to have ground to a halt some time last year. Now, says Dubai's Roads & Transport Authority, the project is 30 per cent complete and on track for completion in November 2014.

    The tramway will run for 10km and call at a dozen stations, linking Jumeirah Beach Residence in the south with Jumeirah Hills in the north, via stops including the Marina, Mina Al Siahi, Media City and the Palm Jumeirah. An added bonus, says the RTA, is that it "will provide a permanent solution to the traffic congestion" along the chaotically bustling JBR, itself a testament to the robust state of Dubai's economic health.

    The sense that all Dubai's roads are getting busier is no illusion, says Nasser Abu Saheb, director of strategic transport planning at the RTA. "The urban and economic activity in the city has increased compared to 2009, which has increased the need for commuting," he says.

    "Driving on the major roads in Dubai [gives] a general sense of traffic in Dubai. As business sentiments improve, vehicle registrations and travel activities grow in general."

    It is hard to be precise about the number of cars using the roads - Salik tolls are taken only where there are alternative routes available to motorists - but the increasing use of public transport, including the Metro, strongly suggests a city getting back in the fast lane.

    In the whole of 2010, 289.1 million passengers used public transport in Dubai; by June this year there had been 159.4 million and, says Saheb, "we expect this figure to reach 350 million by this year end", an increase of more than 20 per cent.

    Tarek Coury, an economist at Dubai School of Government, cautions against reading too much into the population reaching the magic two million mark, because it isn't magic, he says, it's par for the course.

    "There's nothing surprising about the growth in population. Population growth tends to mirror the growth in the GDP, in particular in the non-oil sectors; and what we've observed for the past 30 years is that GDP growth in the non-oil sector has been about 5 per cent per annum and during the same time the population growth has also been about 5 per cent."

    Coury doesn't buy into the apocalyptic picture that was painted of Dubai's downfall. "They have been bad years but it's all relative," he says. And now, as well as a tourism sector that has done "super-well, retail growth in Dubai is just through the roof".

    What's more, Dubai has "managed essentially not to default on debt and the companies that still owe a lot are doing pretty well in the market and so more likely than not they will be able to meet their debt obligations".

    On the whole, he says, "I think things look pretty good. The whole world is experiencing a recession so things have to be put in the international context. Relative to other countries, we did OK."

    The population hitting two million might not warrant a celebration, but "tourism is a sensible thing to be happy about", he says, and largely responsible for what has proved to be Dubai's ultimate resilience.

    Various sources put the direct impact of tourism on Dubai's GDP at between 20 and 30 per cent, but there is also a big overlap with the wholesale and retail trade sectors, which in 2010 accounted for about 30 per cent of the emirate's GDP. Doubtless, he says, "tourism is one of the important drivers of the economy, and I think this aspect of Dubai's economy is quite sustainable".

    Figures released last month by the Dubai government showed not only an 11 per cent increase in hotel guests, to 6.64 million visitors in the first three quarters of the year, but also that they were staying longer: the number of guest nights increased by 26 per cent.

    This "stellar performance" of Dubai's tourism industry, as Khalid A bin Sulayem, director-general of Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, characterised it when the figures were released, was "a testimony to the aggressive promotional and marketing drive that the department has been pursuing [and] the inspiring public-private sector partnership to tap the tourism potential of Dubai".

    Perhaps the best barometer of the city's prospects are its hotels, including the fact that new ones seem to be sprouting up all the time.

    This year, says Toufic Tamim, vice president of sales and marketing for Mövenpick, which has operated in the city since 2004, "has seen an upturn in both room occupancies and average rates in Dubai despite the injection of a substantial amount of room supply".

    While the Arab Spring doubtless "caused a shift of demand from some countries in the Middle East", it wasn't only the prospect of safety that lured travellers to Dubai. The crucial additional factor, rooted in the infrastructure planning that took place in Dubai in the Eighties and before, and which will outlive any temporary effects of the Arab Spring, was "the multiple recreational activities that the city offers".
    And those activities continue to multiply. Dubai's cultural scene is already thickly textured; March, for example, will see the sixth staging of Art Dubai, the largest contemporary art fair in the Middle East, while the Dubai International Film Festival has attracted global attention since its foundation in 2004.

    In January, that scene will gain another layer when the institution that is Beirut's Music Hall opens a branch on the Palm, in the new Jumeirah Zabeel Saray Hotel. The hotel, which served as the setting for several scenes in the new Tom Cruise film, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, is already a showbiz veteran, but the real star of that show, however, was the Burj Khalifa.

    The Burj Al Arab, completed in 1999 and conceived by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Ruler, as a world-recognisable symbol of Dubai and its tourism, has served successfully in that role for a decade. If anyone doubted Dubai's wisdom in building a second global icon, in the shape of the world's tallest building, they have only to watch the film, which opened last week to international rave reviews and record box offices and serves as a 133-minute promotional film for Dubai.

    Small wonder that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Ruler of Dubai, was spotted chatting on the red carpet with Tom Cruise at the recent film festival. "We Love Tom," read the posters being waved by fans, and well they might: who knows how many tourist dollars the film will send to the city?

    Such visionary marketing reinforces the confidence of hotel chains such as Mövenpick which, like other groups, is putting its faith - and money - in Dubai. It currently has four properties in the city, with four more under construction.

    Sami Nasser, vice president for Sofitel Middle East, Africa and Indian Ocean, also says that his group has also seen "a significant increase" in occupancy rates in Dubai this year, among both business and leisure travellers.

    "We need to be cautious," he says, "But for the past three months we have noticed positive signs of improvement. More and more traffic on the roads, the rents of apartments and housing are sensible, occupancy rates of the hotels are better than last year and more and more passengers are flying through Dubai with longer stop-overs. The signs are encouraging."

    Sufficiently encouraging to persuade Sofitel, which currently operates one 432-room hotel in the city, on JBR's The Walk, to press ahead with plans to open two more in the next two years.

    Tourists, however, aren't the only visitors drawn to Dubai, which has developed a healthy conference and exhibition sector that has weathered the storm and is now showing signs of moving forward.

    "I am cautiously optimistic," says Matthew Williams, managing director of Terrapinn, an international company that has been running exhibitions and conferences in the Middle East for 13 years and opened an office in Media City in 2007. "I don't think we're getting carried away with the position we find ourselves in, but we are seeing growth in terms of visitor numbers and exhibitors and sponsors at our big shows, and quite considerable in some cases."

    Plus, he says, "the ability to launch new exhibitions is one of the best barometers of how the economy is going, and we've launched a major new event at the Madinat Jumeirah arena which is running next April. The Mobile Show has been a big success for us already in terms of numbers. It just goes to show that people are still allocating budget to this part of the world."

    The Arab Spring, he believes, has been "a huge thing for Dubai, it actually strengthens the value proposition in terms of being the safest place to do business and the most stable place to live or work in the GCC and North Africa".

    According to government figures there was an astonishing boost in foreign trade in the first quarter of 2011, up 34.2 per cent compared with the same period in 2010, a jump in value from Dh136.6 billion to Dh183.3 billion. Imports alone accounted for a growth rate of 28.2 per cent, and the main items give some taste of a city not only back in the money, but also getting down to business again: top of the shopping list were pearls, precious stones and metals, followed by machinery, sound recorders and TV and electrical equipment, and then vehicles, aircraft and vessels
    Another clue to growth can be found in data from the Dubai Statistics Centre, showing the total number of operating licences, including industrial, professional and tourism, issued by the Department of Economic Development in the first half of this year. While only 2,385 licences were cancelled, 7,256 new ones were issued and 53,075 were renewed.

    Among the many new businesses that have opened around the Marina in the past year is Naked Pizza, the first overseas branch of a company founded in New Orleans in 2006 with the twin social missions of making healthier pizzas and helping the revitalisation of the city's economy after Hurricane Katrina.

    The man who brought the brand to Dubai was Ian Ohan, a Canadian who has lived in the city for 11 years and, until 2009, had been working in property-development investment and finance. He saw the founders being interviewed on Bloomberg, liked the fact that the company "aligned purpose and profit", and took the leap, despite the state of Dubai's economy back then.

    Asking him "Why?" in his office at the foot of Marina View Towers is now a redundant question. Since he opened this first outlet on January 17 this year, three others have followed around the city, with many more in the pipeline in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait. In the US, Naked Pizza now has 20 stores with more than 400 new franchises under contract for development, and now the Dubai office has been made the international headquarters for an operation receiving 20 inquiries a week, with franchises already awarded in Lebanon, Australia and India and deals under way in the UK.

    Over the past year, Ohan has seen business pick up in the Marina and the other locations in the delivery area, including JLT, JBR and the Palm. He estimates the population has increased by 15 per cent over the course of the year, to about 50,000 residential units and 6,500 businesses.

    "We have felt a difference and we see it every day, in this location in particular. In all of our locations we have felt an increase. The market has increased in size."

    Back in January, not long after a big international coffee chain quit the very same building in which his operation is now thriving, Ohan's decision to launch a business in the still ghostlike Marina might have seemed rash. But not to him.

    "When we first moved in here, everything was very quiet," he admits. But over the past 13 years, he says, "I've seen Dubai go up and down - mostly up, but there have been downs that other people haven't seen - and I have a lot of faith in the Government.

    "There is a vision in place and I felt they had the unique ability to turn things around quickly; they had too much at stake."

    The proof that his decision was correct is right outside the window: "Now it is so active and vibrant. The Marina is actually becoming the community it was meant to be."

    Despite all the gloomy predictions, the vision that is Dubai is delivering again. Mission not so impossible after all, perhaps.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2011
  7. James Greg

    James Greg Banned

    According to the news and research of seniors, 2012 will be good for Dubai real estate and property sector. Business Bay and Dubai Marina are the places where you can find a large number of tenants and investors. There are also many new projects of apartments in these places and investors are taking interest due to heavy demand of property over there.
  8. metlofts

    metlofts New Member

    I'm sorry but this is not in my opinion accurate at all!! I'm a ripped off investor who has had to wait years for cancellation for a development with no progress or reports.

    RERA are now starting to take action and have officially cancelled the project i invested in on JVS but realistically you cannot possibly think that anything is going to get better for Dubai in the short term without some serious transparency and some serious international news that investors are not losing their money for old investments. You can't just brush under the carpet that investors who invested between the mid 2000's and now have lost life savings!!!
  9. James Greg

    James Greg Banned

    Dubai property market is growing up instead of falling down. Investors and visitors are taking interest in Dubai rental apartments and hotels. There are many new projects that are going to be start in Dubai Marina, Business Bay and Downtown Dubai. So, we can easily say that Dubai property market is growing up instead of falling like past years.
  10. Number49

    Number49 New Member

    Whist there is no question that there have been (and still are) some pretty unscrupulous developers, there is another side to the story.
    Investments in the Dubai property market were purely speculative.
    Investors knew at the time that in many cases there was no sales contract and if they'd done any due diligence they would have discovered that many developers had no credible track record.
    The Dubai property market itself had no track record!
    In addition, many investors took on liabilities with insufficient funds hoping to "flip" and make a quick and easy killing and there is no doubt that the market in the 2-3 years prior to September 2008 was driven by investor (or more correctly speculator) greed.
    Whilst there is sympathy for anyone who lost their life savings there is also bewilderment that they invested all of them in this market to begin with!
    Inevitably, some of the developments will never be completed but others (both existing and new) will be very successful. All the economic signs are positive and the level of property transactions this year as compared to last year has significantly increased.
    Finally, "the powers that be" in Dubai have to make this market work because they have no alternative strategy!
  11. metlofts

    metlofts New Member

    My advice is proceed with caution when considering Dubai or the UAE.

    There are many other places i'd consider before risking a single dirham.

    It shouldn't take a country to be backed into the corner before applying a transparent system. If the government really wanted to make it work in a fair and businesslike way then you might have thought they'd have been a bit more prepared in terms of regulation and law.

    Maybe because i'm from the UK that I expect things to be done properly...
  12. Number49

    Number49 New Member

    I don't want to labour this point but....

    1) If you had consulted a lawyer prior to making your investment he/she would have told you that the property rules had never been tested as there had never previously been a property market (as such) in Dubai.

    2) It's quite unreasonable to blame the Dubai goverment. Heard of the phrase caveat emptor?

    3) As for your advice:

    " My advice is proceed with caution when considering Dubai or the UAE.

    There are many other places i'd consider before risking a single dirham."

    Sound stuff! Obviously, you should have taken it prior to make your speculative investment?

    4) As for things being done "properly" in the UK - last time I looked the UK was £800billion in debt!!
  13. metlofts

    metlofts New Member

    I think you'll find if you sign a contract to purchase property in the UK it's so well regulated it's unlikely you'll experience the rip off situation so many have with Dubai.
  14. kamenoff

    kamenoff New Member

    Interesting views. The fact is that there are good regulations and Laws in Dubai but they serve the Developers. The investment environment is very hostile and there is no support from the Government. For me the main problem is RERA. If they implemented the Law properly Dubai wouldn't be in this mess. People invest money all over the world but can point another country or city with so many rip offs? At the same time the crime rate in Dubai is practically no existant. This make you think is the crime of rip off of the Investors by the Developers is officially legalised in Dubai? You after that you wonder why the people don't invest in Dubai....
  15. metlofts

    metlofts New Member

    Yes I agree, there's one thing having good laws on paper but unless you can enforce those laws they're just for show.

    On the surface Dubai is relatively crime free and i guess that's what they want the perception to be but this is a smokescreen as the property market is full of individual criminals and organized crime units (in my opinion)
  16. kamenoff

    kamenoff New Member

    me and a few more investors prepared a petition to RERA. We believe that the main problem is in RERA not in the developers. RERA seems to support what the developers are doing with the delays in the projects and the uncertainty about the Escrows. We believe that we have to put pressure on RERA to clear their position, to release the money from the Escrows so the Developers can built again or to refund the money to the investors so they can have a choise to invest again. RERA's inaction puts breaks on the Dubai economy and especially on the construction business.
    If any body is interested to sign the petition, please PM me so I can send you a link. We have over 100 signatures already and we need some more. The petition is not project specific and is directed towards RERA.
  17. kamenoff

    kamenoff New Member

    If someone is interested in signing the petition directed to RERA, please not that both petitions are not project specific. We intent to ask for more transperancy from the Government in Dubai and help with our ongoing problems with the Developers.

    This petition is for investors in Dubai Sports City: Petition RERA Help us

    This one is for all other investors:

    Both petitions will remain open until beginning of May when we plan to hand them over to RERA.

    Any help and support will be appreciated.
  18. Melinda

    Melinda New Member


    Nice to write you I'm Melinda..
    I'm new on this Blog.. I invested in The Binary Omnyat Business bay..5 years ago.
    I paid 75% already..
    After 5 years the building is still on basement.. they always promise to restart but I was in Dubai 3 days ago and nothing happenign there..
    I would like to know is someone has info about Omnyat situation.. and The Binary ..
    and if possible to talk with others investors who invested in The Binary.
    Thank you
  19. Melinda

    Melinda New Member

    Marina 101

    I would like to know if someone has news about Marina 101 tower..
    I was in Dubai 3 days ago and nothing happening there..
    Would someone be so nice to give me information is possible ?
  20. kamenoff

    kamenoff New Member

    Hello Melinda and good to have you here. There are thousands of investors like you and I am one of them. That is why we decided to start some action in order to improve the situation. Look at the petitions above and if you would like to be part, sign it. We need more investors to come together in order to achieve something.

    Petition RERA Help us

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