Expo 2020 is changing the landscape of the Dubai real estate market


Expo 2020 is, undoubtedly, one of the largest events in the MEASA region which will leave a long-lasting impact on the economy of the UAE and Dubai in particular. As reported by Ernst & Young, the exposition is set to bring in 122.7B (USD 33.4B) worth of investments. While tourism, hospitality and food and beverage industries are expected to thrive first and foremost, it is also expected that the real estate sector of the Emirate will see a surge of investors from all over the world. Residential developers in Dubai have already started adding luxury fittings to established living spaces, as well as focusing on sustainability in their latest projects to attract more buyers. In terms of commercial properties, investors are looking for more flexible spaces as opposed to pre-engineered floor spaces.  Interest rates have decreased and the government has launched a range of incentives such as the introduction of new green visas and the reduction of the LTV to 20% for first time homebuyers, among other initiatives.

In fact, the Emirate has already witnessed a boost in demand for property among wealthy investors, increasing capital values for prime homes higher thanks to its rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Dubai property market has set a new record for property sales worth over AED 27.2M (USD 10M) in Q3 2021 with a total of 54 transactions, adding confidence to the expectation that Expo 2020 is one of the major driving forces attracting buyers from around the globe. Unsurprisingly, the most popular locations in terms of ultra-expensive property sales were Palm Jumeirah and Emirates Hills, accounting for almost 75% of transactions. In addition, Business Bay also joined the list of attractive areas among wealthy investors, proving that the real estate market in Dubai is not only expanding but also maturing. According to Lynette Sacchetto, Director of Research and Data, luxury apartment areas such as Dubai Marina, JBR and Downtown Dubai have seen an increased interest in rents lately as well.

As well as the above, villas in the areas close to Expo 2020 are also expected to provoke increased interest over the next six months. The real estate market is predicted to witness up to a 50% sales growth on a quarterly basis between October and December in Arabian Ranches, Dubailand, Dubai South, Palm Jumeirah, MBR City, DAMAC Hills 2 and Dubai Hills Estate. Tenants and residents are looking for and opting for properties with open green spaces, a wide array of communal and recreational facilities, and these have been some of the key factors for the increased sale of villas. Within the last six months, Palm Jumeirah and MBR City saw an 18.5% and 10.5% increase in sale prices, respectively, while the prices in Arabian Ranches and Jumeirah Park rose by 21.2% and 19.2%. As stated by Ayman Youssef, vice-president of Coldwell Banker UAE, the villa/townhouse market will see an ongoing outstanding performance into the final quarter of 2021, including off-plan residences, and a price increase of 5-10%.

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