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Navigating Dubai’s off-plan market: Nervous investors should be reassured by forward-looking policies, say experts

Off-Plan Market Overview
  • Provide an overview of Dubai's off-plan property market, highlighting its significance in the real estate landscape and the opportunities it offers for investors to purchase properties before they are completed.

Dubai’s thriving real estate sector is a testament to its continual growth, resilience under global market pressure, and the emirate’s appeal to investors, developers, and homeowners alike.

It’s a market where opportunities abound.

The transformation of Dubai’s real estate market post-2008 has been remarkable. The implementation of stringent regulatory measures by the Dubai Land Department and Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) has greatly increased the market’s transparency and investor security.

Yet, there are prospective investors who are concerned about getting their fingers burnt while taking the plunge in off-plan. For those who did not do too well last time around the task may seem daunting.

But experts in the field say these fears can be put to rest thanks to the changes that have been implemented in the Dubai market.

“For investors previously impacted by the market’s volatility, these developments could offer reassurance about re-entering the Dubai real estate market with a long-term perspective,” Leckie says.

When comparing Dubai to other international property investment hot spots, there are several advantages.

Beyond offering higher rental yields and lower ownership costs, Dubai’s strategic geographic location serves as a bridge between the East and West, providing a unique advantage in attracting international businesses and expatriates.

Additionally, the city’s investment in world-class infrastructure, including airports, public transportation, and leisure facilities, enhances its appeal as a global city for living and doing business. The absence of capital gains tax and income tax on rental yields for individual owners in Dubai further enhances its attractiveness, especially when compared to the tax implications in markets like London, the US, and Europe,” Leckie says.

These factors, coupled with the UAE’s stability and forward-looking policies aimed at attracting foreign investment, such as long-term residency visas for investors, contribute to Dubai’s competitive edge as a property investment destination.

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Dubai property is certainly not expensive when compared to other major markets, say experts.Image Credit: Gulf News archives

For the second year in a row, the UAE secured the 10th spot globally in the 2024 Global Soft Power Index compiled by Brand Finance, a renowned research and analysis firm.

Over the years, the UAE has demonstrated notable progress in the Soft Power Index, showcasing its enduring ability to uphold influence and reputation on the international platform.

According to the index findings, the UAE ranked third both in generosity and opportunities for future growth, reaffirming its position as a philanthropic nation with promising prospects.

What about those who have never invested before and are looking at the Dubai off plan market with nervousness?

“It’s important to deal with a reputable agency with a strong track record, transparent communication, a comprehensive understanding of the local market dynamics, and one that is not affiliated to a developer, so you know you’re getting genuinely impartial advice,” says Paul Sharland, Associate Director – Off Plan & Investment, haus & haus Real Estate.

Ideally your agent will speak the same language as you so nothing is misunderstood, and you should look to work with a company that genuinely thinks about the purpose of your investment – whether you’re buying to sell or buying to rent out.”

The Dubai market is now 22 years old, well regulated and protected. “Since September 2008, the government started implementing comprehensive regulations to bring stability to the market, introducing safeguards and protections to property investors,” says Sharland.

With prices going up, do investors feel they have missed the boat?

“Prices have increased significantly since 2021 but they were underpriced anyway before due to a market dip,” says Sharland. “The price increase we have seen post-covid is a price ‘correction’ / market recovery. We are now seeing a slower growth rate which indicates a mature market with expected growth of 8-10% in 2024. Dubai property is certainly not expensive when compared to other major markets – in fact, it is positioned at 90 on the Numbeo cost of living index.”

Dubai’s reputation as a safe and secure city, with a high standard of living and a multicultural environment, makes it a preferred choice for international investors and expatriates.

“This cultural diversity and safety contribute to the city’s dynamic real estate market, appealing to a broad spectrum of investors and residents. The population is growing exponentially, and forecasters predict that developers of off-plan property in Dubai will be playing catch up with demand for the foreseeable future,” says Leckie.

– In collaboration with haus & haus Real Estate


Gulf Estate Gazette

Gulf Estate Gazette is a leading source for comprehensive insights into the dynamic real estate landscape of the GCC and MENA region. Our platform is dedicated to providing valuable information and perspectives for individuals, investors, and industry professionals. With a passionate team and an unwavering commitment to excellence, we aim to empower our audience with the knowledge and opportunities needed to thrive in the ever-evolving world of real estate in the Gulf and beyond.

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