Indian and Pakistani nationals were among the top 10 investors in Dubai’s real estate sector last year, according to official figures released on Saturday.

Dubai Land Department (DLD) data showed that investors from India ranked first with 5,246, followed by UAE nationals with 5,172. A distant third were those from Saudi Arabia (2,198), followed by China (2,096) and the UK (2,088). Investors from Pakistan came sixth (1,913), followed by those from Egypt (955), Jordan (855), the US (682) and Canada (678).

In terms of investment value, Indians were also top investors, pumping in more than Dh10.89 billion last year in to the emirate’s property sector, followed by Emiratis (Dh8.1 billion), Saudis (Dh4.92 billion), British (Dh3.97 billion) and Chinese (Dh3.97 billion).

Pakistanis pumped in Dh2.79 billion, followed by Jordanians (Dh1.57 billion), Egyptians (Dh1.42 billion), French (Dh1.1 billion) and Americans (Dh1.25 billion).

“The year 2020, and the difficult challenges it brought, was a clear example of full coordination between all government departments on one hand and the wise leadership on the other, as a collective effort necessary to confront crises,” DLD director-general Sultan Butti bin Mejren said.

Majida Ali Rashid, CEO of the Real Estate Promotion and Investment Management Sector at the DLD, said Dubai remains one of the few investment destinations that maintain the growth fundamentals that represent a strong momentum in the latter half of the year, while benefitting from the enabling factors provided by the government to address the consequences of the pandemic.

“The sector achieved a growth rate of 3.66 per cent during Q1 2020 compared to Q1 2019, which achieved a growth rate of 3.09 per cent. Despite the negative economic growth rates for Q1 2020, the sector’s performance and its contribution to GDP growth is still positive, and it is strongly reflected in the growth of the emirate’s GDP in the same period by eight per cent; this positive trend will continue during 2020 and the coming years,” said Majida.

Real estate transactions value reached approximately Dh226 billion in 2019 compared to Dh221 billion in 2018, with a growth rate of 2.1 per cent, the DLD said. The value of sales reached Dh81 billion in 2019 compared to Dh77 billion in 2018, with a growth rate of nearly five per cent. Real estate mortgages reached Dh125 billion in 2019 compared to Dh120 billion in 2018, growing by nearly four per cent.

Moreover, the number of investments in 2019 reached over 47,000, with a growth rate of 18 per cent, compared to 40,000 in 2018. There were more than 34,000 real estate investors in 2019, a 14 per cent growth rate, compared to 29,846 in 2018.

Dubai Marina ranked first in terms of real estate investments in 2019, with 3,920. Business Bay came second with 3,508, followed by the Al Khairan First area (3,142), Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Gardens (2,833) and Burj Khalifa (2,721).

The DLD said 70 real estate projects were registered in 2019 and 14 in the first half of 2020. The number of added residential units to the real estate sector in 2019 were more than 17,000 compared to 10,996 in 2018.

The contribution of the real estate sector to Dubai’s GDP reached 7.2 per cent, or Dh29.4 billion, in 2019, it added. The number of projects that are still under construction and registered at the DLD until the first half of 2020 were 314.

According to project registration date, the number of projects under construction and registered during 2019 reached 53 compared to 61 in 2018. Around 75 projects registered in 2017 and 45 registered in 2016 are also still under construction.

Under-construction projects, which were registered during 2019, are expected to add more than 9,000 apartments, in addition to 3,605 villas and 734 villa complexes.


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