It’s fair to say Dubai is moving into a new era – shaking off what has been a tumultuous few years globally, and capitalising on its incredible trend-bucking growth. As you drive round the city the signs of new development are everywhere with glamorous new towers and international businesses springing up on all sides.
In the UAE real estate – a market that usually indicates which way the economic wind is blowing – things are getting better and better each month, with record-breaking transactions and a swathe of exciting new project launches. This is in stark contrast to many other major cities, where property values have dropped amid surging interest rates and a darkening growth outlook.
In Q2, Dubai's residential market saw a significant increase in sales volume and value, with over 30,000 property transactions and a total sales value of over AED 91 billion – easily Dubai's best performing Q2 on record, showing a 35% increase in transactions and a 54% increase in sales value compared to Q2 2022.
Just this August, Dubai recorded an impressive 43% year-on-year (YoY) growth in the value of real estate transactions to Dh33.7bn, according to Property Finder, as demand remains rock solid.
But although the good times are undoubtedly rolling, the emirate is not resting on its laurels. The ambitious Dubai 2040 Urban Masterplan is in full swing and none of us doubt it will come to fruition – there is just no stopping the emirate’s can-do spirit.
Plans include dramatically enhancing the city's infrastructure – such as a 188% expansion of the marine transport network, with a 400% increase in passenger lines and a 51% increase in the number of marine transport users from 14.7 million each year to a whopping 22 million by 2030.
There is also a strong emphasis on creating green spaces, parks, and recreational areas within the city to enhance the overall well-being of residents. Not to mention miles of pristine new beachfront.
Sometimes I hear all this transformation referred to as Dubai 2.0, and it does feel we are entering a new era – a rebirth even.
However, with the projected population growth to around 5.8 million by 2040, there is clearly going to have to be rigorous policing of any development. Make no mistake, what Dubai has committed to is mammoth, so there must be a collaboration between all sectors to ensure plans are carried out perfectly.
That is why I was so pleased to hear His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai announce a new law on urban planning that seeks to develop an integrated and effective system to encourage investment and sustainable development.
Careful urban planning takes a long-term view and considers the needs of future generations, which can help prevent short-term decisions that can cause problems down the road. It also attracts businesses and investments, leading to economic growth and job creation, while ensuring that the benefits of economic development are distributed more equitably among residents.
The new law will regulate and monitor all activities, and this is great news for anyone concerned at the sheer pace of development. Not only will it protect the environment and ensure the emirate’s expansion is done right, but it will also reassure people overseas looking to put their money here that they can do so with confidence.
Dubai’s plans might be incredibly bold, but they are not reckless – and as lucky residents of this city, we have much to look forward to.