At the outset, I would like to highlight that the efforts of the government have helped the UAE emerge much stronger during the Covid-19 pandemic than some of our counterparts around the world.  

Timely steps including the large-scale vaccination programme, introduction of new visa schemes which cater to different audiences, changes to lifestyle laws, and aligning the working week to global markets have all created a sense of certainty and reassurance – all of which further cements the UAE’s position as one of the world’s most popular countries to live and work. 

Many of these measures have also helped us record strong performance in our local and regional businesses during the year. Our Middle East business, which covers the markets of the UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, has recorded a nearly 40 percent increase in turnover from 2020, underpinned by Egypt and Dubai. We’ve also made significant inroads into the Saudi Arabia market and have opened new offices in Pakistan. 

As increasingly more corporates set up operations here, developers and landlords will have to be cognisant of the preference for ESG compliant buildings and prepare accordingly.  

We recognise that real estate is responsible for 40 percent of global carbon emissions and to help us and our clients achieve Net Zero carbon in operations, we continue to drive forward on the sustainability agenda. Our dedicated team of over 100 specialists, Savills Earth, will help support our corporate responsibility as well as advise clients on their sustainability, energy and carbon strategy. 

Looking ahead to 2022, I believe the efforts of 2021 will gain further pace. With new Covid variants emerging and threatening to disrupt the global recovery, efforts will now likely focus on getting vaccines to all, especially those who haven’t even received a single dose, so that we can emerge from the pandemic together. 

We must also acknowledge the risks that lie ahead of us including geopolitical concerns, persistent supply chain disruptions and the resulting inflation pressures, which may linger for some time. 

Policymakers around the world will be keenly watched for the steps they take to counter such concerns. 


On a sectoral level, we saw heightened activity in the industrial and logistics market in 2021, given the acceleration in ecommerce and we expect the trend to continue in 2022.  

Other sectors that would likely be in focus are education, retail, and tourism and leisure, given the resurgence in travel, events and in-person interactions.  

The maiden Saudi Arabia Grand Prix took place in 2021 and with the ongoing Expo in the UAE, the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Cop 27 in Egypt, and Cop 28 in the UAE further in 2023, there is a lot to look forward to, which is putting our region on the global map. 

It would therefore be apt for me to name the year gone by and the upcoming year as the period of ‘Resilience and Resurgence’ as we continue our efforts to emerge from the pandemic while resuming activities with a renewed sense of purpose and achievement.