|13 October, 2019

UAE real estate market showing positive signs

Speakers at ICAEW highlight growth in secondary market transactions; recommend real estate master-plan for the UAE

Emaar and P&O Marinas launch AED 25 billion Riviera style costal destination in the heart of Dubai. Image for illustrative purposes.

Emaar and P&O Marinas launch AED 25 billion Riviera style costal destination in the heart of Dubai. Image for illustrative purposes.

Emaar / Handout via Zawya

The UAE real estate market is maturing and expected to recover post-Expo 2020 with help from the government’s newly implemented reforms, according to speakers at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) roundtable in Dubai.

ICAEW’s Corporate Finance Faculty (CFF) roundtable on the future of supply and demand of commercial and residential properties in the UAE discussed the need for a more sustainable balance between market supply and demand, a post-event press statement by the institute said.

The statement said the speakers agreed that the UAE real estate landscape is growing, highlighting the rise in secondary market transactions in recent months compared to previous years. But they also noted that the pick-up in investments is yet to overturn the supply in residential properties.

The speakers also “highlighted the threat that e-commerce poses for landlords of commercial properties, who must uphold rent and occupancy levels of their retail spaces [and] called for much-needed repurposing of commercial spaces to accommodate more indoor social activities and modern working spaces,” the press statement said.

It said the Dubai government’s decision last month to establish a Higher Real Estate Planning Committee to achieve a more sustainable balance between supply and demand in the emirate was praised by the panelists, who felt that, in principle, such regulatory oversight would not only increase the competitiveness in the real estate sector but also help the UAE achieve its long-term economic sustainability goals.

The Dubai Land Department (DLD) recorded a 134 percent increase in property transactions since the new committee’s creation, the statement said.

It quoted Michael Armstrong, FCA and ICAEW Regional Director for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), as saying that as the UAE real estate market matures, it needs to put in place the necessary measures to regain control over the supply and demand dynamics and restore investor confidence.

“We believe that the government’s newly implemented reforms will help to re-establish the UAE as a preferred property investment destination and contribute to the sector’s recovery post-Expo 2020,” he said.

In terms of other reforms, the speakers advised that the UAE should implement a real estate master-plan, for both residential and commercial properties, to not only increase investor confidence but to provide more transparency on investment opportunities for both ongoing and future projects.

(Writing by Gerard Aoun, Editing by Anoop Menon)

(gerard.aoun@refinitiv.com

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