What to know before you invest in the Dubai real estate market

The Dubai real estate market is constantly evolving as new developments of all kinds spring up in this global business hub.

But who's investing in real estate in Dubai? And what are the key market trends here that make it such a popular place to buy and sell a property?

Hamburg - dubai property prices

Who’s investing in Dubai?

Dubai is a high-profile international city, with many visitors from all over the world passing through for business and leisure. As you’d expect, foreign investors, therefore, make up a significant proportion of the Dubai real estate market, with at least a 20% share of property ownership.

British investment in Dubai is particularly strong, totalling more than $8.46bn in the previous four years alone. This is followed by Indian investment, which was over $5.55bn in sales value in the previous 18 months, and Pakistani investment of over $1.9bn in the 18 months between January 2016 and June 2017.

Where to invest in Dubai?

Among the best bets for investment in the Dubai real estate market are the newly developing areas of the city, such as Dubailand, Dubai Hills, Dubai Creek Harbour, to name a few, and its newly developed sub-districts. This inland spot is growing in popularity thanks to its suburban feel, with wide avenues and public parks, its ample space for real estate expansion, and its convenient location just 15 minutes from the city’s two airports.

There’s also Healthcare City, appropriately named for its concentration of medical facilities, which boasts easy access to downtown Dubai and luxury shopping malls, as well as to the Dubai Canal launched October 2016.

What makes Dubai real estate a good investment?

What helps to make the Dubai real estate market particularly attractive to foreign investors is the low rate of tax, as well as the high-quality, reliable infrastructure that helps businesses run smoothly.

On top of this, a new mortgage law has been proposed that is designed to encourage more foreign investment, particularly from small and medium-sized businesses.

“Dubai features among the top 10 fastest growing premium property markets globally. Winning the bid for the World Expo 2020 continues to boost government investment enabling progress of improved infrastructure, stability and security for both domestic and international investors. In addition to this, the Dubai Land Department (DLD) legal frameworks are set to further protect investors and consumers alike. As forecasts predict Dubai’s economy is set to grow from 3.8 per cent to 4.5 per cent in the coming years, Dubai ranks as the most popular city for second home purchases among global high-net-worth individuals. This is reflected in rising levels of interest from international buyers” said Matthew Bate, CEO, Engel & Völkers Dubai.

How do Dubai property prices compare?

Dubai is traditionally a market for luxury buyers, so Dubai property prices have long reflected this. However, there is increasingly a move towards attracting new buyers, with developments including flexible and competitive payment plans, and a selection of affordable property offerings – all aimed at widening the pool of potential investors beyond the ultra-rich.

To set Dubai property prices in context, $1m will net you a petite 25.2-square-metre property in London, while in New York this would be enough for a 40.2-square-metre property. In Dubai, meanwhile, you can get a relatively spacious 146-square-metre property for the same price.

In addition, the introduction of VAT on property at a mere 5% means investing here still represents good value for money. Therefore, as this property insight shows, Dubai represents a surprisingly affordable investment.

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