News and research on the property market in Dubai. Read our latest news articles on what is happening in the real estate market in Dubai including information on properties, statistics and trends. Catch up on the latest data affecting those looking to buy a property or holiday home in Dubai.

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Should it be a Hummer? Or a Roller? Perhaps a Mercedes or the new Cadillac Escalade?

No, it’s tough going out there and this calls for something equal to the challenge. Hard decisions to make sometimes require a little more thought than usual. Especially when it comes to something as important as which golf cart to buy next time round.

Luxury carts are trying to break into a new market and are looking for interested golfers in Dubai. Dubai would be a logical choice when you think about it because Dubai has a large selection of golf courses, many of which are long by European standards. What else should you buy for the avid golfer who already has everything? Our personal favourite is the H2 Hummer, but we’re sure there will be some dissenting voices. If you’re a Mercedes’ man, you’re a Mercedes’ man and that’s all there is to it.

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It seems to me, the Dubai city planners may have watched the Kevin Costner movie, “Field of Dreams,” one too many times. But they weren’t far wrong. They did build it and they did come. In fact, they are still coming and the planned developments over the next few years should bring even more. I found some interesting photos of Dubai which show the development over the last few years. The first one is taken in 1989 and the second in 2005. Spot the difference? There has been quite a stunning amount of development in Dubai, and these two photograph, seen together, graphically demonstrate that fact. The next few are some projections of future developments. It’s hard to see an end in sight, with the ‘Palm Islands” and “World Archipelago” developments pushing the boundaries even further.

Dubai 1989:

Dubai 2005:

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Check out – The official website of the World Dubai

From Wikipedia

The World is a man-made archipelago of 300 islands constructed in the shape of a world map and located 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) off the coast of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The World is one of several artificial island projects being constructed in Dubai, others being the Palm Islands. Like the other artificial island projects, The World is built primarily using sand dredged from the sea. It was developed by Nakheel Properties and was originally conceived by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai.

Each island in the archipelago ranges from about 14,000 m² (150,000 square feet) to 42,000 M² (450,000 square feet). The distance between each island will be an average of 100 metres (328 feet). The entire development covers an area of 9 km in length and 6 km in width, surrounded by an oval breakwater. Roughly 232 km (144 miles) of shoreline has been created. The overall development cost of The World was estimated as 14 billion USD. As for the individual islands, prices range between 15 and 50 million USD. One island is still for sale at a price of 250 million USD.

The project was unveiled on 6 May 2003 by Sheikh Mohammed. Dredging began four months later in September 2003. By January 2008, 60% of the islands had been sold, 20 of which were bought in the first four months of 2007. On 10 January 2008, the final stone on the breakwater was laid, completing initial development. The next phase of the project is to hand over the individual islands to developers.

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Abu Dhabi, an obscure ‘yet substantial’ oil producer in the Middle East is seeking to take the world by storm in it’s largest up scale venture.

Abu Dhabi Cityscape

The precedent has already been set by it’s neighbouring city, Dubai, which became a global commercial and tourist hub when it’s oil supply began running low creating a necessity for wealth replacement. Part of Dubai’s step to recovery included the $1 billion Burj Al Arab hotel, looser land sales laws, and what will become the world’s tallest building among other things. Although many believe that Dubai was built too quickly and urgently, it continues to be a stronghold in the Middle East and is giving Abu Dhabi a good run for its money.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan, the 46-year-old crown prince of Abu Dhabi, has high hopes of putting his little city on the world map. Considered the richest city in the world, each of Abu Dhabi’s 420,000 citizens are worth $17 million. Over $1 trillion is invested worldwide by this one city alone, and an unfathomable amount of money is being put right back into its soil.

Etihad Airways, one of Abu Dhabi’s first projects along with its $6.8 billion airport expansion, included an $8 billion order with Airbus. Although it covers all major destinations in the globe, the successful airline industry of Dubai makes Abu Dhabi’s seem pointless and so far apparently unprofitable. The immaculate Emirates Palace hotel was soon to follow with suites costing between $1,000 and $10,000-per-night. The practicality of the hotel is debatable as it seems to serve as a landmark rather than a place of lodging. However, with popularity being the primary goal for this city, it serves it’s purpose well.

The most crucial change in Abu Dhabi has been the relaxing of it’s property ownership and selling laws to allow foreigners 99-year leaseholds and giving citizens the ability to sell land. Native investors that have settled in Dubai are now returning to their home city in a bid not to miss this ‘gold rush’.

Abu Dhabi’s most recent endeavour is Saadiyat Island (meaning island of happiness in Arabic), a glowing $30 billion island with two golf courses, 29 hotels and enough housing accommodation for 150,000 people. Numerous other features on the island make it the ideal tourist destination.

Will the world notice Abu Dhabi’s gigantic strides in creating an empire of wealth? Only time will tell, and perhaps one day Abu Dhabi will be to the Arabia what Tokyo is to Japan. Read more on CNNMoney.

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With over 24 million square feet of commercial office space currently under development, Dubai has been ranked a close second in the world in terms of office real estate construction activity by Colliers International – one of the top three global property service consultants.

According to the company’s mid-year Global Office Real Estate review, which assesses the worldwide commercial property markets in 50 countries, only Moscow ranks higher with the Russian capital boasting an estimated 26.90 million square feet of ongoing commercial property construction.

John Davis, CEO, Colliers International – Middle East, said:

‘It is no surprise to see Dubai so close to the top in terms of construction activity. This go-ahead emirate has been making massive progress in recent years with development steaming ahead at an incredible compound annual growth rate of 42.5 percent. Positioned to become the business capital of the region, Dubai has implemented a succession of world-class incentives to attract corporations, NGOs and SMEs from across the globe.’

According to the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), the emirate’s nominal GDP grew 27 percent in 2005 – more than five times the global average. Buoyed by massive increases in non-oil dependant industries, Dubai is generating strong demand for commercial office space.

‘Dubai currently boasts 14 million square feet of available primary and secondary grade office space within its established Central Business Districts (CBD’s), a relatively small amount considering the rapid influx of foreign business and the development of indigenous entities currently being undertaken here. Supply is quite simply not meeting demand and developers are feverishly trying to correct the market,’ added Davis.

According to the report, Asia’s commercial construction industry is also thriving. China’s ongoing economic boom was evident with Beijing and Shanghai placed third and fourth in the global rankings with 23.58 million square feet and 21.61 million square feet respectively of office space under construction. In addition, Tokyo Central Wards, Guangzhou, Kuala Lampur and Hong Kong, were ranked nine through 12 respectively.

Ranked fifth was South Africa’s most populous city, Johannesburg, which is currently undertaking 17.87 million square feet of office space construction.

Only one European city finished in the top ten rankings, Paris, which is currently undertaking 14.61 million square feet of commercial development.

Source: AME Info


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Legal experts are claiming that, despite the recent implementation of the new freehold law, the Dubai property market is still beset by several issues that need further clarification, reported Gulf News. Uncertainties exist regarding the inheritance of property, compensation for the late delivery of homes and developments as well as a clear definition of freehold rights.

Source: AME Info

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DUBAI (Reuters) – Property funds see growing opportunities in Dubai as the speculative rush in the emirate’s property sector subsides and new supply begins to stabilise the market.

Funds had difficulty accessing suitable properties in Dubai when the boom kicked off four years ago because developers would immediately sell individual unit or whole floors off plan to speculators to earn a quick return.

Funds, which prefer to buy entire buildings, have benefited as the market cools and more developers wait to sell completed developments to funds.

“That’s where the market is starting to evolve slowly,” Tim Rose, senior real estate fund manager at Emirates Bank, told Reuters in an interview this week. “Developers are seeing the opportunity in being able to hold on to a property and sell it to a fund which is looking for a steady cash flow from rental income.”

Funds have also benefited from new laws clarifying foreign ownership and allowing collective investment.

Dubai, one of the seven emirates in the UAE federation, kicked off a regional property boom four years ago by allowing foreign investment in real estate. But until this year foreign investors had no clear legal title.

As the property market slows, Dubai is also looking to attract institutional investment. The emirate has approved rules allowing real estate investment trusts (REITS) and is amending laws to give foreigners limited freehold ownership and formal 99-year leases.

Most REITS generate income by renting out land or buildings to commercial or residential tenants.


“There is a large number of Asian and European entities putting their toe in the water trying to understand the dynamics of the market and the players in it,” Rose said.

With an economic boom drawing more expatriates each year, property prices are rising rapidly and have quadrupled in some sectors over the past few years.

But in some ways the property market could be hindered by Dubai’s success.

With prices rising so fast, businesses may choose to hold on to real estate instead of selling and leasing back property as they do in other markets. That could hinder development of REITS, Rose said, which generate income from rent.

“It’s going to be hard for REITS and funds to access completed properties occupied on long-term leases because a lot of these companies have done well on property returns so they prefer not to sell it and take a leaseback,” Rose said.

Developers have ploughed money into new projects and the large number of properties poised to come on the market have raised concern that the property boom will soon run out of steam.

But Rose said there was little sign of any impending correction in Dubai, especially with interest rates in the Gulf Arab region nearing their peak and easing pressure on a fast-expanding mortgage market.

“The commercial market is very strong,” he said. “Occupancy is near 100 percent and there is little (commercial) space being delivered in the next 18 months.”

Rose said even in the residential sector, into which developers have poured most of their money, accommodation was in short supply and demand for villas remained strong.

With many developments running behind schedule the market will only stabilise towards the end of 2007.

“We’ll definitely see a soft landing,” he said. “Project completions are delayed, population growth is still strong, the range of product is segmented to meet the varied types of users, and there are additional buyers coming to the market in funds.”

Source: Reuters UK

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Dubai property prices are cooling, but there is no sign of a ‘bubble burst’, according to a survey of real estate brokerages, dealerships and consultants by DSL Exhibitions cited by TradeArabia. Dubai property price rises have slowed to between 10%-25% per year, with individual listings now making up around 30% of properties for sale, according to the survey. Nearly 50% of all listings are for one and two bedroom apartments.

Source: Ame Info

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The Irish have shaped the landscape of Dubai like few other nationalities.

Back in the 1980s, Dubai was a blank canvas, ready to be painted by the kingdom’s ruling family, the Maktoums. Since then, the city has become one of the most metropolitan places in the world, with Irish pockets dotted around every corner.

Walking around the Irish village next to Dubai’s Aviation Club, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in Ireland, if it were not for the blazing sun.

The cobblestones in the area are every bit as Irish as those in Temple Bar, Dublin, having been specially imported. The shop fronts look as authentic as those in villages here, with the frontage of “Ballinasloe Post Office” being particularly impressive.

The Irish pub in Dubai Airport has an authentic feel, as do several other bars scattered around the region. But pubs are far from the only sign of Irish influence. The Irish Celts GAA club, formed in 1995, is another emblem of the vibrant Irish ex-pat community in Dubai.

As well as Gaelic games, each year, the club enters a Dubai Rose into the Rose of Tralee competition.

Among the most influential Irish figures in Dubai are the head of Dubai Duty Free, Colm McLoughlin, and the head of the Jumeirah Hotel Group, Gerald Lawless. Between them, McLoughlin and Lawless control two of Dubai’s most powerful companies. Dubai Duty Free owns a host of assets, ranging from pubs and restaurants to Dubai’s tennis tournament, while the Jumeirah Hotel Group employs 11,000 people, 10,000 of whom are based in Dubai, and has assets believed to be in excess of €1 billion. “When you think about it, as individuals they [McLoughlin and Lawless] really did contribute to the organisation of Dubai,” said Sheikh Ahmed al-Maktoum, the uncle of Dubai’s ruler and the head of the region’s Civil Aviation Authority, which controls Dubai Airport, Dubai Duty Free and Emirates Airlines.

“I’m sure there are many others here doing lower-profile jobs who have contributed too.”

“We hope that we will be able to attract more Irish people.”

Historically, Dubai has attracted highly-qualified Irish people in sectors such as engineering and technology. More recently, however, younger people have begun flocking to its sunny climes, working in Irish pubs and bars or teaching English. Dubai has also taken off as a destination for Irish tourists, particularly since Aer Lingus launched direct flights to the city on March 28.

“Hopefully, the Aer Lingus flight to Dubai will bring more people from Dubai to Ireland, which is a beautiful place,” said al-Maktoum, who added that Emirates Airlines would soon launch flights to Ireland.

“I’m sure Emirates will start flying to Ireland,” he said. “I think we have to give Aer Lingus more chance to build up the network and to have a good operation. I think we’ll see Emirates – I hope in the very near future – flying to Dublin.”

Dubai and Ireland are also linked by investment. The Maktoums keep racehorses worth millions of euro in Ireland.

Sheikh Ahmed said he expected Dubai investment in Ireland to grow.

“The Dubai people will always look for opportunities, but we need to do more in Dubai to tell them what’s happening in Ireland,” he said. “I’m sure there will be some opportunities for somebody to invest in Ireland.”

Irish people have also been buying up property in the city, while trade between Ireland and Dubai has been increasing, with Irish exports to Dubai increasing from €155million in 1991, to over €600 million in 2004. A regional Enterprise Ireland office was set up in Dubai in 2002. Junior minister for Labour Affairs Tony Killeen led a delegation there last year, which was aimed at strengthening trade links.

Source: THE POST.IE – The Sunday Business Post

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British investors are chasing a Dubai developer who has £2m of their money, reports John Arlidge. Britons who bought property in a flagship development in Dubai face losing more than £2m in deposits after the developer abandoned the scheme and fled the country. Some 40 Britons have paid deposits on “off-plan flats” in the Light House(pictured), a 15-storey block planned for Dubai Marina, one of the most popular developments in the emirate.

Emad Ayoub, 52, who has dual British and Egyptian nationality, had sold the project on the basis that it would have been ready by last month. So far, however, only the foundations of the 94-flat block have been completed. Ayoub left Dubai last month, and work has stopped.

Buyers contacted by The Sunday Times said they did not know what had happened to the deposit money they had handed over and whether their properties would ever be built.

“We could lose our money, our flat, our future everything,” says Roger Blakeley, 46, from Lancashire, who has put down £90,000. “We chose Dubai because Sheikh Mohammed (the Emirate’s ruler) assured western investors their money would be safe. It’s time for Dubai to show that foreign buyers have rights and are protected when things go wrong.”

The “Light House Affair”, as it is known in Dubai, is the first such scandal to hit a country that has undergone a multi-billion-pound building boom since first allowing foreign investors to buy places there four years ago.

Problems have already emerged. Several projects are behind schedule and some buyers claim that, in the race to build tower blocks and villas, standards of workmanship are slipping. Prices, which have been rising by more than 10% a year, appear to be levelling off, amid concerns about oversupply, especially of flats.

Ayoub began marketing the block two years ago with a sales brochure promising prospective buyers that it would “add comfort, security and joy to your life”. About 90 local and overseas investors bought flats “off-plan” after seeing press advertisements. Nearly half were British.

Buyers visited the sales office in central Dubai, handed over downpayments of an average £50,000 per flat, sat back and waited to see their new homes soaring above the stylish marina. And waited. And waited.

In spring 2005, one year into construction, buyers living in Dubai reported the development was behind schedule. When contacted by investors, Ayoub conceded progress was slow and blamed unforeseen technical issues, but insisted the project was on course for completion last month.

By last summer, the foundations of the block were underway, but progress was still sluggish. Ayoub continued to assure buyers the building would be completed on time. By January, the foundations were largely completed, but it was clear that the block would not be completed by the April deadline. Then, two months ago, all work abruptly stopped.

The first most investors knew about the stoppage was when newspapers in Dubai reported that labourers had refused to turn up for work after not being paid. To add to their concerns, Lieutenant-Colonel Rashid Al Jumeiri, a senior official from Dubai’s Permanent Committee of Labour Affairs, was quoted by a Dubai newspaper as saying that Ayoub had fled after emptying his bank accounts.

When telephone calls to Ayoub’s office in central Dubai went unanswered, buyers contacted the police. Officers could not find the developer, and his office was sealed. A notice on the door of the company’s office announced that it was closed “by order of Dubai Court in favour of the Case No 361’.

Since March, the gates of the Light House site have been padlocked. The only person there during a recent visit was Abdul Wadoob, a security guard sitting in the 40C heat in a wooden hut with no water or air conditioning. Wadoob, who is employed by a private contractor, confirmed that work on the site had stopped two months ago, but didn’t know why.

The disgruntled buyers have hired Shahran Safai, an emirate lawyer, to put pressure on the Dubai authorities to sort out the mess. Buyers are also considering a criminal action against Ayoub for fraud.

Such legal manoeuvrings are the first test of Dubai’s investor-protection regulations and the outcome is being watched closely by people planning to invest in the United Arab Emirates. “There is no precedent,” says Safai. “No investors have found themselves in this situation before.”

If they do not achieve satisfaction in the courts, the group plans to approach Emaar, Dubais biggest property firm, and ask it to take over the site and finish the project. Emaar was master developer of Dubai Marina but had no direct responsibility for the Light House.Emaar last week denied any liability for the halt to the work at the site, but confirmed the company had held “meetings with the legal representatives of third-party investors … in the (Light House) project”.

The Sunday Times last week traced Ayoub to Earls Barton, a village in Northamptonshire. Ayoub admitted he had fled Dubai, but said he had done so because he feared he would be imprisoned after getting into financial difficulties.

The developer denied that he had deliberately emptied his bank accounts, but said he ran out of cash and stopped paying his workers in March after a local bank refused him further credit facilities. The £5m of investors’ money had been swallowed up by the unforeseen construction snags and delays, he said, claiming he had tried to complete work with £1m of his own money.

Ayoub said he sympathised with buyers and was still trying to negotiate with Dubai-based subcontractors to restart building; the remaining £5m money due from investors, together with the proceeds of selling commercial premises in the building, would be enough to finish construction.

He also vigorously denied claims that he had engaged in fraud. “Not one single dirham (the local currency) invested in the Light House has left my accounts in Dubai. It was all invested in the project,” he said.

Blakeley was not impressed. “Now that we know where Mr Ayoub is, we will take steps to pursue him in the British courts,” he said.

Source: Times Online

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