The United Arab Emirates consists of different cities, which are full of varied facilities to ensure a hedonistic experience and luxurious lifestyle. One of these cities is Dubai, well known for its beautiful sunshine, stunning beaches, desert safaris, enormous shopping malls full of diverse entertainment and breathtaking infrastructure. This is a city that is continually expanding and innovating, where hospitality exceeds your expectations and the Ministry of Happiness takes care of your well-being. Above all, Dubai’s economy is constantly growing, making this city one of the most desirable and captivating places in the world to invest in properties. Serious buyers who have been keeping track of the market conditions have already begun hunting and searching for ideal properties at the best prices.


Government regulation and the increase in transparency have continued to drive investor confidence for the ever-changing Dubai real estate landscape. Key government initiatives include the mortgage cap of 75% loan to value (LTV) for first-time expat buyers for properties less than AED 5 million and the increased transfer fee from 2 to 4%. Investors should also know residential property sales and leases will be exempted from value-added tax (VAT) in the UAE which takes effect from January 2018.


The run-up to Expo 2020 is estimated to create about 277,000 new jobs with a reported investment of 25 billion dirhams in infrastructure related projects. Whilst the Dubai Expo 2020 is all about generating sustainable solutions to global problems, one immediate benefit of the expo is it highlights the fact Dubai is an attractive, secure and stable place for big business and real estate investors. The government’s initiative at making it a ‘Smart City’ is one to look out for. Dubai is trying to be at the forefront of technology with the advent of transportation solutions such as ‘Hyperloop’ and driverless cars. It’s a city that looks to the future. The government also takes an active interest through its ‘Happiness’ initiative – this includes the happiness of both the expats as well as the locals. The new areas to look out for in terms of real estate include Dubai Creek Harbour and Dubai Hills which are master development projects.


Attractive rental returns are still available in Dubai even in what has been considered a difficult year for real estate, but you must know where to look. The best rental yields in the UAE can be found in emerging communities like Dubai Silicon Oasis; where apartments are achieving 9%. Dubai Sports City was another great performer with 8.9% returns and areas like Al Furjan, International Media Production Zone & Jumeirah Village Circle all offered competitive returns of 8.5% or more. Whilst these developments aren’t fully complete, they have continued construction schedule for the coming years these returns would be attractive to any serious international investor. Investors that have put in more than AED 1 million (approx. US$ 272,265) are eligible to apply for a residence visa in the UAE.


Dubai’s unique geographical position and connectivity gives it easy access to various destinations in Africa, Europe and the Rest of Asia. This may be perhaps the reason why Dubai is rapidly becoming home to more Ultra High Networth Individuals around the world as well as massive companies such as Snapchat. Developers know the number of high net worth individuals based in the UAE increased by 70% over the last decade. A 2017 recent Knight Frank report has ranked Dubai fourth in the world on its list of cities with the biggest inflow of high net-worth individuals.  Simply put, Dubai is a global heavyweight. Everyone wants a piece of our pie because they know as an investment hub Dubai offers the most attractive and stable platform in the world to do business with. The knock on effect of this is that High Networth Individuals (HNWIs) and entrepreneurs prefer Dubai over historically popular places like Monaco, London, Hong Kong or New York City. It must also be noted that Dubai’s standard of living is still lower than these cities.


Since 2006, the government has allowed foreign ownership in free hold areas. The Real Estate Regulatory Agency or RERA as it is called has made vast improvements in improving the transparency of the real estate market and to properly gauge the health of a budding market. It is a government entity that has made vast leaps in terms of technology through its broker’s app as well. According to the Dubai Land Department, 149 nationalities were involved in over 26,000 transactions totaling 57 billion dollars for the first half of 2016. GCC nationals, Indians and British expats topped the list of investors who clearly understand the benefits of safe stable and attractive real estate market like Dubai.

words // Luke Jones
photography // Placeholder