As we usher in 2019, Bayut takes a look at the UAE property market over the last year. Without a doubt, 2018 has been an eventful year for the property industry with game-changing laws, new projects announced and the Expo 2020 inching closer. Read on to find out the highlights of the UAE real estate market news in 2018!
TOP UAE PROPERTY MARKET NEWS IN 2018
INTRODUCTION OF NEW UAE RESIDENCY VISAS AND COMPANY OWNERSHIP LAWS
Major announcements last year included the introduction of the 10-year residency visa for expats and the 100% foreign company ownership law. While these laws do not guarantee changes for everyone, they are expected to herald a shift in dynamics in the country. Not only will these laws bring in more talent and innovators to the UAE, but it will also lead to an increased interest in investing in the UAE property market. Expats eligible for the 10-year visa will have a greater feeling of permanence in the country, thus leading them to secure their future by investing in properties in the UAE. The new company ownership laws could also signal an uptick in sales in the UAE commercial property sector.
Finally, the newer announcement of the five-year retiree visa was also a prominent feature in the UAE real estate market news 2018. The new law allows retired expats to apply for a five-year residence visa if they meet certain conditions. One of these clauses includes owning a property worth AED 2M in the UAE. The conditions for the retiree visa are expected to boost sales in the UAE property market this year. Expats in the country could now view the UAE as a long-term investment option, leading to a higher volume of property sales.
Interested in learning more about these milestone laws in the UAE? Find out more about the effects of the 10-year residency visa and company ownership laws as well as how the 5-year retiree visa in the UAE will impact the real estate market.
SHARJAH REMOVES NEED FOR UAE RESIDENCY VISA FOR NON-ARABS TO PURCHASE PROPERTY
Another highlight in Bayut’s UAE property market overview 2018 is Sharjah’s landmark move to open up its real estate sector. Non-Arabs will no longer require a UAE residency visa to purchase property in the emirate, thus inviting foreign investment. Non-Arab investors from anywhere in the world can purchase property in the emirate on a 100-year renewable leasehold basis. This includes both residents and non-residents. Thus, developments such as Sharjah Waterfront City have ranked amongst the most popular areas for villa and apartment sales in the H2 Sharjah Property Market Report 2018. Interested in purchasing property here? The sale prices for buying a studio apartment in Sharjah Waterfront City starts from AED 250k.
DUBAI RECORDS REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS WORTH AED 19 BILLION IN THE LAST DAYS OF 2018
The next major feature in the Dubai real estate market news 2018 was the unprecedented transaction volume recorded in the emirate during the last 10 days of 2018. The Dubai Land Department (DLD) recorded 2,081 transactions between 17 to 30 December, valuing at AED 19 Billion. Al Warsan First recorded the highest number of transactions worth AED 111 million. Business Bay followed with the second-most transactions valuing AED 149 million. These figures are an indicator of the Dubai real estate sector picking up, and the trend is expected to begin in 2019. Looking to purchase property here? Investors can expect sale prices for studios in Business Bay to start from AED 250k.
HE Sultan Butti bin Mejren, Director General of DLD, said: “This activity affirms the attractiveness of Dubai’s real estate sector, specifically the demand from buyers and investors who are benefitting from legislation and investment incentives recently announced by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai the preferred investment destination. These recorded transactions within a short time reflect renewed confidence in our real estate market, especially in light of Expo 2020 preparations.”
DUBAI LAND DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES NEW PLATFORM FOR REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS
Next on Bayut’s UAE real estate market recap is a unique project launched by the DLD. In 2018, the DLD announced a new digital platform for all property transactions. The platform is known as Real Estate Self Transaction, or REST. Part of the Dubai 10x initiative launched by HH Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, the introduction of the platform set the Dubai real estate market news buzzing. The Dubai 10x initiative aims to encourage technology and innovation in Dubai through major projects. The REST platform will allow the real estate sector in Dubai to go paperless through digital management of all property-related transactions.
It would also provide access to real estate services such as mortgages, payment of utility bills and rental of properties. Expected to be ready by 2020, the platform promises greater transparency between landlords, tenants and property management companies. The move has been welcomed by the UAE real estate sector, especially in light of new laws opening up the property market.
BAYUT’S PARENT COMPANY RAISES $50M IN LATEST ROUND OF FUNDING
Another highlight from the UAE property market overview 2018 concerns Bayut’s parent company, Emerging Market Property Group (EMPG). Bayut is delighted to share that EMPG raised $50M in its latest round of funding in 2018. Of this, $25M will be allocated to strengthening Bayut’s presence in the UAE and the Middle East. The development comes at an opportune time for Bayut. Investor interest in the UAE property market is high, especially in the light of new residency visas and company ownership laws.
Having raised a total of a whopping $110M including previous rounds of funding, Bayut has risen to become one of the UAE’s most well-funded startups. The news has been strongly welcomed by the real estate market in the UAE. EMPG will also use the funds to boost its market position in the 40 cities where it operates.
TWO MASSIVE RECORD-BREAKING MALLS TO BE BUILT IN DUBAI
Maintaining its position as a pioneer in entertainment and retail, Dubai will welcome Deira Mall and Sports Society in the coming years. In 2018, Nakheel and UNEC agreed to build Deira Mall. The mall will be the UAE’s largest in terms of leasable space. Some of the highlights in upcoming Deira Mall includes a retractable glass roof, sports facilities such as running tracks and over 1,000 retail stores, F&B outlets and entertainment. The mall is expected to be completed by 2021, and will provide residents living in Deira with ample shopping and leisure experiences! You can take a look at more information on Deira in Bayut’s in-depth area guide.
Also featuring in UAE property market updates was the announcement that developers Viva City will be responsible for introducing the world’s largest sports mall in Dubai. Known as Sports Society, the mall will be equivalent to 12 football fields. This mall will focus on active spaces for UAE’s residents, including a massive area to hold sporting events. Visitors will be treated to an experience that includes shopping, entertainment and sports. Sports Society will be located close to Deira City Centre, so residents in Deira will have plenty of leisure options at hand in the next few years!
EXPO 2020 DUBAI TO BE SHOWCASED AS AN EXAMPLE OF SMART CITY BUILDING TECHNOLOGIES
With the Expo 2020 Dubai less than two years away, progress is well underway at the site. And in December 2018, Siemens started installation work on the smart city building technologies that will connect and control buildings in the site. This development headlined the UAE property market news, as the development will drive forward Dubai’s Smart City Initiative.
Siemens’ Internet of Things platform, MindSphere, is the system that will be used to connect the Expo 2020 site, which will consist of more than 130 structures. These technologies will be used to meet the Expo 2020’s standards of security, efficiency and visitors’ comfort. It will also use Siemens’ Navigator, its cloud-based platform, to control day-to-day functions. Air conditioning, energy usage and air quality are just some of the functions that will be controlled by the smart city technology. Expo 2020 Dubai is slated to be the world’s largest installation of these innovative technologies.
PROPERTY PRICE TRENDS IN UAE EXPERIENCE MODEST DECLINES IN H2 2018
Bayut’s H2 2018 Property Market Reports for Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Ajman showed that property price trends throughout the emirates largely remained on a downtrend for sales and rentals. The Dubai real estate market overview showed that the buzzing locality of Dubai Marina took the top spot as the most popular area for apartment sales. The average sale prices for studios in Dubai Marina remained stable at AED 850k. On the other hand, Arabian Ranches remains most popular with investors for villas in Dubai, with sale prices for 3-bedroom villas averaging at AED 2.8M, dropping 6.6% from H1 2018.
While property prices have declined, the decreases have remained marginal. This indicates the possibility of the UAE real estate market stabilizing in the new year. Take an in-depth look at the Bayut’s UAE real estate market analysis 2018 through our H2 Market Reports. The reports are based on Bayut users’ searches and advertised prices on the website.
And that’s a wrap on Bayut’s UAE real estate market overview 2018. What are your predictions for the UAE property industry for 2019? Let us know in the comments below. And follow MyBayut, to be updated on the latest real estate news in the UAE.