News regarding the return of long queues at project launches’, flipping of properties and double digit growth is starting to sound like a bubble might be developing. Is the recent growth sustainable?

Dubai’s real estate recovery following the global financial crisis has consolidated from a “surge” in 2011 that included the Arab Spring and other extraneous events as catalysts, into a “trend” as evidenced with a strong 2012 performance with momentum continuing well into 2013. The sustain ability of the recovery is being underpinned by an economy which is steadily strengthening, showing strong GDP growth of anywhere between 4.0 and 4.5 which is mainly driven by the strong performance of the tourism and retail sectors, with trade and logistics also growing significantly. Local real estate recovery is being fuelled by growth in these core areas of the economy, aided of course, by the economic or geo-political problems being experienced elsewhere in the world.

In addition, there is no doubt that investors have returned to Dubai which is being seen as more favorable compared to a weak Eurozone, a slowly recovering US and uncertainty regarding the true state of the Chinese economy.

I bought my apartment about a year ago. A family recently moved into the unit next door, and the children are quite unruly and play noisily in the corridor. I have spoken nicely to the parents about the noise but nothing seems to stop them. What can I do?

You will need to maintain a good relationship with your neighbors and not get into any heated arguments over this matter. I suggest that you get to know your owners association and ask that an amendment be made to community rules regarding the use of corridors as playgrounds by children. Remember, the purpose of the association is to manage, operate and maintain the common areas such as hallways, lifts, stairwells, recreational areas, building systems – virtually all of the “owner shared” elements of the building in question, including rules with regard to how these areas are to be utilized by the residents. I suggest you take your issue to the next meeting and raise it with the association as it would seem to be a clear breach of community rules.

I have been thinking about investing in Dubai Marina but have been a little put off by the sharp increase in prices over the last year. Would you suggest any alternatives? 

You need to consider Jumeirah Lakes Towers. While Dubai Marina is a location of note, entrenched as a respected and recognized area of Dubai, prices have been rising so sharply that some buyers must consider other areas. JLT enjoys a very strategic location. While there may not be a sea view, the proximity to Dubai Marina (including JBR) and all that the place has
to offer is certainly tempting, and it will cost you anywhere up to 25 less depending on the type of property you are looking at.
For a long-term investment purchased today, I would slightly favor Jumeirah Lakes Towers as I anticipate that the better quality buildings in JLT will enjoy more impressive capital growth over the long term given the project commenced its recovery after Dubai Marina, and the likelihood that it will benefit from buyers and tenants such as yourself who consider the more iconic locations a little out of the acceptable price range.

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