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.

Hiring frenzy reaches new high in Dubai realty


The festive season has started early for real estate professionals in the UAE. If the current momentum is sustained in the marketplace, they have every reason to party hard right through to the New Year as well.
Hiring has picked up across the board and for existing personnel there have been sweeteners in the form of pay rises of 3 to 5 percent compared with the same time last year, according to a senior official at Macdonald & Co, the specialist consultancy.
“Large developers are hiring new sales and marketing staff as they look to re-brand and re-launch their products and sell off-plan again,” said Ben Waddilove, director. “We have completed 22 percent more placements between April and September compared to the same period last year.”
The salary hikes and better packages are in evidence in specific areas such as development and project management, with developers placing premium on candidates having regional experience. “It is harder to recruit into locations such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar as there is so much going on in Dubai and Abu Dhabi,” said Waddilove. “The rapid increase in rents is also creating upward pressure on salaries as the cost of living increases.
“The positive market sentiment is feeding through to the consultancies that service large developers and we are noticing that some of the smaller players are now looking to hire and expand their teams.”
Despite all signs pointing to the property market remaining tuned to an upbeat mode, real estate firms are still showing a certain reserve on hiring practices. “We do not see a return to the situation in 2005-08 where developers hired very large teams very quickly . . . employers are much more selective.”

Dynamic situation
While developers work with the staffing numbers best suited to their immediate priorities, the situation at estate agencies is much more dynamic. “We have been receiving an increasing number of calls from former agents who, after leaving the industry as a result of the recession, now wish to re-enter the fray,” said Mohanad Al Wadiya, managing director at Harbor Real Estate. “We are also receiving calls from agents in the UK, South Africa and Australia.
“All of them have read about Dubai’s resurgence and are interested in opportunities in the locals market. In addition, the tax-free environment and eventual strengthening of the dirham are major draws.”

Competitive scene
With an eye on ensuring optimum retention, Harbor, currently in the midst of another recruiting drive, has instituted a compensation and benefits package that includes the possibility of agents getting up to 90 percent commission on property sales and leasing.
“The package was developed with the assistance of professionals from several industries including automotive, media and finance; high performers have the opportunity to achieve monthly recognition rewards and annual performance bonuses. In addition, a health insurance and savings scheme has been developed with Dubai’s National Bonds Corporation.”
But with more agents fighting to land deals, it is getting a bit crowded in Dubai realty. “After a point the sweet spot is gone as more players share the spoils,” said Chandrakant Whabi of Acrohouse Properties. “Dubai’s real estate industry is now at that point.”
“With more than 400 registered real estate companies already operating and more in the pipeline, it is going to be lot more competitive.”


I am moving to Dubai and a friend has suggested I live in the Greens or The Views. What would be your advice?

Both The Greens and The Views are very nice places to live in. Situated adjacent to the Emirates Golf Course on Sheikh Zayed Road, they are very well located with all that in Dubai has to offer within easy driving distance.

They offer very nice lifestyle with excellent amenities, retail and dining alternatives in a very well-planned development. If you are lucky, you may be able to procure a view overlooking the Emirates Gold Club Wadi course. Very picturesque indeed, particularly in the evenings.

You will have a wide choice of studio; 1, 2 or 3-bedroom apartments in buildings of varying standards with annual rents ranging from about Dh60K to Dh195K.

If you are thinking of purchasing a property, the time is right as the area has shown excellent capital appreciation over the last year or so. Sale prices will range from around Dh850K for a studio apartment to as much as Dh3 million for the most luxurious three-bedroom apartment.

All in all, great places to live.

Hello, when I tried ti renew my rental contract, my landlord tried to increase my rent by 15%. I consulted with RERA and proved to him that he cannot do this, and now he has instructed me to vacate my apartment because he wants it for a family member. Can he actually do this?

These types of situations are occurring more frequently now that the market is picking up.

Law No. 33, Article 25(2) is very clear and provides protection for you, the tenant, by stipulating under which circumstances a tenant can be evicted.

First of all, the landlord must give you at least 12 months notice of eviction and the reasons and neceary documentation supporting the notice to evict.

Regardless of whether his intention is to use the property for himself, a relative or a friend, he would still need to provide you with a notice of eviction 12 months prior to the effective date.

In this instance, you have every right to remain in the apartment as a paying tenant if you wish to do so.

Some 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 current growth sustainable?

Dubai’s real estate recovery following the global financial crisis has consolidated from a surge in 2011 that had the Arab Spring and other extraneous events as catalysts, into a trend as evidenced by a strong 2012 performance, with momentum continuing into the first quarter of 2013.

The sustainability of the recovery is being underpinned by an economy which is steadily strengthening, showing strong growth of anywhere between 4% to 4.5% of the GDP, mainly driven by strong performances in the tourism and retail sectors with trade and logistics also growing significantly. Property recovery is being fuelled by growth in these core areas of the economy aided in part by economic or geopolitical problems being experienced elsewhere in the world.

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

Dubai’s properties need people

The emirate’s real estate sector can only pick up if Dubai’s population grows, says a new study. Transparency and better customer service are also essentials.

Dubai’s real estate market is facing a massive oversupply, and will need a quick growth in the emirate’s population in order to recover, according to the latest report released by property broker Harbor Real Estate.

“In 2010, oversupply will be an issue in the market. An estimated 60,000 residential units and 30 million square foot of office space are coming on stream by the end of 2011,” the report said, adding that Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Lakes Towers alone were expected to see around 10,200 new units in the next two years.
Dubai’s population declined between 5 percent and 8 percent in 2009; the city will need to see a growth in its population to increase property demand and “kick start the industry again,” the report said.

It’s also not going to be easy to attract existing investors. Demand last year was dampened by the lack of available credit and the tightening of lending rules by mortgage lenders. In 2010, investors are expected to be extremely cautious, the report said.

“Gone are the days of the easy sale to the investor. Simply put, many people have been hurt by the real estate price correction. In effect, they have developed a risk aversion, which will take some time to overcome,” it said.

One of the key things essential to increase the confidence of consumers in the market is to increase transparency, the report said. Currently, laws and regulations about disclosure are limited.

“Investors, especially those from overseas, need to feel that their rights will be protected and, in case a dispute arises, resolution will be equitable, accessible and timely,” the report said.

The timely release of economic data will also help people assess the feasibility of their intended investments.
“Buyers, particularly those with cash are the new kings. This year, real estate professionals will need to serve the customer and serve them well. The main drivers of buyer dissatisfaction have been in the areas of knowledge, consultative ability and empathy. This responsibility does not only lie with brokers but also with developers who must ensure that end-consumer needs are understood,” the report said.

Dubai’s authorities have already started taking measures to regulate the emirate’s property market. Most recently, Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) said on Sunday that it has signed a new deal with the Ministry of Labor to officially recognize real estate brokers as a separate professional category. Labor cards and residency visas issued to brokers will now include their designation, instead of categorizing them as sales staff. The authority said that the move would help to remove bogus brokers from the market.

“This is the first step towards a complete classification of the real estate professions in Dubai,” Marwan bin Ghalita, CEO of RERA, said in a statement, adding that the move will promote “transparency and professionalism” in the property sector.

In 2009, Rera announced that property developers in Dubai will have to pay the complete land price before selling off-plan developments and will also need to inject at least 20 percent of the project’s value before beginning construction.

Late last year, the Dubai Land Department also said that it was planning to introduce a new law to protect the rights of property investors during the first quarter of 2010.


New real estate report published

Dubai, January 10, 2010 – Harbor Real Estate, an integrated Real Estate Service Provider in Dubai, has announced the release of the latest edition of The Harbor Report which will dive into the” New Reality” and 2010 gist of the Real Estate industry in Dubai.

The “New Reality” examines various critical factors related to the Dubai economic recovery including the rejuvenation of the “Brand Dubai” and how Dubai is positioned, packaged and marketed to the world at large as a place to do business, inhabit or visit. Tourism is considered vital as investing in projects and programs that provide an experience of superior vale to international travellers will be one essential element for the recovery.

“Putting 2009 behind us will not be easy yet its imperative to put the year into context. The 2009 recession has taught governments, business institutions and individuals around the world valuable lessons. These lessons should provide a new depth of knowledge, experience and wisdom as we all look forward to the next decade” said Mohanad Alwadiya, Managing Director of Harbor Real Estate and Editor in Chief of the Harbor Report. “yet 2020 is still 10 years away and what we need to focus on now is the immediate future and what we call at Harbor ”The New Reality”.” Added Alwadiya.

Rapid population growth in Dubai will be the key to economic prosperity and will be determined by the success of growth strategies set by the government in the commercial, trade, tourism sectors. With a population that has declined significantly, anywhere between 5% and 8%, population growth will be the primary factor to stimulate the economy and rebooting the real estate industry again.

UAE GDP is also envisaged in the report to grow around 3% as infrastructural spending will continue to drive the economy funded by an oil price which will annualize at a price between $75 and $85 pbl.

“The Real Estate industry in Dubai will continue to be stressed as more projects are completed. The Dubai economy will be reliant upon other forms of revenue generating activities as the economic model of the emirate is re-configured in response to the new realities. ” Commented Alwadiya.

The report covers other elements considered vital such as the race for global capital, the issue of oversupply, the impact of mergers, rationalisations, consolidations, the role of RERA, creation of new relationships and the massive shift in market power.

In addition, the report announces the new partnership between Harbor Real Estate and Prestige and discusses Strata Law and the ongoing issue of service charges.

The 3rd edition of the Harbor Report can be downloaded on the Harbor Real Estate website. For more information about Harbor’s new communications and legal services please visit