جريدة الخليج: 53 % حصة البيع على الخريطة في دبي خلال ثلاثة أشهر

سجل السوق العقاري المحلي في دبي بيع نحو 6350 وحدة سكنية خلال الربع الثالث من العام الجاري 2018، واستحوذت المبيعات على الخريطة على أكثر من النصف بواقع 53% (3366 وحدة)، وتصدرت كل من «الخليج التجاري» و«مدينة محمد بن راشد» و«دائرة قرية الجميرا» مبيعات الشقق على الخريطة خلال هذه الفترة.
وتصدرت «المدينة العالمية» و«مارينا دبي» و«دائرة قرية الجميرا» مبيعات الشقق الجاهزة بنسبة 32 % من مجموع مبيعات الشقق الجاهزة خلال الربع الثالث لعام 2018
أما مبيعات الفلل والمنازل الفردية الجاهزة فقد تجاوزت المبيعات على الخريطة في الربع الثالث من عام 2018 والتي تصدرتها «روعة الإمارات» (اميريتس ليفينج (و«المرابع العربية» و«داماك هيلز» والتي بلغت مجتمعة نسبة 30% من مجموع مبيعات الفلل والمنازل الفردية الجاهزة خلال الربع الثالث

استقرار سعري

ولفت التقرير المشترك بين «هاربور العقارية» و«بروبرتي مونيتور» إلى أن الأسعار التي تم تداولها للفلل والمنازل الفردية قد استقرت خلال الربع الثالث من عام 2018 على أقل من متوسط أسعار عام 2017، وضاقت فجوة السعر بين الشقق والمنازل المستقلة. كما اتجهت أسعار الشقق أيضًا إلى الانخفاض وبلغت في المتوسط نحو 1.2 مليون درهم في الربع الثالث من عام 2018. كما أن تداولات العقارات الجاهزة التي بدأت في منافسة أنشطة البيع على الخريطة للفلل والمنازل الفردية منذ نوفمبر/‏تشرين الثاني 2017، قد استمرت في اتخاذ نفس المنحى خلال هذا الربع

 
في غضون ذلك، وخلال الأشهر التسعة الأولى من عام 2018 استمرت تداولات البيع على الخريطة للشقق في التصدر حيث ركز المطورون اهتمامهم على تزويد خيارات منخفضة الأسعار وخطط الدفع الميسرة والمنافسة
والمنافسة والتنازل عن رسوم  التسجيل وغيرها من الحوافز الأخرى

الرئيسي والثانوي

وطبقًا للبيانات الصادرة عن «بروبرتي مونيتور» فإن 27% من سعر تداولات البيع على الخريطة للشقق خلال الأشهر التسعة الأولى من عام 2018 تراوح بين 1,200 إلى 1,500 درهم للقدم المربعة. وبالمقارنة فإن أعلى سعر في السوق الثانوي للشقق بلغ بين 500 و 800 درهم للقدم المربعة
واستمرت شقق الاستوديو والوحدات ذات غرفة النوم الواحدة في تصدر المشهد الأنشط من حيث التداولات في كل من المبيعات على الخريطة والسوق الثانوي في عام 2018 حتى تاريخه
في الربع الثالث من عام 2018 سجلت أسعار المبيعات في سوق العقارات انخفاضًا ربع سنوي بنسبة 1.4% و 1.3% للفلل والمنازل الفردية والشقق على التوالي. ومن المحتمل أن النشاط الاقتصادي الضعيف وتسليم الوحدات السكنية الجديدة من المطورين لاحقًا هذا العام، أن يفرض مزيدًا من الضغط لخفض أسعار مبيعات المساكن. وفي تلك الأثناء، فإن إعلان حكومة دولة الإمارات في عام 2018 عن لوائح التأشيرة الجديدة لمدة عشر سنوات وتأشيرة الإقامة لمدة خمس سنوات للأجانب المتقاعدين سيكون له تأثير إيجابي على السوق في الأجل القريب

أداء الإيجار

كان انخفاض أسعار إيجارات الوحدات السكنية أكثر وضوحًا في «دبي لاند» و«الروضة – ذا جرينز» وفي «روعة الإمارات» و«موتور سيتي» و«المرابع العربية» و«فيكتوري هايتس» و كان متوسط التغير على مدى 12 شهرًا نحو7%
ومن المتوقع أن يستمر انخفاض الأسعار خلال الربع الأخير من العام الجاري وبداية عام 2019 مع وجود خطط لتسليم مساكن جديدة بكل من الملكية الحرة ومجتمعات الإيجار غير المنتهي بالتمليك في دبي
ومع ذلك، فإن أثر ذلك على بعض المشاريع سيكون أقل وضوحًا إذا استفاد المطورون من محفزات الطلب الفريدة مثل الواجهة البحرية والتشطيبات عالية الجودة والمرافق المجتمعية المتميزة

المعروض القادم

جرى تسليم نحو 6,000 وحدة سكنية في أنحاء دبي في الربع الثالث من عام 2018، وتركزت غالبية عمليات التسليم خلال الربع الثالث لعام 2018 في «دائرة قرية جميرا» و«منطقة برج خليفة» و«تاون سكوير» و«دبي الجنوب». واستحوذت الشقق السكنية على أكثر من 72% الوحدات التي تم تسليمها. أما بالنسبة لباقي السنة، فستتركز غالبية المعروض القادم في مناطق «الخليج التجاري» و«دائرة قرية جميرا» و«مدينة دبي الرياضية» و«واحة دبي للسيليكون» و«تاون سكوير»

مهند الوادية: 1.2 و 1.9 مليون درهم متوسط السعر

قال مهند الوادية، الرئيس التنفيذي لشركة «هاربور العقارية»: «من بين الملاحظات التي برزت في التقرير هذا عن السوق العقاري في دبي للربع الثالث من 2018، هو أن متوسط الأسعار الحالية للمنازل المستقلة والشقق يبلغ 1.9 مليون درهم و1.2 مليون درهم على التوالي، وهي تقريبا نفس أسعار ما رأيناه في الربع الأول من عام 2008 وقبل انهيار السوق المالي العالمي
وأضاف الوادية أن الفرق قبل عشر سنوات أن كنا في طفرة نمو اقتصادية سريعة متسارعة، حيث كان المشترون يلاحقون المكاسب المالية السريعة في ذلك الوقت، لم يتوقع الكثيرون أن السوق كان متجهاًً نحو الانخفاض الحاد، على الرغم من أن بعض العقول المنطقية تنبأت بحدوث هذه الحالة التي كانت وشيكة

محمد عبيدات: مبيعات الجاهز تتحرك للتفوقعلى نظيرتها على الخريطة

من جانبه أشار محمد عبيدات، الرئيس التنفيذي للتكنولوجيا في شركة بوروبرتي مونيتور إلى أن الجميع يدرك الوضع الحالي للسوق العقاري ونملك اليقين بأنه سيتحول قريبا للاتجاه الأعلى. ونرى أنه، بالنسبة للعديد من المشترين، فهذا هو الوقت المثالي لشراء منزل في دبي وأصبح الحلم هذا في متناول اليد حسب أسعار السوق الحالية
وذكر عبيدات أن بيانات نظام بروبرتي مونيتور تشير إلى أن مبيعات المنازل الجاهزة قد تخطت في الآونة الأخيرة مبيعات المنازل قيد الإنشاء في المشاريع المطلقة مؤخرا، وهذا أمر منطقي لأن العائلات المشترية لا تقدر أن تقوم بالدفع والانتظار لبناء منزل وفي نفس الوقت دفع الإيجار أيضًا، فهي تحتاج إلى منازلها الآن، وبالتالي فهي أكثر ميولاً إلى شراء المنازل الجاهزة في نفس الوقت

Affordability matters most

This year’s Cityscape Global Exhibition and Conference is forecast to be the largest yet and comes at a time when Dubai’s Real Estate industry is expected to start entering a cyclical growth phase in the lead up to the World Expo 2020.

The importance of Cityscape Global cannot be overstated. As with many exhibitions, it provides a concentrated and focused forum which allows the industry to showcase its vision and capabilities and demonstrate what shape Dubai will take in the future. But Cityscape is much more than that.

Cityscape Global is an open invitation for all stake-holders to understand, evaluate, participate and prosper in an industry that continues to literally change the shape of Dubai. It is a meeting place of some of the biggest and brightest minds representing all stakeholders in the industry and a confluence of opinions, ideas and opportunities which are shared, debated and developed. It allows stakeholders to gain a macro sense of in-dusty direction and a micro understanding of the various elements that will shape the industry going forward.

For buyers and investors, there is no better place to gain an appreciation of the myriad of opportunities that are on offer, but the sheer scale of the exhibition can become a little overwhelming, especially when you are looking to invest.

As a general theme for this year’s Cityscape, I will be advising most of my investors to look for value opportunities in the affordable housing segment, particularly in the Dubai South areas, as this segment in this location is likely to be the subject of some very attractive easy payment plans to further enhance affordability and, to some extent, mitigate risk.

This segment has outperformed its more luxurious alternatives for some time now and continues to show lots of potential, even though the recent cyclical correction. Affordable properties will continue to be on high demand as Dubai’s population growth gains momentum during a period of expected strong economic growth leading up to the end of the decade. And while the value is irrefutable, the risks associated with investing in the affordable segments of the industry as opposed to the luxury segments are much lower. Demand for affordable accommodation will continue to grow as Dubai’s population swells in the run up to the Expo. As Dubai continues to grow, so does the need for affordable housing.

Yet, although I see great value in investing in the affordable segment, it doesn’t mean some interesting opportunities won’t appear in other segments as well.

So, while you might focus on identifying opportunities in the affordable segment, you need to keep an open mind and be wary of unique opportunities that may be present.

I always advise my clients that the best way to get the most out of the event, is to canvass all the interesting opportunities on display and gradually yet efficiently establish a short list of the best opportunities.

Establishing such a list from an exhibition as huge as Cityscape is not easy and requires a disciplined approach. This is where a property asset management professional can assist…

Why? It’s important to understand what factors are going determine the potential of any investment. For property, these factors include everything from macro level influences such as global economic performance and policies, geopolitical issues, currency rates and oil prices to more regional or local factors such as industry supply I demand levels, consumer confidence, government policy and regulatory framework, industry cycles and liquidity in the marketplace.

So, in reality, a lot of the work in ensuring that investors and potential buyers make the most of their Cityscape experience is actually done beforehand in preparing an understanding of what the overall investment environment looks like. This enables a more efficient and focused assessment of all that is on offer.

But in addition to understanding the invest environment, it’s important for the investor to understand why he or she wants to invest in property and what the investment objectives are. Too many investors formulate the answers to these questions “on the run”, once they are traipsing around the exhibition. This lack of preparation just leads to confusion and ultimately, poor decision making.

Every industry has its shows, whether it’s the myriad of motor shows held around the world, film festivals, fashion events, airshows and the property industry is no different. What many don’t understand is that Dubai’s Cityscape Global has established itself as one of the best Real Estate and Property events globally… and its right on our very own doorstep!

So, for those of us with a passion for the industry, it is going to be an exciting 3 days. It always seems to end too early!

2017 … THE YEAR IS ALMOST HALF OVER

It was an interesting first quarter in Dubai’s property market. While prices generally approximated those of the last quarter of 2016, they actually fell by around 8% from the corresponding quarter a full year prior.

Nevertheless, and maybe not too surprisingly, total transaction value jumped by 45% for a total spend of around AED 77 billion on the back of a 7% increase in transactions. Needless to say, there were some pretty big deals done in the 1st quarter.

The 1st quarter industry performance shouldn’t come as a surprise to many. The market has been approaching its cyclical bottom for some time now and it appears that, barring unforeseen events, the decline in property values experienced last year has just about run its course.

So, what does the rest of the year hold? Well, I wouldn’t count on a rapid and sudden turnaround in property values. We are likely to do a bit of bottom-dwelling for a couple of quarters yet.

The headwinds that beset the property market may have lost some of their velocity, but they are still strong enough to make any sudden upturn in values very unlikely.

Nevertheless, the market is offering the best value for some time and will continue to do so for at least the next couple of quarters … but I wouldn’t wait too long.

Affordability has been key to keeping the market bubbling along, and a slew of affordable properties have been launched over the past 2 years and there will be more launched in 2017. First home buyers have never had it so good in Dubai and affordability, or a lack thereof, as a reason to continue to rent is now more of an excuse to justify either procrastination or excessive conservatism.

The strengthening AED has been a headwind, no doubt, particularly where those investors purchasing with the pound, euro and yen are concerned. However, for those who have purchased recently or plan to do so imminently, the value of your property will be increasing as the US dollar continues to strengthen in 2017.

The US Federal reserve remains committed to normalizing interest rates in 2017 which is good news for investors who are holding assets denominated in or pegged to the value of the US dollar, while the angst associated with Brexit is only just beginning. Although interest rates will be increasing going forward, they will remain at very affordable levels for quite some time, making financing through mortgages still very attractive.

And the economic environment will improve from this time forward. Put simply, Dubai needs people to support an economy that is expected to grow at an estimated annual average of 5% for the remainder of the decade and to deliver initiatives such as the 2020 World Expo. The Expo alone is expected to generate an additional 270,000 jobs and drive demand for housing and commercial facilities that, by and large, don’t currently exist. Much of the city’s planning comprehends the number of people living in the emirate to grow to 3.4million people by 2020, a 7% annual increase from today’s population of 2.25million.

Meanwhile, oil prices continue to bubble around the USD45 to USD50 per barrel mark. Despite this obvious crimp on revenues, the governments Infrastructural spending continues unabated with the total budget outlay of Dh48.7 billion for 2017 being marginally up from Dh48.55 billion allocated to 2016. Looking at the 5-year budget plan of Dh248 billion, the average annual spending of Dh49.6 billion is higher by 6.5 per cent than Dh46.6 billion spent during 2014 to 2016 inclusive. This is significant as it demonstrates an unwavering commitment to economic and societal development with the investments in development initiatives being supported by revenues to be generated a newly introduced VAT in January 2018.

And despite global nervousness and uncertainty emanating from Brexit, terrorist threats, North Korean recalcitrance and virtually everything under the Trump administration, the global traveler is continuing explore the globe. Dubai’s economy continues to be driven by fundamentals such as tourism and trade and a slew of new projects to grow these important revenue generating economic segments.  Dubai welcomed almost 15 million overnight visitors in 2016 representing a 12% increase over 2015 to continue a trend of approximately 10% per annum since 2010. 2017 is expected to see the trend continue.

While it appears that the market may have been overburdened with a glut of new launches raising the prospect of an oversupply, the structural shift towards more affordable housing will not only serve to accommodate the expected rapid population growth associated with the 2020 expo, but also serve as an important factor in the development of the Dubai economy overall. Every emerging economy needs to develop a strong middle class as its expansion is critical to growing a sustainable economy and developing resilience in the face of external financial and economic shocks.

I stated earlier in the year that 2017 will be remembered as a year of the astute investor. Those that can recognize the headwinds and understand that every headwind eventually dies out, will do very well over the coming 7 years by investing in 2017.

 

THINGS THAT SUCCESSFUL INVESTORS DON’T DO!

I have been lucky in my professional life to have met and worked with some very successful investors. While I have found each to be different in personality, style and even investment philosophy, there are some attitudes, traits and perspectives that are shared among the most successful investors I have had the privilege to have met.

Thinking back to many interesting discussions I have had with these people … some of whom are my most loyal and respected clients … there a several things that I have not seen from this group of achievers. This is what separates them from the rest.

Never sink into negativity!!

I have rarely heard my successful investors project a negative stance about anything in their professional life. This is not to say that they support every philosophy, concept or idea and they will also not accept an occurrence which is contrary to what they think should have happened.

But instead of expressing such a negative emotion as hate, they continue to think positively and seek positives from a situation or take a positive approach to remedying that which they do not agree with. As a result, the dialogue is always positive, creating an environment positivity, proactivity and energy directed towards progress.

Taking this approach also helps to create a pleasant, purposeful and fruitful environment in which to work and helps to maintain or even build esteem and confidence among those that can contribute to achieving exceptional results. It promotes objectivity, focus and decisiveness.

Never assume the world is fair!!

The world is not a fair place, never has been and never will be, and successful investors understand, embrace and accept that. This allows them to be immune from the negativity that can arise when an individual feels hard done by or cheated. It also allows them to plan, create contingencies and maintain a positive attitude when a seemingly unfair occurrence occurs resulting in a greater chance to respond to a situation rapidly and appropriately rather than dwelling on the fact that an occurrence was “unfair”.

 Never accept that there is only one solution to any one problem!!

An open mind is essential to development, progress and eventual success. Successful investors will embrace new ideas and innovation. To not realise that progress is created from ingredients consisting of past experience and innovation is too rely too heavily on tried and true practices that gradually lose relevance over time. This form of decay has destroyed entrepreneurs, global corporations and even whole economies and societies. With globalization, the world has become a much smaller place. To not embrace, improve and implement world’s best practice and only holding close what you are comfortable is the biggest threat to creating continued success.

Never believe that you are solely responsible for your own success!!

Nobody has ever made it on their own. It was once thought that the iconic, independent, totally self-sufficient, unchallengeable, silent-type, hard-nosed entrepreneur who left metaphorical bodies in his wake as he doggedly climbed the mountain of success was the role model that should be emulated by all who craved achievement. Many have tried and they all failed.

No-one can achieve success on their own. As a matter of fact, the most successful people I have met have surrounded themselves with successful people and ensured that those people shared in their success. They seek opinions, listen carefully, discuss intelligently, consider alternatives and have their decisions reviewed. They reward those who contribute to their achievements and help them succeed as well for this is also a valuable way to learn and build momentum at the same time.

Never abandon the realm of possibility!!

Successful people know that nothing is impossible and hold the belief that every problem has a solution, some of which just haven’t been thought of yet. Anything is possible as long as there is willingness to explore, question and challenge and imagination is intensely applied and ingenuity is rewarded. Achievers do not complain about obstacles. They embrace them so as to gain an understanding as to how they can be overcome for they truly believe that nothing is insurmountable.

Negative words like “can’t,” “won’t,” and “impossible” are never heard from the mouths of unsuccessful individuals. They know complaining will not help them, but actually doing something about the issue at hand will.

Never look back!!

Could have… would have … should have. We have all heard these expressions of retrospective folly. Experts in hindsight have no place at the table of successful people and regret is a fruitless and pointless emotion. Successful people thrive on opportunities not lost opportunities. If they cannot make one opportunity work to their satisfaction, they move on and find another opportunity. Regret simply slows down the effective pursuit of the next great opportunity.

Never accept the unpalatable as inevitable!!

Victims have no choice. Successful investors create alternative solutions to every problem and will carefully consider all of them. In this way, successful investors are never victims for they create an environment filled with choices. Then it’s just a matter of deciding which choice represents the best way forward.

Successful investors know how to create opportunities where normal people think none seemingly exist. Successful investors believe that opportunities always will exist, but they are hidden in the recesses of our individual and collective imaginations. The reason why there are successful, is largely due to their determination and ability to extract those opportunities, while others are stagnating in the belief that they don’t exist!!

REITS… preferred by some investors

In November of 2016, Saudi Arabia created its local version of a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). The reasoning behind this move was to enable the smaller investors to provide liquidity to the market and support government efforts to resolve a housing shortage and increase the percentage of housing generated by developers to 30 per cent from its current level of 10 per cent.

So, while there are advantages for the government to have financial structures such as REIT’s to support burgeoning property and construction industries, what are the advantages for the investors who will be providing the capital?

There was a time when the property game was for the wealthy investor and those with only small amounts to invest had to look elsewhere to invest their hard-earned capital. This is no longer the case due to the rise of new investment platforms which enable even the smallest of investors to enjoy the returns of investing in property.

One such platform which is relatively new to the local market is the REIT. REIT is an acronym for Real Estate Investment Trust which, as a trust company that accumulates a pool of money through an initial public offering (IPO), buys, develops, manages and sells real estate assets. The IPO is identical to any other security offering with many of the same rules regarding disclosure and reporting requirements and regulations.

Investors, whether large or small, instead of purchasing stock in a single company, have the opportunity to buy a unit which is actually a portion of a managed pool of real estate. This pool of real estate then generates income through renting, leasing, selling and financing of property and distributes it directly to the REIT holder on a regular basis.

Units held in a REIT can be bought like a stock on a stock exchange. The REIT invests in real estate directly, either by buying, selling or leasing properties or by investing in property mortgages.
There are 3 types of REIT’s. Equity REITs invest in and own properties and therefore are focused on increasing the value of those properties while also accumulating revenues from their properties’ rents. Mortgage REITs deal in investment and ownership of property mortgages. These REITs loan money for mortgages to owners of real estate, or purchase existing mortgages or mortgage-backed securities. Their revenues are generated primarily by the interest that they earn on the mortgage loans while Hybrid REITs combine the investment strategies of equity REITs and mortgage REITs by investing in both properties and mortgages.

Individuals can invest in REITs either by purchasing their shares directly on an open exchange or by investing in a mutual fund that specializes in REITs that are listed on the stock exchange. Among other things, REITs invest in shopping malls, office buildings, apartments, warehouses and hotels. Some REITs will invest specifically in one area of real estate – shopping malls, for example – or in one specific region, state or country. Investing in REITs is a liquid, dividend-paying means of participating in the real estate market.

REITS allow both small and large investors the ability to invest in real estate without investing large amounts of capital or devoting a lot of time in directly managing a property portfolio. A REIT also allows a greater amount of portfolio diversification because of the large amounts of pooled funds available to the REIT Management team enables the accumulation and operation of different types of property assets in different locales.

Investing in a REIT is no different to investing in any company. Some companies represent lucrative opportunities, while some companies may represent too much risk or poor value. Investors still need to look at the REITS performance in terms of Nett Asset Value growth and dividend payment history, current portfolio composition and performance, the management team, future plans for the REIT as well as have an understanding of the likely performance of the property market and overall economy in which the REIT participates. Investors, having completed a thorough and in depth assessment of the probability that the REIT will provide desired returns, can participate at the level that is consistent with what they can afford to invest.

Another investment platform which allows smaller investors to participate in the property market is Crowdfunding. A relatively new concept Crowdfunding entails the pooling of funds by a group of individuals to finance initiatives such as real estate investment projects. This is usually done via the internet.

The advantages are obvious. Investors get access to the real estate market with small amounts of money and can pick and can efficiently choose which Real Estate projects they wish to invest in, thereby spreading risk and enabling the possibility of building a portfolio made up of a variety of assets, in a variety of locations being developed by a variety of developers.

For developers, Crowdfunding provides another source of funding for their projects. Using the internet is an efficient way of attracting interest to their projects and the reach that the internet provides magnifies the potential for raising funds more quickly.

However, as with any investment, Crowdfunding is not without its risks. Obviously, investors will be exposed to any gyrations in the market along with all the other investors. In addition, the risk of default from developers can be higher when compared to peer-to-peer and direct real estate investment funding. In addition, unlike investing in a REIT, the absence of a secondary market restricts the ease with which an investor can liquidate his or her position. These risks need to be considered carefully when determining the type of return required and, as with any investment, extensive due diligence by all investors, regardless of whether they be big and small, is of paramount importance.

Perfect timing

By Mohanad Alwadiya
CEO, Harbor Real Estate
Senior Advisor & Instructor, Dubai Real Estate Institute
Published: Property Weekly
Dated: August, 2016

Cityscape Global is just around the corner, and the 2016 edition promises to be the best Cityscape exhibition yet. Having been a professional in real estate for over a decade now, I get more excited when Cityscape time rolls around as Cityscape Global showcases to the world what has been made possible in the world of Dubai real estate and, as a proud professional in the industry, that is something I take pride in.

Every industry has its shows, whether it’s the myriad of motor shows held around the world, film festivals, fashion events and airshows, real estate is no different. What many don’t understand is that Dubai’s Cityscape Global is up there with the best real estate and property events globally.

Many times, I have been asked questions about this year’s event as the level of interest in the Dubai property industry continues to grow, partly because of the cyclical slowdown that the industry has experienced over the last two years, and also because of the opportunities that many investors are predicting will emerge as the emirate accelerates rapidly towards the Global Expo in 2020.

The usual questions I receive from a broad base of industry participants are about the significance of the event as it relates to current market conditions – whether the event will provide a boost or momentum to the market, going forward, and who will eventually benefit most from such an event.

Spanning in excess of 41,000 sq.m. of exhibition space at the Dubai World Trade Centre, the 15th edition of Cityscape Global will run from the 6th of September to the 8th of September. The show will be open from 10am in the morning until 7pm in the evening. It is expected to attract over 40,000 overseas visitors to Dubai coming as investors, representatives of financial institutions and high-net-worth individuals to attend the world’s largest property exhibition where over 150 developers from both Dubai and overseas will showcase hundreds of property project launches.

Cityscape Global has grown to become the world’s largest networking exhibition and conference on property development, and this 2016’s will be the largest and most influential real estate investment and development event for emerging markets globally. Bringing together investors, developers, government officials and real estate professionals, there is no better place to find investment opportunities, new business partners and have the opportunity to engage with a wide variety of internationally renowned industry experts.

Past events have revealed the breadth of its global appeal as it attracts visitors from every corner of the world. Indian nationals typically represent around 25 percent of attendees with Pakistani nationals making up around 10 percent. UAE nationals and British citizens make up about 8 percent of the audience each with the remaining 53 percent of attendees arriving from virtually every other nation in the world.

There will also be a one-day Cityscape Global conference on the 5th of September at the Conrad Dubai Hotel which will feature a comprehensive program covering the full spectrum of real estate development with the highlight being an exclusive talk from leading futurist Rohit Talwar on “The Disruptive Futures Reshaping the Property Sector.”

The conference will focus on topics relevant to today’s industry and market environment and will encompass three distinct programs which will focus on the Market, Architecture and Real Estate Brokers. The sessions are designed to be dynamic and will feature official keynote speakers, exclusive reports, and explore concepts and ideas by utilizing panel discussions and case studies.

The intrigue that surrounds the 2016 Cityscape Global lies with the state of play of in today’s real estate market. The Dubai economy experienced a significant post-recession boom and its real estate industry, a major beneficiary of Dubai’s rapid growth in tourism, trade and commerce, experienced a boom of its own. So much so that it attracted the attention of the IMF and various central banks which began voicing concerns about asset bubbles developing as a result of the market becoming too hot.

However, things have cooled a little over the last 2 years and the slowdown was being eyed nervously by some while many others, including myself, considered the market to be experiencing a healthy correction, not a recession. We all knew that the growth rates of 30+ percent experienced in 2013 were unsustainable. So, in that regard, a slowdown has been welcomed in the interests of a more sustainable and profitable future.

High interest

So next week’s Cityscape Global can be regarded as being held in a very interesting time for the industry. We all know that the industry is cyclical in nature and, as the industry matures, as it has done so rapidly over the last 5 years, the peaks and troughs of cyclical fluctuations become shallower and cycles are characterized by corrections, not boom and bust scenarios. What is pleasing is that the industry has shown itself to being much more resilient to global economic and geo-political influences and events. Therefore, it can be considered that the industry is actually at the bottom of its first true correction of this century. I say this because I do not consider the events of 2008 and 2009 to be a cyclical but rather an anomalous event.

I think this year’s event, while dynamic, rich in content and exciting, will definitely be surrounded by a heightened level of intrigue and discussion as to where the market will be going for the remainder of the decade. Regardless of mood and sentiment, Cityscape Global 2016 will play an important role in allowing participants to opine debate and determine what the future opportunities are for Dubai’s real estate industry and how they can participate, contribute or help shape its realization.

Intrigue

It is highly likely that keynote speakers will highlight the positive outlook for Dubai’s property market, promoting investment in the emirate while the city is at the bottom of its cycle. No doubt, the positive effect that the Global Expo 2020 will have on the industry will be a topic that will be explored exhaustively.

The importance of Cityscape Global to the industry cannot be overstated. As with many exhibitions, it provides a concentrated and focused forum which allows the industry to showcase its vision and capabilities, and demonstrate what shape Dubai will take in the future. But Cityscape is much more than that.

Cityscape Global is an open invitation for all stakeholders to understand, evaluate, participate and prosper in an industry that continues to literally shape Dubai. It is a meeting place for some of the biggest and brightest minds in the industry representing all stakeholders in the industry, and a confluence of opinions, ideas and opportunities which are shared, debated and developed. It allows these stakeholders to gain a macro sense of industry direction and a micro understanding of the various elements that will shape the industry going forward.

So, for those of us with a passion for the industry, it will certainly be an exciting three days.  My personal interest and intrigue goes way beyond the concepts on display – to harnessing, considering and evaluating the thoughts, opinions, concerns, visions and ideas of those assembled in one of the most diverse and informative real estate forums in the world.

Let the show begin, again!

Make the most of your Cityscape visit…

  • Check online which developers/establishments are exhibiting, make a short list of those projects/exhibits which you want to visit
  • Know your objective – to buy a new home or to invest?
  • What is your price range?
  • Are you interested in a specific location?
  • Make your rounds – find out which projects will likely support or satisfy your goal(s)
  • Don’t decide in haste – there will be a lot of good offers; be on the lookout for the best deals
  • Always read between the lines, ask questions and haggle
  • Attend as many conferences as they are usually free

Meet Dubai’s own Wolf of Real Estate

By:Binesh Panicker
Published: Property Times
Date: 28 August 2016

Mohanad  Alwadiya is a well-known name in the Dubai real estate market, and he wears many hats. Apart from his professional obligations as the CEO of Harbor Real Estate, he also finds time to contribute to the betterment of the market as Senior Advisor & Instructor at the Dubai Real Estate Institute. He is already a raging hit on social media, not an easy task for someone
from real estate.

Tell us about Memaar. How did the concept take off?
Having a primetime property reality TV show in the Middle East has been a long time coming – whether you’re in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar – practically anywhere in the Middle East, there’s always a new tower, a unique residential project or a new iconic building being launched or unveiled. So MEMAAR simply had to be.

MEMAAR is the brainchild of the Dubai Channels Network (DCN), and we officially went on air for Season 1 in May 2015. We already have a solid audience following comprising millions of viewers from all across the GCC and beyond. When it comes to our guests, we always select real clients from different backgrounds and objectives in order to offer various enriching perspectives.

The show’s objective is to educate, entertain and engage viewers with the real estate sector. I’m overwhelmed with the amount of positive feedback that I receive on a daily basis from viewers from all over the world praising the show and seeking my advice. The show is now broadcasted weekly on Dubai TV every Wednesday at 7pm, Sama Dubai TV every Sunday at 9pm and Dubai One TV (with English subtitles) every Monday at 8pm with multiple repeats on all the 3 channels.

What are the future plans for the show?
After the tremendous success of the first and second seasons, we’re going full-blast on a multimedia level. We have a lot more in store for our ever-growing number of loyal fans.
We are currently shooting for Season 3, with 16 new exciting guests and episodes. The show started broadcasting on Dubai One TV with English subtitles and will continue to run on Dubai TV and Sama Dubai TV. Of course, we want to keep growing and developing, always mindful of the feedback we are getting from our MEMAAR fan base.

You are popularly known as “The Wolf of Real Estate,” which made you a huge hit in social media. Tell us more about your social media presence and its effect.

Thanks to Property Times back in 2014, I got the “Wolf of Real Estate” title given to me which has proven to be a very interesting and strategic form of branding for myself which I have, yes, fully embraced – that is, minus the negative connotation associated with the more famous moniker for Jordan Belfort – “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

However, I believe the moniker emanated from the work of our company, Harbor Real Estate, having been previously referred to as a star that emerged from the last GFC. Beyond having simply survived, it was during the GFC that Harbor Real Estate, in the face of a level of adversity that the industry had never witnessed before, really grew as a real estate enterprise of significant capability and standing in the industry.

In terms of my current social media presence, I do have more than 1,300,000 followers on my public Facebook pages, almost 40,000 followers on my “The Wolf of Real Estate Official” Instagram account, and 515,000 followers on my “Mohanad Alwadiya” official Instagram account. On Twitter, I have a little over 50,000 followers on Snapchat and over 10,000 connections on LinkedIn.
I get all sorts of positive and encouraging comments and messages on different social media platforms, such as those expressing their gratitude for the information and analysis I provide on the TV show, articles I write or social media posts. I also receive a lot of messages from followers asking for my opinion about certain issues or real estate advice. As for the unusual ones and even those which appear negative, I usually just take them with a grain of salt and try to respond positively. In general, I try to answer all the messages I receive as much as I can because I really enjoy the interaction with all my followers, and this allows me to stay in touch with the market and gauge the impact of the various activities I’m involved in.

The response from people via social media has been overwhelming and I am still trying to get used to being referred to as some sort of celebrity in my own right because, frankly, I don’t consider myself a celebrity… just the facilitator of the reality TV show MEMAAR… just doing my job!

What is your ultimate dream?
Well, there’s a lot of things on my mind, and so much that I wish to do! However, the realities imposed by time makes careful prioritization essential.
I’m currently working on a portfolio of development projects and initiatives. Harbor Real Estate continues to expand and is continually developing the capability to provide industry leading service. I call this the “never-ending initiative” as every individual or organization can always improve regardless of past achievements.

From a business growth perspective, there is plenty to be excited about. We have several new projects and unique services that will be launched very soon and we are looking forward to Cityscape to allow us to share these with investors and aspiring homeowners.

Meanwhile, I am also at the final stages of publishing my first bilingual property management book and will be working closely with the Dubai Real Estate Institute on introducing an advanced version of the certification property management course.

There are many other ideas and initiatives that I wish to develop after 2016. I still believe our industry can benefit and better serve our customers by adopting and applying technologies in the areas of product development and communications. The world has become a global marketplace but I still believe that global capital flows in our industry are still hindered somewhat because we do not do a good enough job of putting enough global investors in a position of confidence and certainty. There remains a lot of potential in this space I believe.

Then of course, there’s MEMAAR. As mentioned earlier, we’re all working together and collaborating on how we can keep the show growing and developing, so it only gets better every season.

What is your take on the next few months for Dubai market? There is a general feeling of positivity among agents. What is the reality?
Everyone knows that Dubai real estate has been undergoing correction for quite some time now. We feel that the decline in values associated with that correction has halted or virtually halted in all market segments, or that the market is bottoming out. In Q1 of 2016, we have already witnessed significant growth in investor activity and strong land sales. Both are leading indicators that the market is heading into its next cyclical phase. We at Harbor believe that by the end of 2016, the market will have entered its next phase of growth which is expected to accelerate as we draw ever closer to the Dubai World Expo in 2020.

Dubai`s appeal to Indian investors

Dubai`s appeal to Indian investors

By Mohanad Alwadiya
Expert Eye – Gulf News

A lot of Indian investors are expected to flock to the International Property Show which will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from April 11-13. Being the top Dubai property investor segment based on nationality, investing more than AED 20 billion in 2015, the Indian expat community has had a longstanding relationship with the emirate (and the rest of the UAE) in terms of business and real estate.

But why is Dubai property so popular with the Indian people? The reasons offered are not really surprising, and essentially summarize why investing in Dubai property has had significant appeal for, not just Indian investors, but for investors from every corner of the world.

Ease and efficiency

Compared to most countries in the world, investing in the real estate sector of Dubai is relatively easy. Enlist a reputable brokerage, select your desired property, negotiate a price, write the necessary checks and the property will be yours. Bureaucracy, which makes investing in other countries in the world such a pain, is virtually non-existent and, as long as you follow procedural requirements, your property transaction will be processed efficiently and without undue delays.

Superior value

When compared to the major Indian cities, or major cities round the world, Dubai offers increasingly better value. A modern infrastructure that is continually being developed, a renewed focus on affordable housing, and world-leading rental yields, the value that is inherent in Dubai property is hard to beat in India, or any other country in the world for that matter.

Tax-free rental yields  

Put simply, there are not many real estate markets in the world where an investor can enjoy an average 7% yield without paying any local taxes. So, net of service charges, maintenance costs and property management fees, the rent that you charge your tenants goes straight into your wallet without the taxman taking his share. And with the cost of finance remaining reasonably low, the interest charge on any borrowings you may have will be easily covered by the rent that is being yielded by your property leaving more free cash flow to pay down your principal.

Absence of capital gains tax

In addition, capital gains are not taxed upon disposal of the asset which makes investing in Dubai property a very lucrative addition to any investment portfolio as, when taken with a long-term view, investing in Dubai property will provide handsome returns on investment. So, from a total returns point of view, there are few better real estate investments than Dubai property.

World-class infrastructure and security

Many times, investments that provide such lucrative returns are normally associated with excessive risks or poor infrastructure. This is not the case in Dubai. Dubai’s focus has been on developing a world-leading infrastructure for the benefit of commerce, trade, tourism and habitation. The remarkable progress that has been made in opening Dubai up for business, implementing the physical, digital and logistical infrastructures, legal framework and economic policies in the post-recession period has been pretty impressive.

Strong global brand

Dubai as a real estate and commercial hub has captured the imagination of the world, and there is no better barometer of this that the burgeoning tourism industry. Investments in economic revenue generating sectors such as the entertainment and hospitality sectors have ensured that Dubai is increasingly being included in the bucket lists of travelers from all over the world.

Economic entrepreneurialism

Dubai excels in the area of “economic entrepreneurialism.” Already well-known for conducting globally attended exhibitions, there is no greater example than the upcoming Global Expo which Dubai will be hosting in 2020 – an event that the emirate is preparing for with great care.

Multicultural and cosmopolitan society

Once considered just a pit stop for expats that fulfilled employment contracts of limited duration, more and more people have decided to settle down and call Dubai “home.” This change in outlook has had a dramatic effect on the stability of the property market and the development of a society that, while incredibly diverse, is also less transient and more committed to the development of the emirate as a long-term lifestyle solution.

As one looks around the city, one sees many faces hailing from the four corners of the world, and words, both familiar and unfamiliar, echo in the streets and byways. And while there has always been a vibrant and strong Indian community, other communities representing other nationalities are developing rapidly, making it easier for new expats to make the decision to make Dubai their new home.

History has proven that strong nations were built upon such diversity. Armed with this knowledge and the resources the emirate has been so richly endowed, Dubai continues to forge onward with a vision of better things to come.

AN_INVESTMENT_ALTERNATIVE_NOT_TO_BE_IGNORED

AN INVESTMENT ALTERNATIVE NOT TO BE IGNORED

By Mohanad Alwadiya
CEO, Harbor Real Estate
Advisor & Instructor, Dubai Real Estate Institute (DREI)

For investors, 2016 arrived with a bang or, as some might argue, a dull thud felt around the world.

At the time of this writing, financial markets had been acidic on investors’ net worth, burning through asset values, and essentially whatever value that had been accumulated during the pre-Christmas period has been melted away.

Since the New Year’s Eve celebrations were wound down and hopes for a better year in 2016 were dialed up, the Dow Jones had fallen 7 percent, the S&P 500 by 8 percent, and the NASDAQ a nerve-jangling 13 percent. What usually exacerbates investor nervousness is that these financial markets are located in the US which is, of course, still widely regarded as the strongest of the major global economies and being held as the bastion of economic growth heading into 2016.

A quick review of every other major financial market in the world reveals similar outcomes in Japan, China, London and Germany – all showing significant declines during the same period, with virtually all markets globally showing double digit declines when compared to the same period in 2015.

There are some “contrarians”, of course, such as the Hungarian Budapest Stock Exchange which did not participate in the global financial market rout in the last month, and has returned a healthy year-on-year return of 36 percent, or Latvia and Slovakia which returned 47 percent and 36 percent year-on-year, respectively.

Although the list of financial markets that have bucked the global downward trend is short, and only represent a miniscule proportion of the total capital invested globally, it does show that there will always be opportunity somewhere in the world. For investors, the challenge is to find the opportunities and access them.

While many investors expected the initial period of 2016 to essentially become a continuation of the previous year with a modicum of the volatility and irrational market gyrations continuing, nobody ever really expected 2016 to announce its arrival with such mayhem and drama. This only goes to show that many of the issues that affected investor confidence around the world in 2015 remain, and policymakers, corporate executives, investors and consumers at large continue to harbor doubts about the ability of leaders to navigate the multiple crises that has beset the world. In short, most investors are peering into a fog of uncertainty with only continually negative headlines to guide their reasoning.

The issues are as varied as they are significant. Everything from the US presidential race that has the world bemused (and perhaps frightened as to its would-be outcome)  to doubts regarding the capability of China to effectively manage and steer its economy away from being export-driven to relying on local consumption and the development of its middle class.

Meanwhile, the European refugee crisis will continue as long as there is violence in the Middle East which, of course, shows little sign of abating. Then there is the continuing saga of the US Federal Reserve’s shift from near-zero interest rates that continues to spook investors to the extent that all rational and fundamental analyses enabling investment decisions seem to have been replaced by an intense and sometimes amusing focus on the vocabulary and grammar used in Fed statements in an effort find some hidden indication of their intent.

Meanwhile, the ongoing collapse of oil and commodity prices remain likely to trigger recessions in emerging economies like Russia and Brazil – all at the time that Europe continues to struggle for growth. Not surprisingly, the IMF trimmed its global growth outlook for 2016 to 3.4 percent, down from 3.6 percent and, in all likelihood, will trim it further as the year progresses.

So, what should an investor do… who, in the depths of despair and confusion at the deluge of negative headlines, seemingly shallow financial advice and at the direction of global economies and financial markets, is feeling clueless as to where the opportunities for returns on his hard-earned capital might be? How does today’s investor make some progress towards increasing his wealth in 2016?

Investing in Dubai real estate has significant potential to satisfy the appetite for investment returns and the fundamental reasoning is compelling.

From a macro level, Dubai needs people to support an economy that is expected to grow at an estimated 2.5 percent+ in 2016 but increasing exponentially as the end of the decade draws near. The reason for this growth trajectory is the commitment and determination to deliver on initiatives such as the 2020 World Expo. The Expo alone is expected to generate an additional 270,000 jobs and drive demand for housing and commercial facilities that, by and large, do not currently exist. Much of the city’s planning comprehends the number of people living in the emirate to grow to 3.4 million by 2020, a 7 percent annual increase from today’s population of 2.25 million.

While the price of oil is a big issue for the region’s economies, Dubai has managed to develop a level of diversification that will allow it to weather the current global oversupply of oil. With oil representing only about 4 percent of Dubai’s GDP, the effect of the decline in oil prices is not as drastic as some may think. While a reduction in public spending is to be expected, Dubai’s economy is being driven by fundamentals such as tourism and trade, and the focus of spending will be on new projects to grow these important revenue-generating economic segments and further diversification.

In 2015, Dubai attracted over 14 million visitors continuing a growth trend of approximately 10 percent per annum since 2010, and is well on track to attracting over 20 million visitors in 2020.

And the 277,000 extra jobs that are generated to ensure the estimated 20 million visitors to the Expo see Dubai in its most favourable light cannot be underrated in terms generating significant demand for real estate assets. This is where the Dubai economy has an advantage over many Western economies in that, looking forward, there is a requirement for intellectual and human capital which is not residing dormant and unutilised in the economy and attracting this critical resource can only result adding to economic growth, providing additional impetus for Dubai’s Real Estate industry to enjoy the predictable surge in demand for accommodation and commercial space of all types, from labor camps to offices to warehouses to apartments to executive Villas.

There is no doubt that Interest rates in the US will continue to rise and the AED will continue to get stronger. However, to invest in a market that nearing the end of a 20 percent correction in a currency that certain to appreciate over the coming 3 to 4 years only makes sense, especially when finance is still relatively affordable and will remain so for quite some time, and when the Expo is sure to have a significant effect on property values.

And the market itself is becoming more efficient. Developers have learnt from the past and are only releasing properties into the market after analysing current demand, and are continually revising projects still in the feasibility stages after carefully analysing future demand. This newfound prudence in managing supply will help preserve values and confidence in how the market is operating, going forward, and is yet another indication of the market’s rapid progress towards full maturity.

The structural shift towards more affordable housing in 2015 will not only serve to accommodate the expected rapid population growth associated with the 2020 Expo, but will also serve as an important factor in the development of the Dubai economy overall.

Every emerging economy needs to develop a strong middle class as its expansion is critical to growing a sustainable economy, and developing resilience in the face of external financial and economic shocks. In addition, for Dubai to compete effectively on a regional and global basis, it needs to ensure that the cost of doing business in the emirate does not position it as an outlier when entrepreneurs or corporations are considering alternatives for their operations.

And speaking of alternatives, there is an array of asset choices which hasn’t been seen for some time, and the availability of off-plan purchases with highly lucrative payment plans is unprecedented. Whether it’s an affordable studio or a luxury villa, there are investment opportunities in every segment of the market supported by the most affordable payment plans seen in years.

But the most compelling reason as to why Dubai real estate represents such a tempting investment opportunity in 2016 are the financial returns that you can expect. For a superior investment yield and strong return on your investment, the total returns that Dubai real estate provides will be hard to beat over the next 5 years.

Properties in the burgeoning affordable segment continue to provide gross rental returns of 8 percent with 10 percent rental yields not uncommon and, because of the recent price correction in the market and the slew of financial incentives that have been introduced, accessing the yields and returns can be done with comparatively minimal capital outlay. And the good news is both rental yields and property values are expected to increase as the 2020 World Expo draws nearer.

But returns are only one side of the equation… what about the risk?

One of the main reasons why the Dubai real estate industry has matured so rapidly is because of the unprecedented level of governance, oversight and scrutiny that the industry is being subjected to. The ongoing development of the industry’s regulatory framework and implementation of laws and regulations to safeguard both consumer and investor interests, the overall industry and the economy at large from rampant and irresponsible speculative, predatory or unethical practices, reveals a mature and balanced approach to shaping an industry which exhibits sustainable growth over the long term.

The industry is much more resilient in 2016, and investors have benefitted enormously from the developments in this area.

Every investor has a finite set of investment opportunities to consider. There is no doubt that the past year has been challenging for equity investors, frustrating for fixed income investors, and costly for investors who saw the valuations of their mutual funds, many leveraged with cheap finance, lose 20 percent to 30 percent of their value.

Investing in Dubai real estate simply cannot be ignored as an alternative, whether as a primary source of returns or as a contributing participant within a broader investment portfolio, to successfully generating wealth.

Ask the agent

Can you explain the term capitalization rate?

Capitalisation rate (cap rate) is the rate of return on a real estate property based on the income that the property is expected to generate. It is used to estimate the investor’s potential return on investment. It maybe calculated by dividing the investment’s net operating income (NOI) by the current market value, where NOI is the total revenue derived from renting or leasing the property minus all operating costs. Put simply, the cap rate = NOl current market value. Given that the capital values for Dubai properties have shown greater volatility than the income being derived, the NOI being generated from the property at today’s value needs to be looked into. This allows us to see whether the property’s performance is improving or declining by referring to the cap rate. If the cap rate is declining, this leads us to conclude that selling the property would generate greater income.

Where do you think the best investment opportunities are in the Dubai real estate market?

Definitely in the affordable segment of the market!

We are encouraging clients to invest in this important segment as there are some great opportunities and the demand for affordable housing is likely to continue increasing as Dubai heads towards the Expo 2020. There are many affordable developments that have been sprouting in Dubailand and other parts of the city, especially in the outskirts. They are strategically located, with easy access to major road networks like the Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, thus residents enjoy fast transit times to most of Dubai’s popular areas. The demand for this type of affordable accommodation will continue to grow. invest in apartments and retain ownership for atleast five years to gain superior capital growth and enjoy healthy net annual rental return in the meantime.

Do you think the property prices will fall further in this current cycle? If so, would now be a good time to sell?

The fact that the property industry is notoriously cyclical is widely known yet viewed differently. Investors with a clear strategy and long-term plan simply accept, foresee and plan for cycles in the industry. They look for longer—term sustainable growth rather than take additional risk by trying to accumulate wealth by taking advantage of shorter-term spikes or dips. Investing in property has a very simple purpose: to create wealth over the long term. However, your portfolio needs to be nurtured, maintained and managed to ensure its wealth-creating potential is achieved as it rides the inevitable cycles that occur in the industry. Adopting a short-term vision and reacting unreasonably to inevitable industry slowdowns will lead to underperformance in the longer term. Consider engaging a good property manager who will ensure that you maximize returns.

I plan to purchase our first family home. What are the factors to consider when getting a mortgage?

There are a number of considerations that you need to factor into your plan of buying a home. One of these is getting a mortgage. Generally speaking, you are much better off financially in applying your hard-earned money towards building equity, but keep in mind that mortgage payments can be subject to fluctuations as interest rates rise. Not all mortgages are the same. Try and have the mortgage establishment fees waived. Depending on the institution, this may save you up to Dh3,000. Also request that you are not penalized for paying the mortgage down faster or in its entirety. By law, the mortgage provider cannot charge you more than 1% of the outstanding amount or a maximum of Dhl0,000, but try to have this stipulation dropped from your contract. Make sure your provider will allow you to utilize the equity you build in your home over time. Some lenders will allow you to use this as security for further borrowing.

Question of the week

I am buying an off-plan property. Can you explain the principles of escrow?

An escrow can be described as a legally recognized financial instrument held by a third party (typically a bank) on behalf of two other parties (typically a buyer and a seller) who have agreed to conduct a particular transaction in accordance with certain conditions. Funds are provided by the buyer and held by the party (bank) providing the escrow service until it receives the formal advice that certain previously agreed obligations of the seller have been fulfilled upon which time, the seller can receive funds to the amount specified in the agreement between the seller and buyer.

The use of escrow accounts by Dubai developers has now been mandated by law for the purpose of protecting the prepayments made by buyers. This limits developers from gaining access to funds until certain construction milestones are completed, helping ensure developers are not misappropriating funds provided in advance for purposes other than which they are intended.

Anybody can open an escrow account but not anybody can open one for the purposes of property development in Dubai. The developer must first be registered as a bona fide developer with RERA which involves providing documents ranging from those which establish the bona fide nature of the developer including details of its officers and solvency, title deeds proving ownership of the land to be developed, NOC from relevant parties to performance guarantees.