DUBAI'S PROPERTY MARKET IS SEEING A BOOST - THE EXPO CAN ACCELERATE THAT MOMENTUM
UAE is giving shape to a post-pandemic economy and signs are already being felt As the world still struggles, the UAE has definitely done everything right to minimize the damage from the pandemic and march towards normalcy. The world looks on in admiration as the UAE continues to become a better place for people to live in and do business from. From sanitizing every street, the highest per capita test to identify COVID-19 cases, setting up field hospitals and quarantine centers to break the chain, timely lockdowns, announcing stimulus packages. and a free and fast vaccination drive - the UAE took decisions boldly and swiftly. The results of which can be seen through the busy streets and bustling restaurants. The people of the UAE felt blessed as the government performed its role better than every other country and now you see people from other countries flocking to the UAE as a safe haven for their family.No easing upOne would believe that after such achievements, the government would relax - none of that has happened and it quickly shifted gears to its future planning. That’s what is called true commitment, and this is what transforms the UAE into the fastest growing nation. All this has led to a considerable spike in migration of the wealthy and the skilled into the UAE. What makes all of this even more powerful is that it is happening as the clock ticks to the launch of the Expo. The theme, infrastructure and preparation of Dubai’s event was always going to be better than all earlier versions. The courage to go ahead with the event while the global economy is still in survival mode speaks volume for the strength of the UAE.Getting the world onboardThe event requires local preparation… but a sign-off from all participating nations. This means the UAE is making a strong statement to the world to see the remarkable difference in the pandemic created situation. I have always maintained that an event like Expo has far more powerful than other global events linked to sports or entertainment. More than the impact it creates on the economy during the six-month event, its about the burst of opportunities it brings after the event. The businesses and visitors get a firsthand taste of the UAE and its infrastructure along with the regional opportunities. This is where the host nation continues to benefit for years after the event. number of people who would have only heard about the UAE in bits and pieces get the opportunity to include it in their future business plans. There is absolutely no doubt that MENA region contains an ocean of untapped opportunities - and the UAE remains the hub.Pivot back to real estateIt’s important to note the combined GDP of MENA region, which stands at $3.63 trillion and poised for further growth. One of the direct beneficiaries of any economic boom is the real estate sector because you need more space for businesses to operate and people to live. A proof of that can be seen in the appreciation of real estate in Shanghai and Milan before and after the last two Expo cities. Property values grew in both cities after the Expo despite the softening of the global economy during the same period. Three important factors make Dubai real estate an even bigger opportunity - the infrastructure, regulatory framework and current valuations. The hard and soft infrastructure is second to none and ready to support rapid expansion. The regulatory framework for investments offers immaculate security for individuals and institutions alike. The laws ensure fair offering with utmost transparency, boosted by ease of investment and security of funds. The valuations, in my opinion, are extremely conservative and is overdue for a consistent run. Real estate investment is directly influenced by domestic consumption, and the latest immigration reforms offer long-term residency and nationality create a unique combination of population retention while attracting new entrants. The government has added every catalyst required for a sustainable economy. Much more than that, it has demonstrated astute governance during a global crisis better than most. I have found Dubai’s real estate as the most unique opportunity - a combination of safety and growth. The industry sits on a launch pad and everyone onboard will see sustainable and long-term growth.
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