More than a decade ago, the Dubai real estate market faced its most difficult challenges, which began at the end of 2008. Since then, the market has undergone a major transformation, as it continues to mature and develop following the city’s growth and sustainable development program developed by the government.
One of the major highlights is the growth of the Real Estate Regulatory Agency [RERA], which since its inception in 2007 has achieved much in developing a regulatory framework aimed at protecting real estate investors and end-users while restoring market confidence.
The consumer protection measures introduced under the legislation, in particular, the introduction of mandatory escrow accounts for developers selling off-plan projects and the introduction of the Temporary Real Estate Register [Oqood], is also a boost to the Dubai real estate market.
In 2013, the rent index for landlords and tenants was introduced.
The growth of Dubai’s first-hand real estate market is so huge that in January 2008, only 445 deals were made in the young and emerging markets. One of the biggest successes in the Dubai property market is how it has responded to the post-2008 downturn, especially because it’s a huge challenge to regulate the market from scratch compared to developed countries.
The major achievements of the Dubai real estate market from 2008 to date can be classified according to the degree of maturity of the market, the regulatory framework, and investments aimed at young people.
The market has come a long way since international freehold ownership was first introduced in 2002. The country has not only managed to return to growth after the effects of the downturn in the Dubai property market but has also evolved despite continued headwinds around the world.
Today, there is an increase in market transparency, a more diversified economy, a decrease in dependence on oil, and an increase in the number of real estate investment trusts.
Dubai is experiencing several new trends in the real estate market, such as a shift in sales demand from high-end luxury to affordable middle-class real estate, an increase in the price per square foot, which has led to the launch of small properties, an increase in the number of end-users and first-time buyers purchasing real estate, and a market focused on tenants/investors.
Research has shown that there is a direct relationship between the transparency of real estate markets and the level of investment they attract, as well as, the number of initiatives that have been taken to improve transparency and the quality of information available to investors.