New ownership and visa laws, a business-friendly environment, and highly successful Covid-19 vaccination drive have all helped Dubai retain investor confidence.
Favourable interest and mortgage rates, a highly effective Covid-19 vaccination drive, and new visa rules for investors, will result in Dubai’s property sector witnessing a “big boom”, especially when the city opens its doors for Expo 2020, says Rizwan Sajan, chairman and founder of Danube Group.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Khaleej Times on the sidelines of the INDEX Dubai 2021 exhibition, Sajan remarked that Dubai would continue to be a city that enjoyed the confidence of global investors. The emirate had proven itself to be resilient in the face of several challenges that have gripped the global economy time and time again, he said.
“Expo 2020 is going to bring a big boom for Dubai,” he stated. “If you look at what has happened over the past two to three months, you will see that real estate prices have gone up again. This means that developers will be eager to start constructing new apartments and villas. We are blessed, especially when you look at all the policies that the government has been coming up with, such as the Golden Visa and the 100 per cent ownership laws, to make expats feel like they are at home. All of these policies will definitely help to build confidence in investors that are interested in setting up their businesses here.”
“In addition, the way that the Covid-19 crisis has been handled here will also send a strong message to the world that Dubai is ready for business,” Sajan observed. “We are already seeing a lot of investors from India expressing an interest in coming and opening their businesses in the city. Not just that, but a lot of European and Chinese expats are looking to purchase property in Dubai.”
He also reiterated his advice on the best time to invest in property in the emirate. “I can say that we will see a big real estate boom coming in the near future. I keep telling people that the time to buy property, if you are interested in doing so, is now because later you will not get the same prices that you are seeing in the market right now. Interest rates right now are very low just like the property prices and even the mortgage rate is extremely attractive.”
Property prices over the past six months, he revealed, have gone up by 30-35 per cent, further highlighting the positivity in the market. He also said that property in Dubai is still cheaper compared to many other major international hubs such as Hong Kong and London. While villa prices have gone up, and will continue to do so in the coming months, apartment prices are still low and make for an attractive investment.
“The luxury property market has already started recovering, and the affordable property market will follow,” Sajan added. “Many companies that had laid off their employees are looking to rehire their staff so business is getting back to usual. I also believe that the supply of new units will remain balanced in the near-term.”
Asked about how the Covid-19 pandemic had impacted the building materials market, he said that prices have been “going very very high.”
The main reason for this, he revealed, has been the difficulty in arranging logistics and the shortage of material.
“The demand is more due to the consumption in the US and Europe,” Sajan said. “We have seen this trend – where the prices have gone up by more than 50 per cent in the building materials segment – after many years. We are trying our best to get materials because of the huge demand that we are seeing for Expo 2020 Dubai; lots of projects have to be completed before the event opens its doors. However, I believe that there will be no problem in Dubai as far as the construction industry is concerned.”