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Dubai Property Festival to boost realty sector

Dubai Land Department, the real estate registration, promotion and regulatory arm of Dubai Government, announced the launch of Dubai Property Festival (DPF), a three-day sales and purchase event to be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre April 9 – 11, coinciding with a series of events in Dubai aimed at attracting global investment to the UAE.

The festival is expected to generate considerable buying and selling activity by hundreds of participants including property developers, brokers, lenders, mortgage providers, investors and home buyers. DPF will help to further stimulate the emirate’s buoyant real estate sector.

During a press conference, Sultan Butti Bin Mejren, Director-General of Dubai Land Department (DLD), said: “DLD plays a vital role in reshaping Dubai’s real estate sector to help drive the economic vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. It is the duty of DLD to ensure that growth and prosperity continue in this sector, and help more buyers, investors and tenants to benefit from overall economic growth, as well as contribute to the activity of our economy.

“This festival initiative is in cooperation with the International Property Show, and part of our ongoing efforts to support the real estate sector and provide an ideal environment for all relevant parties. We are confident that with this festival and beyond, the real estate sector will continue to grow and contribute to strengthening our economy.

“To encourage new buyers and investors to the real estate sector, I am delighted to announce the launch of DPF in order to provide everyone with the right environment for choosing the best properties offered, finding the best prices, and making the best deals with real estate brokers and developers. The festival will be annual event that forms an inclusive investment platform. It will be instrumental in attracting and encouraging more buyers, providing them with access to new homes, and helping them obtain a comprehensive perspective of availability — ultimately being able to make a wise decision to buy a dream home.”

DLD is constantly promoting and organising the most suitable real estate investment environment to ensure best practices at all levels of development, marketing, real estate appraisal, buying and selling, and real estate brokerage in order to ensure timely delivery of projects with maximum investment protection.

In December last year, DLD said, it has launched the Cube, a one-stop shop that brings 15 different types of public services under one roof for investors and customers that reduces procedures in one day instead of 10.

The Cube, a new customer service centre, is located on the third-floor of its headquarters, to provide real estate investors with exceptional services. The Cube has been established in collaboration with a number of key partners including the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai, the Dubai Police General Command, the Dubai Health Authority, the Department of Economic Development in Dubai, and the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship.

The Cube reduces both effort and time for real estate investors by providing all services in one location, rather than the previous 15, and by completing procedures in one working day rather than the previous 10. The centre will include all government and private entities, such as the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, the Department of Economic Development in Dubai, the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship and the Dubai Police General Command, as well as medical centres, printing offices and insurance companies.

Majida Ali Rashid, Assistant Director General and Head of the Real Estate Investment Management and Promotion Center — the Investment arm of DLD, said: “We are delighted to launch DPF that will showcase Dubai as one of the top real estate investment destinations in the world. The festival will provide an excellent opportunity for investors, developers and buyers for strategic networking and doing business in a safe and secured environment.”

“The Real Estate Investment Management and Promotion Center seeks to encourage investor confidence in the real estate market, attract investments to the Dubai real estate market and launch a variety of initiatives for investors. For example, our latest initiative was signing an agreement with a real estate brokerage office in China to promote the real estate sector in Dubai that will reach more than 1,000 Chinese real estate brokers, with the aim of promoting Chinese investment in the real estate sector in Dubai. Recently we have also signed a similar agreement with a company in India.”

Indian nationals are among the highest investors in Dubai’s real estate market. According to the DLD, the total value of transactions by Indians from the beginning of January 2017 to the end of November this year reached Dh20.94 billion, through 7,810 investments carried out by 6,150 investors, while the value of Indian investments reached Dh14.185 billion.

A total of 1,295 Indian brokers are employed in Dubai’s real estate market, and over the same report period they earned commissions of Dh226 million at the rate of 2 per cent of the sales they made.

Indian nationals remain the top investors in Dubai’s real estate and have bought Dh61 billion worth of properties in Dubai in the last three years, according to the Dubai Land Department.

The number of buildings under construction in Dubai is about 28,600, covering an area of 551,034,564 square feet, a senior Dubai Government official said.

As many as 5,633 buildings, covering a total construction area of 75,150,033 square feet, were completed in Dubai in the first 9 months of 2017, Layali Al Mulla, Director of the Buildings Department in Dubai Municipality, said in November last year.

These are in addition to the 125,132 civil structures that exist in the emirate, including 121,615 buildings located in the urban areas of Dubai city, suburbs and Hatta. Of these, 96,034 are villas and Arabic homes, Dubai Statistics Centre shows.

In 2016, 11,413 buildings were completed the commercial value of which was Dh30.37 billion and this excludes the value of 15,211 residential apartments and 3,928 stores.

Dubai Land Department was found in May 1960 to establish the most prominent real estate sector in the Middle East and in the world.

Dawood Al Shezawi, Head of DPF Organising Committee, said: “The Festival will be a game-changing initiative that will help a large number of tenants shift to own their homes and stop paying rent. On an average, a Dubai tenant can own his home by spending eight years of rental expenses in his property instead of paying them to a landlord. DPF will help the end-users make such a transition by encouraging property developers and brokers to offer the best deals and help the tenants to buy properties instead of continuing to rent.”

Most of Dubai’s residential stock of 448,000 homes are leasehold properties, with a large chunk of the villas being owned by UAE and GCC nationals. Foreigners mostly rent homes although tens of thousands of freehold homes are also owned by foreign nationals; most foreigners in the UAE live in leasehold properties, despite high rents.

The total value of real estate transactions for the first nine months of 2017 reached Dh204 billion through 52,170 transactions, according to a report by the DLD.

According to the report, there were a total of 37,633 transactions for land, residential units and buildings, generating a value of over Dh88 billion. There were also 11,699 mortgage transactions worth Dh102 billion and 2,838 other transactions worth Dh14 billion.

The latest DLD report shows that the land category attracted Dh143.40 billion worth of investment, achieved from 11,169 transactions across sales, mortgages and other transaction categories. Building sales generated 5,014 transactions with a total value of Dh12.72 billion, while 36,000 transactions for residential units of all types crossed the Dh48.77 billion mark.

The report also reveals the top ten real estate sales areas in Dubai, with ‘Burj Khalifa’ taking first place in terms of value with 1,650 transactions worth Dh6.23 billion.

DPF will be part of the Real Estate Investment Week that will see a number of events being held to promote investment in real estate. An Investor Roundtable will help investors from different countries network with key stakeholder to discuss ways to boost investment.