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Tourists that visit Dubai for the first time find it very difficult to comprehend how Dubai used to look before. In the last 10 years, we have been through many changes: skyscrapers, the Metro, the tourism industry and the world record-breaking developments such as the Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR), Dubai Marina and Burj Khalifa, to name a few.
At this time, it has also been important for Dubai's infrastructure to also expand. Understanding what has to be done is one thing, but keeping pace with a booming property market and bustling tourism industry is another.
Dubai currently has one of the best Metro systems in the world. The trains are on time, frequent and generally a pleasant experience compared to the rest.
However, the current Metro system is rapidly becoming outgrown by the ever-expanding boundary of housing in Dubai.
Families are relocating to different developments such as along Al Khail Road and Emirates Road. So, in turn, residences are left further away from public transport in their area.
The government is again looking at this and acting swiftly by expanding both Metro networks and adding new stations. The Metro's new purple route, which is planned to be alongside Al Khail Road, will help boost the sales and rental index of the areas adjacent to it as it will appeal to a new market base.
Another new initiative which we have seen is the new tram system which will be part of the Roads and Transport Authority's RTA) network. With the tram nearing its completion, it is now very clear to see how it will be useful for many people.
People will now have an extra option for travel especially in areas such as JBR, which is a tourist hot spot. The tram will make tourist experience much more pleasurable and, in turn, will entice them to come back.
Unfortunately, the downfall is, roadworks are a usual sight in Dubai as roads need to be expanded and modified to accommodate the changes as well as allow higher volumes of traffic to and from destinations.
However, this is a compromise we have to come to terms with as the city is further expanding on its world hub status.
With the emirate being a world hub, you have to consider the amount of flights in and out of it and have to accommodate the changes.
With EXPO 2020 getting close, the government has planned ahead by ensuring the Al Maktoum International Airport is running. There are also current changes happening at the Dubai International Airport, which, this year, became the busiest airport, overtaking London's Heathrow Airport.
So, how are all of these affecting the property market?
Quite simple really. The more tourism activity and the more influx of people to Dubai, the more chances of them investing in the real estate market.
With Dubai recently launching the Mall of the World project in spite of already having The Dubai Mall as one of the largest malls in the world, the government is showing its commitment and trust that the emirate is expanding and has much more to achieve.
The government, quite clearly, is showing the world that it is prepared to do whatever it takes for the foundations of Dubai to be in place to allow for further expansions and growth in the city.
Without the government ensuring the infrastructure and foundations are in place, the developers and the real estate and construction sectors would be empty.
By improving the infrastructure and the foundations that Dubai is based on, we are destined for greater success.
Source: Safura Abbas, Special to Freehold
The writer is General Manager - Aston Pearl Real Estate