Off-plan or ready projects - which is a better investment in Dubai?

Off-plan or ready projects - which is a better investment in Dubai?Irfan Zafar

- The market has various views on the best locations and prices. What is your take on it?

The Dubai market has been one of those very few markets which has always grown in the upward direction and has learnt and rectified from its mistakes.

The era of location-specific projects has now taken a back seat, and what really matters now are the property specifics, value for money, construction and realistic growth patterns.

This trend has been set as more and more endusers have entered the market with the intention of retaining their property and living in it rather than selling it in a short time.

This has got the various developers more analytical into putting the right price for a property and providing good inventories with excellent quality of construction.

- My landlord has sent the renewal notice to me with change in terms and conditions, and I do not agree to them. What do you suggest should I do?

The terms and conditions in a tenancy contract cannot be changed at the time of renewal as per the stipulation of the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA).

The owner would have to agree to all the terms before the first contract is drafted, and the same applies until the unit undergoes renewal.

If any additional charges or fees have been levied from the developer's side and the same needs to be paid, then the landlord needs to inform the tenant in advance and both parties have to agree to the same.

Again, the sudden increment on charges cannot be levied on the tenant at the time of renewal.

- Does the Shari'a law apply to all freehold properties?

The Shari'a law applies to all properties in Dubai; however, the law takes into consideration legal documents, like a will, which has been properly and legally drafted and has been notarized and attested in all the relevant departments within the United Arab Emirates and in the home country of the property owner.

It is advisable for any property owner to refer to the legal councils and advocates in order to take proper and legal advice to secure his or her investments.

This should also be done to be able to pass on the ownership terms and conditions in case of the demise of the owner of the property.

- What would be a good place to invest in, and as a layman, how do you suggest I do my research before investing?

As I mentioned before, the project is more important than the location, so as a client, you should first put down the exact requirements and the budget which would help you narrow your search for properties.

With exact specifications, you can inform your consultants to find you units as per your specifications.

Saying that, there are some areas and projects which I can suggest are good for investment purposes like Jumeirah Lakes Towers, hotel apartments and off-plan commercial properties in Business Bay, Mira and Mudon Phase 2.

These areas hold good prospects and have shown steady growth, and will still show continuous growth in the coming years.

- Question of the Week: Off-plan projects or ready projects? Which would be a better investment for investors and end-users?

Ready properties in any part of the world always have a greater value for everyone as they hold the essence of confidence in acquiring a completed unit in hand; however, Dubai has set the trend for the world that off-plan projects are a great, better and easier way to acquire property in a short span of time at your own terms and conditions.

Off-plan projects target salaried clients or clients who are self- employed, i.e. businessmen who want to make an investment in installment basis and are in no rush to move in.

For the investors, it is a good prospect as they can purchase property at a price lower than the market price of similar ready units and can quote good value till completion.

Ready or off-plan properties always bring good returns if the product is chosen carefully and if clients are ready to hold on to it for a long period as compared to short-term investments. My advice to all existing and prospective investors and endusers is to always purchase a product which they like to use personally and believe in, and that they should be ready to hold on to it for a longer period of time.

Source: Irfan Zafar, Special to Freehold

The writer is CEO - REALCO

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