A look at the shape of Dubai real estate market

A look at the shape of Dubai real estate marketImage Credit: Supplied

It seems like new real estate development projects take place every day in the UAE, from residential oases in the desert to commercial high-rises off the highway. One such player in the real estate scene is Sovis Quantity Surveyors (SQS) which has been operating in the Middle East market for 20 years and is currently working on several projects across Dubai. Here, Vincent Sovis tells Gulf News about the shape of the UAE real estate market and how he sees the future developing.

Growth becoming a steady trend in UAE

Over the past year, there has been steady growth in real estate projects, particularly in the property development and hospitality sectors such as hotels and other service-oriented spheres gearing up for the Expo 2020. There is also an expected increase in infrastructure projects and airport expansion work.

Projects constantly moving forward

Projects in Dubai are empowered by the regional strength of the UAE as a premier trading center and building material supplier. The key advantage is that the size and value of the projects enable a greater leverage of attracting suppliers in the market. Also, there is a greater supply of skilled labor that facilitates rapid construction and contributes to the success of the industry.

Limitations surrounding supply and project complexities

The potential limitations are the supply and issues surrounding delivery time frames and quality. At Sovis QS, we have a team of professionals capable of sourcing the right material at the right price and on time. Our network of suppliers spans across all the key regions like the Middle East, Asia (China, Thailand, India, Philippines), Europe and the US (including Mexico), enabling us to make recommendations to clients that result in firm pricing, prompt delivery times and a reliable source of material/product and quality. We have dealt with suppliers for over 20 years; therefore, our relationships are well-established and ensure that we get priority in our procurement requests because we have a good reputation and the suppliers are confident that transactions will be executed seamlessly.

The other limitation is that the projects are getting larger and more complex. Therefore, even though there is a good supply of labor, it is important to utilize cost-effective methodologies and systems.

Labor costs have risen significantly in the past 10 years. To provide clients with cost-effective solutions, it is important to introduce systems and procedures that help improve the efficiency of delivering projects.

At SQS, we have adopted the latest policies and procedures of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and invested in the latest technology and training to harness greater value for our clients.

Changing times

The construction industry and the real estate market have evolved quite considerably in the past 20 years. The size and the complexity of projects undertaken over the years have evolved into mega projects requiring significant technical skills and coordination. The management of all parties and ensuring smooth interfacing are of utmost importance.

Stabilizing the market in the future

The key difference in Dubai, in its current state, is the level of structure and resorts governance that has been incorporated into the industry. We have seen greater emphasis on prequalification and the tendering process, and the government has led this initiative with eProcurement.

The industry should start to evolve quite rapidly with the introduction of adaptations and innovations.

Dubai has continuously challenged the best of firms to improve their level of service or performance.

SQS, being a local firm and in Dubai for nearly 20 years, has evolved to incorporate systems and procedures.

It has also introduced incentives for staff to focus on developing and improving the way it does business. External consultants are sometimes used to develop the company culture, organization and delivery of services.

Mega projects under construction in Dubai

• Dubai Water Canal - This will link Business Bay to the Arabian Gulf and feature retail shops, cycling paths, food outlets, hotels and others

• Al Habtoor City - This new development will have hotels, residences, sports facilities and landscaped gardens in its plan

• Jewel of the Creek - A mixed-use project that will include hotels and serviced apartments

• Deira Islands - This project will consist of residential, commercial and retail areas, and hotels and resorts

Read more about designer hotels who identify Dubai as an important market

Source: Nicholas Baker, Special to Freehold


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