Testing the water

A rendering of Al Barari’s Seventh Heaven project l Image Credit: Courtesy of Al BarariA rendering of Al Barari’s Seventh Heaven project l Image Credit: Courtesy of Al Barari

Real estate firms from Dubai are taking part in a pioneering property showcase that aims to further heat up investor sentiment in Dubai’s property sector. The Dubai Property Show, which opens Friday at Olympia London, will have property investment options worth millions of dirhams from at least 37 major developers and real estate companies from the emirate, but the stakes could go higher as the government takes on a more prominent role in the realty fair.

British nationals invested Dh9.31 billion in Dubai’s property sector last year, second to Indians among foreign investors. While only a fraction of that amount is expected to be generated during the show, stake-holders say the long-term impact of a Dubai-focused property event in London is immense. Sunil Jaiswal, President of Sumansa London Exhibitions, the organiser of the event, tells PW, “As part of our research, it was obvious that there are many savvy property investors in the UK. These are not only limited to Britons, but also Arab and South Asian high-net-worth individuals [HNWIs].”

Jaiswal adds that the show could facilitate transactions worth around Dh300 million, while more than 3,000 visitors are expected during the three-day run.

Big money

Exhibitors, including major developers such as Emaar Properties, Deyaar Development, Union Properties, Al Barari and Dubai Properties, will showcase residential, commercial and retail projects with prices starting from around Dh485,000.

Jaiswal says, “From there on, the sky is the limit.”

In a statement, Nasser Amer, Vice-President of Sales at Deyaar, which will be presenting its Montrose and The Atria developments, said the show is a window to its projects for potential UK-based customers. “Given its vibrant business environment, London represents an ideal destination for one-on-one networking opportunities with HNWIs and investors from across the world.”

Sultan Bin Butti Bin Me-jren, Director General of Dubai Lands and Properties Department, a strategic partner of the event, emphasised in a statement the importance of international property shows in supporting the government’s efforts to stimulate growth in the real estate sector. “We will never [stop] providing all means of support and en-

Couragement for such valuable initiatives, which play an important role in highlighting Dubai’s position as a global real estate leader in attracting investments.”

With new legislation including taxes on high-value property likely to be introduced after the UK general elections in May, speculation abounds on its impact on the property market as well as on the UK investors’ appetite in terms of foreign assets. Jaiswal believes the political exercise will barely have an effect on UK investments in Dubai. “Elections generally have minimal or no impact on individual property buyers or investors looking to invest in Dubai.”

Victoria Garrett, Associate Partner — UAE Residential at Knight Frank, says the show will help direct attention towards investment prospects in Dubai and serve as a gauge of investor sentiment. “It is great for building awareness of the Dubai market and what is available to potential investors in the UK. It will be really interesting to see how many people attend the event and how many transactions are achieved as a result of it.”

High-value prospects

Exhibitors are expectedly upbeat about their prospects, especially since Dubai is the third-preferred destination to live and work in among Britons, according to the latest NatWest International Personal Banking Quality of Life Report. “Our main focus is to reach out to people who have been to Dubai at least once in the past five years, as they will understand the full potential of the city,” says Jaiswal.

Dereck Hoogenkamp, Sales and Marketing Director at Al Barari, says UK investors are among the top five buyers of the firm’s projects, which include Ashjar, Seventh Heaven and the customisable villas at The Reserve. He says Al Barari’s green concept appeals strongly to many British clients. “There is a rise in interest from buyers who appreciate the greenery of the UK and have seen it emulated in Al Barari. We have had numerous inquiries, especially from end users moving to Dubai from London over the past year.”

The show’s stakeholders agree that the breadth and quality of the projects exhibited will be a major draw on their own, but most visitors will also be looking closely at the revenue potential of property in Dubai. “There are some fantastic hotel residences for sale on The Palm in particular that have been [providing] guaranteed rental yields of 8 per cent for two years, which is very appealing to investors in the UK, where you are lucky to even get 4 per cent in the current market,” says Garrett.

Hoogenkamp adds that Dubai features among the top ten fastest-growing premium property markets in the world. Following the emirate’s successful bid to host the World Expo 2020, analysts say that investments in the city are secure for a minimum of seven years.

“Relative to international standards and similar trading hubs in the world, Dubai’s prices are still low and as a result, international investors flock to the city to buy high-quality property,” Hoogenkamp says.

“There are very few modern cities in the world where high-quality property is priced so reasonably. There is a large population of HN-WIs living in the UK who we feel would be interested in buying luxurious and sustainable [realty] in Dubai.”


Source: Jobannie Tabada, Features Editor, gulfnews.com


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