Should expats literally buy into the Dubai dream?

Should expats literally buy into the Dubai dream?

Should expats literally buy into the Dubai dream?

Recent reports strongly suggest the Dubai property market is heading for a prolonged fall, but upmarket real estate agents are still publishing advertorials suggesting the opposite.

Relocating expat professionals considering a stint in Dubai could well be forgiven for being confused by conflicting reports in local media about the state of the glittering city’s property market. On the one hand, real estate prices and rentals are seen to be falling and, on the other hand, decidedly upmarket properties are being pushed as the residential place to be for upwardly mobile professionals as well as investors.

It’s true that initiatives and regulatory changes are being put in place in order to encourage investors and new expat arrivals, with the emphasis as usual on exclusivity and upscale living in selected developments only affordable by those already high on the career ladder. One change which might actually make life easier for expats is the introduction of residential projects which also offer freeholds in sought-after districts formerly restricted to leaseholds. One of the most deservedly popular, although still leasehold only, is Jumeirah, stocked with low-rises and detached villas set in landscaped greenery, close by stunning beaches and with views of the Burj al Arab.

It’s fair to say that, for those already at the top of the tree career-wise, the district is a magnet and the thought of a 99 year, somewhat restrictive lease isn’t much of a deterrent. For those who absolutely must have a freehold, ten-year old Acacia Avenues is suitable despite its name, even although the entire development isn’t yet completed.

All these developments are being pushed as expat investment opportunities, but those needing brick and mortar in which to park their savings and expect a return need to delve a little deeper into the emirate and consider its location within the GCC. Assurances about Expo 2020 are often seen in glaring advertorials for upmarket real estate businesses, but the truth is that every property sector has now slumped some six per cent and experts are predicting the fall will continue for between three to five more years.

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