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Real Estate and the 2020 ’movement’
(19 October 2017)

According to the World Bank rakings, UAE occupies the first place in the MENA region in terms of doing business, and the 26th place in the world, overpassing countries like Japan or France. On the other hand, it comes to no surprise that UAE ranked first in terms of paying taxes, being renowned for its tax-free environment. With its numerous free zones, excellent infrastructure, governmental aid, strategic location and safe transportation, UAE has scored far ahead from its neighbors Bahrain (63), Oman (66), Qatar (83), Saudi Arabia (94) and Kuwait (102).

Even though the UAE Central Bank had to revise its 2017 GDP growth forecast to 2.3%, due to the challenging pricing environment and a weaker assumption of a stronger recovery in non-oil GDP growth, UAE remains one of the best performing economies in the world, ranking 30th according to the World Bank data. Shaikh Ahmad Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation, Chairman and CEO of Emirates Airlines Group and Chairman of the Economic Development Committee in Dubai, has assured that the efforts towards economic diversifications will remain constant with a target of increasing the contribution of the non-oil sectors to UAE’s GDP from 70% today to 80% during the next 15 years, while sustainability and flexibility prevail as the most notable characteristics of Dubai’s ongoing economic and social transformation. The UAE’s economic soar has begun in 2013 with the announcement that the small gulf country has been chosen to host Expo 2020, propelling the real estate market into frenzy.

With an international audience of 25 million visitors and bringing together more than 180 nations, Expo 2020 makes up for one of the most compelling reasons to invest in the Dubai real estate market. There is no doubt that Dubai will make a show out of the most anticipated event in the recent years and plans to invest 2$ to 4$ billion to develop the infrastructure around the hosting area.

After oil and trade, the construction industry in UAE stands as the third largest income supplier, as the UAE Ministry of Economy expects the country’s GDP to grow around 3% in 2017. As Dubai approaches the finish line for Expo 2020, the construction sector is expected to witness a 4% growth compared to 2016. Major government investments, continuous population growth, and the relentless effort made by the developers to correlate supply and demand and feasibility, has open the road for large projects in healthcare, hospitality and residential sectors.

Peeping onwards 2017, the market is expected to drive forward supported by the government’s continuous efforts in investing into new infrastructure projects and the expansions of the existing ones, like Dubai Airports and Emirates Airlines, as well as in other growth industries, such as healthcare and construction, as the preparations for Expo 2020 gear up. A tighter market regulation and more disclosure and transparency, as well as higher property transfer fees and mortgage caps are among other factors of optimism to cater to the future market needs and encourage foreign investment.

47 new construction contracts worth $3bn have been recently awarded as the preparations for the Expo 2020 move forward with the government of Dubai announcing that it will increase its budget spending around the event’s projects by 27%. Among the most famous projects connected to Expo 2020 stand Dubai Water Canal, Museum of the Future, Jewel of the Creek, Al Habtoor City, Deira Islands, Dubai theme parks, Aladdin City, Dubai Frame or Bluewater Islands.


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