‘The real estate sector in Dubai is booming thanks to visa reforms’
UK nationals are turning to the Dubai housing market as a ‘safe’ and ‘lucrative’ investment, according to two Dubai-based property specialists from the UK.
Over a decade of property experience both in the UK and in Dubai has led Carl Wilday and Benjamin Stafford to be so confident in the opportunities that Dubai has to offer UK investors, particularly buying off-plan, that they have set up INICIO, a new Dubai-based real estate firm, to meet the demand.
The globally high rental yield in Dubai (5-13%), a buoyant development sector and broad spectrum of off-plan properties with higher capital appreciation, plus visa reforms in the country are making it an attractive prospect for investors.
According to figures published in Arabian Business, the UAE property market and particularly that in Dubai saw record-breaking transaction numbers over 2022, with over 97,000 property transactions totalling €67.38bn (£59.2bn).
Another study by real estate professionals in Dubai cited that UK buyers made up 21% of all transactions in 2022, with the trend set to continue in 2023. The UAE economy is strong and set to grow by a predicted 2.5%, and house prices, it’s argued by some could continue to rise by up to 25% making it a great time to invest.
Off-plan purchases in the country are rocketing, as investors look to capitalise on the growing market. According to recent reports, off-plan transactions in Dubai experienced a 90% year-on-year (YoY) increase in January 2023, with the total value increasing by 130 per cent. This marked the highest volume and value for off-plan transactions recorded during the first month of the year in the city since 2012.
INICIO has officially launched in the UAE in March 2023 and was set up to meet the growing demand for off-plan property investments from UK investors. It introduces a portfolio of projects from some of Dubai’s leading property developers including Select Group, Omniyat, Sobha, NSHAMA and DAMAC.
Commenting on INICIO and the rise in enquiries from UK investors, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Benjamin Stafford said: “The real estate sector in Dubai is booming thanks to visa reforms, easy accessibility, and a consistent rise in tourism. I’ve been working as a real estate consultant here for several years, and right now, the number of enquiries I’m getting from UK investors in particular is unprecedented.
“It’s not hard to see why, some studies argue that property prices could increase by as much as 20-25% each year, that’s an attractive prospect for an investor, plus the rental returns are much higher than the global average.
“It’s being driven by a number of factors in my opinion. Firstly, there’s uncertainty among experts about what will happen next with UK house prices. Many predict the market to cool off further and for prices to take a downturn as interest rates and inflation have a continued influence on the housing market.
“Brexit has meant that buying property in Europe is much more difficult, driving investors to look further afield.
“In contrast Dubai is both a safe and lucrative alternative in my opinion. Even though some would argue that the property market in Dubai is slowing, it’s still following that upwards trajectory which for an investor is the most important factor.
“There’s a real opportunity for those who want to invest but aren’t confident to buy in the UK or Europe right now. It’s backed by a strong economy and visa reforms which have made purchasing property here much easier.
“There is a buoyant rental market in Dubai too. It’s estimated that the city’s population will rise from today’s 3.5 million to 5.8 million by 2040 which means it will never be difficult to find tenants.”
Co-Founder of INICIO, Carl Wilday commented: “Dubai is the tourism destination of choice for visitors from across the globe. Operating in this ever-evolving city, with an abundance of new developments in the pipeline, we look forward to being at the forefront of this growth trajectory and offering our expertise to meet and exceed expectations.
“Our aim is to establish trust and an ongoing relationship with our clients. We’ve both had hugely successful careers to date, we’ve both been through the process of buying property in Dubai.
“We know the market; we understand the bureaucracy and we really feel there is a massive opportunity for a British-owned company to provide a next level of service for UK investors – one founded on integrity and offering a human voice at the end of the phone. With 2023 being dubbed ‘the year for off-plan’ in Dubai, we believe there’s never been a better time to invest.”