DUBAI: A report published by Lebanon-based MENA Research Centre has ranked Pakistan the third biggest investor with 8.4 billion dirhams invested in Dubai property in 2015.
Indians top the list of foreign investors in Dubai property. In 2015, they spent more than 20 billion dirhams ($5.4 billion) out of a total of 135 billion dirhams.
“British and Pakistani buyers followed with 10.8 billion dirhams and 8.4 billion dirhams, respectively. Iranians spent 4.6 billion dirhams, Canadians 3.7 billion dirhams and Russians 2.7 billion dirhams,” the report said.
For more than 10 years, Dubai property prices have been on a roller coaster, creating and wiping out fortunes, but recently they appear to have run out of steam.
The Gulf emirate shot to prominence as an attractive real estate market after opening up special freehold zones for foreign buyers in 2002. Prices peaked in 2008, driven mainly by speculative investments, but later nosedived as finances dried up because of the global financial crisis, shedding half the sector’s value.
Renewed demand boosted values and rents at breakneck speed between 2012 and 2014, stirring fears of yet another bubble until prices headed south again, though more slowly this time.
Last year prices fell by an average of 12 percent, according to Craig Plumb, head of MENA research at property consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle.
“The market is having something of a soft landing at the moment, so the prices have been now falling for over a year… We think the market will continue to drop a little bit more, but not as much as it already has,” he said.
“We saw a slowdown in the residential sector. We saw prices dip about 10 percent over 2015. Not so much in the first quarter of the year,” he said.
Dubai’s market is driven by overseas demand, which has fallen as currencies weakened against the US dollar to which the UAE dirham is pegged, pushing up prices, Plumb said. Dubai property has also been affected by a slowing economy that has created fewer jobs, which in turn means not as many people arriving to demand housing, Plumb said.