Covid-19 impact: Is this the right time to invest in Dubai?
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Covid-19 impact: Is this the right time to invest in Dubai property?

Covid-19 impact: Is this the right time to invest in Dubai property?

The housing market in Dubai remains a top choice among investors even at times of crisis


Buying a home is traditionally considered one of the most prudent investments you can make.

But considering the global pandemic, the stock market threatening to crash and oil prices touching historically low levels, the resulting economic crisis is throwing into question all conventional wisdom.

The housing market globally and in Dubai has seen its share of surges and dips, but it is safe to say that it remains a top choice among investors even at times of crisis, owing in huge part to the fact that it will continue to make money in the long run.

With interest rates slashed in a bid to stimulate global economies, the cost of borrowing has become cheaper, making mortgages more affordable for those with adequate finances.

Another compelling reason to consider investing in real estate during a crisis is purely from a diversification and income generation point of view. Typically, one sees that when the stock market is doing poorly, investors who are looking for other opportunities find that real estate is a safe haven.

Adding to the mix is Dubai’s well-established reputation as one of the world’s most lucrative locations for investment, offering over seven per cent gross rental returns on an average, according to a recent report by Property Finder.

According to the real estate services company JLL’s Global Real Estate Transparency Index, Dubai is one of the global top improvers, with a host of government initiatives, enhanced regulatory procedures and an increasingly dynamic proptech sector.

The consultancy ranked Dubai above any other Arab city when it comes to regulatory and government support to the real estate sector.

This, complimented by lower entry price points, attractive interest rates and the favorable loan-to-value ratio, along with all of the incentives thrown in by developers to attract buyers, presents the perfect opportunity for potential buyers to take advantage of the current subdued market conditions.

Given the ease of doing business measures, strong infrastructure framework, government spending and inventory on offer, Dubai is well-equipped to make a recovery when life resumes post Covid-19.

To complement the new demand, the Dubai Land Department (DLD) has also revamped the registration process for new properties to one step. A previously tedious process has now been modified by the government in an effort to align with the demands and foster a better investment climate.

When looking at the type of properties available for purchase, there is also the decision on whether one should select off-plan, nearly ready or ready units. Although off-plan options come with the disadvantage of not being immediately available for renting out and hold the possibility of unexpected delays, purchasing these units via a developer brings the benefit of attractive payment plans that allow deferred payments.

Ready and nearly ready properties too hold exciting pricing options and can be rented immediately.

Many are again speculating the impact of postponing the long-awaited World Expo, which as per the announcement of the Bureau International des Expositions in May has been moved by exactly a year. Being planned since 2014, the mega fair was set to bring in over 25 million visitors who would be welcomed with newly built properties, retail facilities and extended public transport routes.

What is forgotten is that Dubai’s long-term growth plans were never based solely on the success of Expo 2020. The future-facing leadership of our country have never relied on a short-term outlook for successful longevity.

The investment opportunities in the market are built on firm foundations.

There is no doubt that an immediate modification of plans and forecasts are required, and we all have to be determined to hold steadfast in the belief that over the coming years buoyancy will take over and Dubai will emerge from the crisis stronger than ever before – reinforcing its reputation as the preferred and one of the most lucrative investment destinations in the real estate domain.

Jyotsna Hegde is the president at Sobha Realty

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