Dubai developer Damac says property market ‘not going down’

Damac booked sales of Dhs4bn worth of properties in the first half of this year

Developer Damac acquires Dhs 1.26bn of land near Dubai Canal

Damac Properties, the operator of the only Trump-branded golf club in the Middle East, confident it will reach its pre-sales forecast for Dhs7bn ($1.91bn) this year due to good demand and a stable Dubai property market, its chairman said.

“We are very, very comfortable in achieving that target,” Hussain Sajwani, chairman and founder of the firm, said in an interview in his office on Wednesday.

Damac booked sales of Dhs4bn worth of properties in the first half of this year and previously projected its total pre-sales for the year will be stable versus Dhs7bn in all of 2016. In pre-sales, a developer sells a property before the project is completed.

Average industry-wide sales prices for villas and apartments in Dubai dropped to between 5 and 10 per cent in the 12 months to mid-2016, but the fall slowed to under 1 per cent in the 12 months to mid-2017, according to industry consultants JLL.

Sajwani said like-for-like prices had not come down significantly but the size of apartments have been cut to cater to investor demand for smaller units.

“I don’t agree that we have oversupply and the market is going down. On the contrary, if you look at our sales in the first half, it was better than the last time.”

Asked about Damac’s outlook for next year, Sajwani said the Dubai market was expected to remain stable in 2018. “I don’t see major jumps up or down.”

He also said Damac’s international arm was exploring opportunities in Canada and parts of Europe for new projects, although finalising these deals would take time.

“So the trip to Malta and Montenegro and different cities in Europe has been to explore more opportunities of development on behalf of Damac International, and the same thing in Toronto.”

Before Donald Trump became U.S. President, his organisation partnered with Damac to develop The Trump International Gulf Club Dubai, part of a 42 million square foot wider development known as Damac Hills.