Expo 2020 Dubai has stimulated real estate growth: JLL
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Expo 2020 Dubai has stimulated real estate growth: JLL

Expo 2020 Dubai has stimulated real estate growth: JLL

The firm’s regional property outlook for 2022 showcases trends such as flexible office spaces and sustainability in built environments

JLL, the international real estate investment and advisory firm, shared insights on what’s on the horizon for the regional property market this year at its annual outlook event held recently in Dubai.

The event, hosted under the theme A Reset for the Real Estate Sector, featured Thierry Delvaux, CEO of JLL Middle East, Africa and Turkey, and his team providing an overview of the outlook for the property market, trends driving sustainability, demand for flexible office space, themes transforming international real estate, UAE construction cost trends, as well as insights on the workforce of the future.

Delvaux said: “The theme of our event this year was selected in view of the pandemic providing new impetus to many of the trends that were already reshaping our cities – from changing work and lifestyle preferences to the core role of the digital economy and the need for more resilient, inclusive and sustainable communities. In the UAE, indicators broadly suggest that economic growth gathered pace in 2021. The Expo [2020 Dubai] has helped stimulate growth, with hotel occupancy and residential real estate prices climbing – we expect this to continue to positively impact the property market in 2022 as well.”

The firm’s key insights for 2022 included:

  • The mainstreaming of sustainability: The role of built environment in creating a more sustainable future is now in the spotlight. Stakeholder pressure is rising with regulators, occupiers, lenders and investors expecting more from the built environment sector.
  • A rising demand for flexible office space in a hybrid world: The roll out of hybrid policies is giving employees the flexibility to choose their own work settings. But it has also set the clock for businesses to provide the spaces staff want and need for their days in the office. Relaxation spaces, healthy food services and outdoor areas top the list of amenities that can encourage workers to go back to their offices, as they seek a feeling of connectedness with colleagues along with environments that are almost as comfortable as home.
  • How easing travel restrictions globally are impacting cross-border activity: Covid-19’s unprecedented disruption to the economy – and equally unprecedented policy responses – led to an uneven recovery that continues to reshape commercial real estate. In this disruption, there is opportunity. Property conversions, design changes, zoning variances and other creative solutions will be among the steps that real estate investors and tenants take to position themselves for the future, not just to survive, but to thrive.
  • Key construction cost trends for 2022: With the UAE construction projects market rebounding during 2021, the residential sector became the highest performer within construction asset awards. This trend is expected to continue throughout 2022 with an increasing demand for residential units. The UAE Vision Programmes, UAE 2022 federal budget and the oil price recovery should also create positive market sentiment, ultimately driving construction activity over the course of the year.
  • Creating solutions for the workforce of the future: While the Covid-19 crisis has incited a massive paradigm shift in the way people work and live, it is also providing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shape a better future of work. Future successful companies will be those that are bold and proactive in shaping their workplaces according to the changing needs and preferences of a liquid workforce, where solutions are tailored to meet individual employee needs and help them thrive.

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