Dubai rental property market looks set to continue its positive momentum drive
As Dubai continues to strengthen its profile as best city to live, work and visit, Ahmed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director of Dubai Asset Management, echoes Dubai House Index Mo’asher’s positive sentiment on the increasing demand for the emirate’s rental property market.
Dubai is experiencing rising tenancy levels that nod to how residents are in search of a more holistic community experience. Even Dubai Asset Management has witnessed a shift in tenant expectations for more balanced offerings, comments Al Suwaidi, from greener spaces to convenient amenities.
Dubai’s property market has proven resilient supported by the emirate’s “strong economy” as per S&P Global Ratings’ latest report. Dubai’s real estate market witnessed a total of 84,772 transactions valued at AED300 billion in 2021, according to Dubai House Index Mo’asher , which is Dubai’s official rental performance index by the Dubai Land Department (DLD) in cooperation with Property Finder. The Q1 2022 UAE Real Estate Report, published by property management experts Asteco, also reveals a continuous upward trend with the leasing market witnessing a 4% increase in total leasing volume.
“The positive trends witnessed across Dubai’s housing sector reflect what is at play in our own residential communities, whether we’re looking at our more affordable accommodations at Al Khail Gate, family-friendly communities of Shorooq and Ghoroob or luxury offerings at Bluewaters and City Walk. While affordability remains a key concern for tenants, the desire for higher quality living is driving people’s search for new homes. We believe this trend will continue – while the pandemic might be behind us, its lessons remain top of mind for all,” stated Al Suwaidi.
Wide ranging initiatives to increase Dubai’s global competitiveness have helped strengthen the real estate market, including wider parameters for the 10-year golden visa, residency permits for retirees as well as remote workers. Launched in March 2021, the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan provides a comprehensive roadmap for the future of Dubai's sustainable urban development especially as the Emirate’s population continues to rapidly rise – growing exponentially from 40,000 in 1960 to more than 3.3 million today. The plan outlines key elements all urban development master plans must prioritise to raise residents’ quality of life.
Greenery and outdoor spaces
The demand for welcoming environments extends to the wider residential community, which is already a key consideration for Dubai Asset Management, explains Al Suwaidi. In line with the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, the creation and upkeep of natural spaces continues to be in the organisation’s agenda. A 2021 survey by Mazda found that 90% of respondents believe that nature positively impacts their mental health. While access to vast natural vistas in urban centres is limited, green areas and outdoor experiences are the key to catering to tenants’ desire for holistic living, explains Al Suwaidi.
Plans are constantly in motion to ensure the enhancement of common areas such as children’s playgrounds and outdoor gyms. Many Dubai Asset Management communities, such as Remraam and Shorooq, also offer volleyball, basketball and tennis courts, as well as jogging tracks. Such offerings help elevate a quality of life and cater to residents’ search for active lifestyles.
A survey by Britain’s home building brand Redrow found that 63% of respondents want to purchase a more environmentally friendly home, while 82% reporting that they were willing to pay more for one. Such sentiments are reflective of a globally rising call for more environmentally-friendly housing options, notes Al Suwaidi. Dubai Asset Management aims to install electric car charging stations at select communities and introduce solar panelling at car parks to generate renewable energy, in line with the UAE’s wider Road to Net Zero 2050 agenda. A strategic partnership with Dulsco also ensures that recyclable waste is regularly collected and diverted from landfills.
Dubai Asset Management provides a spectrum of housing, from studio apartments to luxury villas, to over 100,000 people. Its assets include value housing at Al Khail Gate, family- communities at Ghoroob Square, Ghoroob, Shorooq, Bayti Villas, Um El Sheif Villas and Remraam, upscale living at Layan, Dubai Wharf, Manazel Al Khor, City Walk and Bluewaters and convenient staff housing at Nuzul, Al Quoz Accommodation, and Rahaba Residences.
All sectors, including real estate, are experiencing a shift to digital, with the global pandemic accelerating the transformation. “Smart cities are no longer just the future, but the now. Leveraging the power and potential of technology is mandatory in the modern world because it allows us to create more efficient processes and better understand the experiences, challenges and preferences of our tenants. It’s not just about offering digital services but using that technology to achieve a higher quality of life.”
Dubai Asset Management launched the DubaiAM app in February 2019 to enhance the user journey of tenants, with seamless online access to tenancy renewals, maintenance requests, inquiries, bill payment and other features. As of December 2021, 85% of individual customers were registered on the app, with payment via the platform increasing by 160% in 2021 compared to the previous year. The organisation also has a dedicated development team that oversees enhancements and upgrades in line with tenant needs and experiences.
Residents across the UAE are placing more emphasis on their local communities. In a trend labelled “hyperlocalism,” tenants are looking for housing solutions that conveniently connect them to key amenities as well as entertainment and retail options. “After the pandemic, people have greatly prioritized comfort and convenience. Spacious, vibrant homes as well as convenient, amenitized locations are a significant draw, especially as people look to lead fuller lives. It is why we strive to ensure that any upgrades or renovations within our communities keep the resident’s experience and changing preferences at the forefront,” added Al Suwaidi.
Several of Dubai Asset Management’s residential communities include retail centres that have restaurants, supermarkets, health clinics and pharmacies, hair salons, primary schools and even nurseries. Amenities are defined with the target tenant in mind, taking into consideration needs and preferences for a holistic environment. Strategic locations and close connectivity to major roads and highways, transportation methods, schools and recreational experiences are raising the appeal of communities like Al Khail Gate, Dubai Wharf and Shorooq. "