Expo Dubai

How EXPO 2020 will impact the Dubai property market?

I anticipate that Dubai Expo 2020 will have a positive, long-term impact on Dubai’s real-estate market. After all, if the forecasts hold true, some 25 million visits are anticipated at the event, from the UAE, regionally and internationally. Some 70% of attendees are expected to visit the massive event from abroad.

The vast 4.38-square-kilometre site – that’s twice the size of Monaco – will firmly focus the eyes of the world on Dubai and the UAE. Many visitors will be visiting for the first time, and enjoying the very best our nation has to offer – from first-class accommodation to energy-efficient transportation to the best seasonal weather. And history has been kind to host nations of previous world expos.

In short, such globally significant events raise awareness of a city (and country, and that country’s culture) worldwide, promote economic growth, and provide greater rationale and impetus for development.

Event organisers predict that during the six-month period of the Expo, an additional 1.5% will be added the UAE’s Gross Domestic Product.

There’s a clear, massive expansion in Dubai’s hotel capacity, required to accommodate the 25 million expected visitors. If you’ve been anywhere near the site, you will see a radically different landscape from just a few short years ago. Back in July, real estate advisory and investment company, JLL, predicted a rapid post-pandemic recovery for the emirates’ hotel sector, reporting that some additional 12,000 room keys would become available prior to Expo 2020.

On top of a huge increase in hotel rooms, there are some significant residential real estate projects both competed and still underway, to meet the housing needs of expatriates relocating to Dubai for the Expo, and during the event itself. In the same report as above, JLL reports that it anticipates delivery of an additional 36,000 residential units in the second half of 2021.

While this new stock adds a huge amount of property to Dubai’s existing 618,000  residential units, interest from markets such as China and India looks set to push residential property prices up.

International real estate firm Chestertons recently noted a meteoric rise in residential transactions over the second quarter of 2021 in Dubai, with positive market sentiment and continued international buyer interest driving sales.

It is exciting to read that total residential transaction value in Dubai increased by almost 50% quarter-on-quarter to AED31.02 billion, up from AED20.77 billion in the previous quarter.

Equally interesting is news that Dubai house prices rose at their fastest pace in seven years over the first half of 2021.

Finally, Dubai Expo 2020 is expected to have major impact on demand for office space, as international logistics and marketing companies expand in Dubai to service-related event-driven demand.

Estate agent Savills revealed it has seen an enormous uptick in office and commercial rentals in the first half of 2021, and confirmed demand for office space has notably shifted to submarkets such as the Expo 2020.

Couple this with global interest in shifting office locations to Dubai, the fact that new builds in Dubai are generally more sustainable than older commercial sites in other cities, and the favourable climate created by the local and federal government to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship, alongside world-class COVID-19 health and safety measures and Expo 2020 looks to be a key factor in the rapid economic bounce back of Dubai.