How the UAE is leading the way in terms of Middle East proptech adoption

How the UAE is leading the way in terms of Middle East proptech adoption

‘House-hunting’ has never been easier thanks to Proptech simplifying and streamlining the whole process of buying a property. From the initial stages of sorting through listings to making the purchase, things have never run so smoothly. A key element in this is the improved speed of communication offered by the technology. Negotiation, logistical organisation and property assessment can be lengthy processes via traditional means. Anyone who knows me will know that I am always looking for ways to make life simpler, and I’m a huge advocate of technology. Hence last year, I successfully launched my own proptech venture, PRYPTO, which brings buyers, investors, homeowners and agents together in one accessible ecosystem designed to streamline property purchasing.

But how is 2023 looking for proptech, and how is the UAE leading the adoption of this technology in the region?

A growing segment

The global proptech market is soaring. It’s expected to increase at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 17% from US$ 18.2 billion to US$ 86.5 billion by 2032. Such phenomenal numbers excite me for a number of reasons. For one, it is clearly great news for anyone (myself included) who has recently started or is building upon their own proptech venture, but on another note, it hints at further exciting developments in the years ahead, technology does not stand still. I am sure we will see many more proptech companies succeeding this year and in those to come. Additionally, Dubai’s real estate market is set to grow by 46% in some areas this year, further increasing demand for this innovative sector here in the UAE.

Putting our best foot forward

The UAE is a pioneering nation committed to supporting innovation, and proptech is no exception. Since taking its initial steps to diversify the economy away from oil, our nation has embraced a range of sectors; tourism, retail, construction, technology and, of course, real estate, to name just a few. I feel very fortunate to live in a country that has always prioritised innovation through government support initiatives and agendas, which will ultimately raise the country’s profile as a destination for global business and entrepreneurship. This will further enable us to lead the region. The ScaleUp Franchise initiative launched by the UAE’s Ministry of Economy (MoE), for example, aims to promote innovation through the development of SMEs and their internal operations. Not only will this allow growing businesses to expand locally but also regionally, and even globally as well.

Forerunners in the region

As Dubai journeys toward becoming a smart city, anyone who understands proptech can see it has a huge role to play in this transformation. Proptech can fulfil the requirements of a smart city by enhancing the transparency and accessibility of data within the sector and speeding up communication between stakeholders and clients. Successful smart cities will thrive when they meet the needs of their residents. Proptech can fulfil these requirements by allowing for remote viewings which fit around busy working lives and by making information available as and when a client is in a position to access it.

For many would-be real estate investors, the benefits of proptech are evident, but others would miss the more personal touch offered by traditional methods. If our nation is going to lead the region in its proptech offering, it needs to look at the property buying experience as a whole. Rather than blanket adoption of the technology, I believe that providing high-quality proptech solutions alongside tried and tested traditional buying models will place the UAE as the forerunner in the region offering tailored solutions to match the needs of our client base.

At DAMAC, we strive to provide a customer-centric approach, ensuring the best experience for our clients at all times. For example, our app, DAMAC Living is a quick and easy way of property management for customers to really feel in control of their properties. It allows customers to access information wherever they may be, eliminating the necessity for walk-ins. However, we also acknowledge that some of our customers prefer to meet in person and develop those human connections, which is why we continue our in-person operations.

A healthy real estate market forecast combined with the UAE’s willingness to embrace technological change will keep us one step ahead of the game. With an intense focus on customer experience and streamlining, proptech is certainly the way forward. Who knows we might even see VR headset viewings become the norm in the near future…