Over the years, Dubai has become synonymous with “boom and bust”, with the emerging market staging a remarkable rebound after its dramatic crash in the wake of the global financial crisis. In 2015, prices then began to dip again, as the market cooled. Rather than a downturn, the industry has embraced the moderating values as a necessary correction, with prices expected to return to growth in 2017.
At the same time, the authorities have cracked down upon speculative investment in off-plan units, introducing new measures to discourage the kind of buying and rapid reselling that contributed to the market’s instability in the first place.
“2008 was a lesson learned,” Aqil Kazim, Chief Commercial Officer of developer Nakheel, told us in an exclusive interview last summer. “But Dubai was one of the fastest countries to bounce back from the crisis. It took us almost a year and a half, but we got the restructuring done.”
Now, the emirate is changing from a speculator market to an end user market: luxury just got affordable.
“This is what Dubai was looking to do anyway,” commented Kazim. “It’s very healthy. Today, we sell to end users more than speculators and this is what we’re all about.”
The result is a real estate destination that is increasingly embracing individual investors on all budgets, whether that’s for rental income or for holiday homes and expats looking to join relatives or friends already living there.
“The reasons to select Dubai are the sunshine throughout the year, the cultural scene is very compatible for what British investors look for – we have more than 170 nationalities in Dubai,” added Kazim. “A simple example I keep giving is the education sector: we have a lot of boutique syllabuses. If I were from Japan and I wanted my son to go to a Japanese school, that option is available. Korean schools. The number of British curriculum A Levels, GCSEs, all of them are available.”
Looking for a slice of affordable luxury? We took a tour of the UAE to pick out six holiday homes under £250,000 that prove Dubai is not just for the rich:
1. Dubai – 1 Bed Flat – £323,770
This is a chance to own some fantastic freehold property in Dubai. Real estate in this area is some of the most sought after by property investors from all over the world. Government legislation has now made this type of investment easy and secure for foreign owners.
2. Al Furjan – Studio – £115,352
Luxury serviced residential apartments located in the prestigious Al-Furjan development, Dubai. These spacious and modern homes come with hotel amenities, including gym, swimming pool, retail outlets. Delivered fully-furnished with flexible payment options.
3. Dubai Marina – Studio – £180,382
A affordable waterfront residential project consisting of three interconnected towers with outstanding Dubai Marina views from most units. A great location close to everything Dubai has to offer, including the beach, The Walk @ JBR, Dubai Golf club and shopping malls.
4. Dubai – 1 Bed Apartment – £244,124
The property is superbly positioned on The Drive at AKOYA with incredible views of the golf course. Residents will benefit from housekeeping, room service and a concierge, as well as a host of other services.
5. Orchidon – Studios – £165,332
A residential studio apartment in Orchidon. It is surrounded by lush foliage and sheltered in a 4.3-million-square-foot park. Facilities include: golf club, luxury shopping and entertainment, world-class dining and an outdoor Skyview Cinema.
6. Downtown Dubai – Hotel Apartment – £220,221
Based in a fantastic location, this hotel apartment is part of a unique rental pool model giving investors higher returns on their property. The apartment is spacious and well-suited to prolonged residency, while still offering all the features of a high-end hotel, such as a swimming pool and concierge service.