When Dubais Land Department announced the emirate had recorded AED132bn ($35.9bn) of real estate transactions for the first half of this year, the data also showed that Saudis were leading the way for non-Emirati GCC investors in Dubai. Qataris have historically been the largest non-local GCC investors in the emirate.
Although the data does not tell a full picture due to it not disclosing which country followed Saudi Arabia, it does suggest a slowdown in Qatari investments.
This is the latest development in the ongoing Qatar crisis, which has undoubtedly had an impact on Qatari investments. More interestingly, it comes after a poll conducted earlier this year by UK real estate firm Cluttons. The survey results showed that Qatari investors had placed Dubai ahead of London on their list of preferred international destinations for real estate spending. A sentiment that has surely changed in the past three months.
Aside from the political tensions, travel restrictions on Qatari citizens to Dubai will be a leading factor in the decline of investments from Doha. Dubai has already witnessed an uptick in Chinese investments following a decision earlier this year that allows Chinese nationals to obtain a visa upon arrival.
Emirati investors ranked first for the number and value of transactions, completing 4,510 transactions worth AED15bn, followed by Saudi nationals in second place with a total of 1,936 transactions worth AED4bn. The total value generated by GCC investors increased by 16 per cent compared with the same period last year, with 7,665 transactions worth AED21.7bn.
Real estate analysts have previously told MEED the Qatar crisis could actually have a positive impact on Dubai real estate, as the emirate solidifies its status as the most desirable regional destination for foreign investors.
Despite concerns over the sustainability of Dubais real estate market, data from the land department showed the market has achieved a high percentage of growth compared with the same period last year, with the total value rising by 16.8 per cent from a total of 7,320 transactions an increase of 25.91 per cent compared with transactions for the first six months of 2016.
The report also sheds light on the top ten areas in Dubai for the number and value of transactions. Dubai Marina took first place with 2,529 transactions, followed by Business Bay with 2,146 transactions, Al-Barsha South 4 with 2,001 transactions, Jebel Ali 1 with 1,931 transactions, and in fifth place Al-Thaniya 5 with 1,501 transactions.