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Dubai real estate: Getting ready
Michael Lahyani (Property Focus) / 15 December 2013 Emirate enters a new phase of growing appetite for property With Dubai gearing up for Expo 2020, more landlords are likely to short-let their properties given the huge visitor and tourist influx that the emirate will experience. — KT file photo 2013 is turning out to be a year of numerous firsts for Dubai. The Expo 2020 win created history, making Dubai the first city in the Middle East and North Africa region to host the largest trade show on earth. Post win, we have seen a spate of regulations addressing fears of unaffordability of homes and rentals and a lurking bubble as Dubai enters a new phase of growing appetite for real estate. The market has clearly rebounded since the downturn with prices increasing by over 20 per cent this year even as new projects get launched every other week. The latest measure by Emaar banning estate agents from reselling homes before completion is one of the many steps we’ve seen this year to tighten up on flipping. The developer, however, stated that real estate agents could purchase completed property, but only after the unit had been in the general inventory and unsold for a minimum of 14 days. In such a scenario, there would be no restriction on resale. This move to make off-plan property purchases not subject to transfer until handover also follows RERA’s doubling of the property transfer fee from two to four per cent. In yet another decree announced last week, His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, ordered that anyone renting out residential property on a daily, weekly or monthly basis would be required to apply for a licence from the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, which will add two new classes of “standard” and “deluxe” holiday homes to its existing hotel classification framework and create a database of all such licensed establishments in the emirate. With Dubai gearing up for Expo 2020, more landlords are likely to short-let their properties given the huge visitor and tourist influx that the emirate will experience, so this decree to regulate the holiday home market has come at an appropriate time. Additionally, short-term leasing fetches landlords much more revenue than traditional long-term annual contracts, so tightening laws in this area is essential. The anticipated 20 million visitors for Expo 2020 will also benefit from this regulation as they will be assured that any private apartment, townhouse or villa they rent will be of a certain standard with appropriate insurances and managed by a qualified party. When Dubai first granted foreigners the right to buy freehold property in 2002, the Dubai Real Estate Regulatory Authority did not even exist. As the city prepares to host the world’s third largest non-commercial event, market regulation has taken centre stage. This in itself is a sign of progress and proof that the market has learnt from the dizzying highs of 2007 and most importantly, from the grinding lows in 2008-2009. In a recent speech about why Dubai should win the Expo, David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, spoke about how when the Crystal Palace was unveiled in Hyde Park in London during the world’s first Great Exhibition in 1851, observers looked at the glass glittering in the sun and thought it resembled something out of the Arabian Nights. It’s taken over a century for the world exhibition to come to the Middle East, but the time has come nevertheless. In the years leading up to the Expo, there are going to be different laws and regulations coming in from RERA to make the property market more robust. A sustainable market can only emerge over time, it doesn’t happen overnight. For instance, during the boom time, very few transactions were for own use whereas five years later, the fundamentals are different with people buying property for themselves. The Expo 2020 is a great incentive to set right the deficiencies in the real estate ecosystem. What we need then is not a big boom, but just good steady growth. The writer is the CEO and founder of propertyfinder.ae. Views expressed by the author are his own and do not reflect the newspaper’s policy
Dubai Investments exports surge 129 percent
Glass exports which was worth Dh88.34m in 2008, jumped to more than Dh200m in 2012 • Staff Report Dubai: Dubai Investments PJSC (DI), a investment company listed on the Dubai Financial Market, has announced that the volume of exports from its various subsidiaries has grown substantially over the last five years, reflecting the potential of manufacturing exports from its companies across multiple sectors. An analysis of the export performance of DI subsidiaries between 2008 and 2012 revealed that glass export achieved the highest growth, followed by other products such as aluminium, pharmaceuticals, steel and rubber, among others. The company’s glass exports, which was worth Dh88.34 million in 2008, jumped to more than Dh200 million in 2012, an increase of more than 129 per cent. The key export markets for DI were the GCC countries, Yemen, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, South Asia, Africa, UK, Europe, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Brazil, other parts of South America, CIS countries and across the globe. Khalid Bin Kalban, Managing Director and CEO of DI, said: “We have seen a tremendous growth in exports from DI subsidiaries, particularly in manufacturing exports. Expanding DI’s global footprint has been one of our top priorities and the year-on-year growth is in line with our strategy to make exports as one of the frontrunners of success.” He added: “We will continue to achieve consistent growth in our exports across our diversified products and services — primarily by opening up business channels in newer markets as well as building our presence in the existing ones.” Switchgear exports Export of extruded aluminium grew from Dh58.92 million in 2010 to nearly Dh100 million in 2012, an increase of over 64 per cent while switchgear exports also surged from Dh116,424 in 2010 to Dh235,068 in 2011, a growth of 203 per cent, which further increased to Dh330,488 in 2012 (+40 per cent).Similarly, rubber exports grew from Dh18.59 million in 2010 to more than Dh21 million in 2012, with focus markets being the Gulf countries, Europe as well as Africa. Exports of steel enclosures for electrical products grew from Dh1.12 million in 2010 to Dh2.17 million in 2011 (+94 per cent), which further increased to Dh3.61 million in 2012, a growth of 66 per cent. DI’s subsidiaries also achieved substantial growth with the export of fabricated steel structures touching more than Dh93 million in 2012, an increase of over 81 per cent over exports of nearly Dh51million achieved in 2010. The major export markets are Qatar, followed by Oman. Similarly, pharmaceutical exports was worth in excess of Dh100 million in 2012, an increase of over 27 per cent compared to Dh79.66 million exports achieved in 2010. The company’s export in the sector has been on a northwards trajectory over the last five years, having achieved a phenomenal 80 per cent growth compared to exports in 2008. As part of its strategy, DI is also working closely with Dubai Exports, the export promotion agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED), Government of Dubai, to reinforce its growth strategy in export markets. DI is also participating in a number of trade shows and exhibitions globally to realise market opportunities and export capabilities.
UAE equities to stay bullish
Muzaffar Rizvi / 15 December 2013 Investors will continue to focus on banking, real estate and construction sectors The UAE stock markets will maintain the upward trend in near term and enters 2014 on a high note as investors are expected to pour investment in key scripts in banking, real estate and construction sectors. The fund managers and analysts say the market is likely to further strengthen its position next year in the wake of positive economic indicators and strong recovery in real estate sector. They say equities are well positioned to capitalise the gains on sustainable basis after securing Expo 2020 bid and its formal inclusion in Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) Index next year. Omniyat Group executive chairman and chief executive Mahdi Amjad said that a combination of factors — Dubai Expo 2020 and recent mortgage regulations — would trigger higher growth for the real estate industry in Dubai next year. Shailesh Dash, chief executive of Al Masah Capital Management, said outlook for the UAE stock markets is strong, but it needs fresh catalysts like developing of an IPO market to sustain the upward trend for a longer term. “Given the rally seen in 2013, our outlook on the stock markets is similar to our general outlook which is that 2014 will be a further validation of the recovery cycle and a consolidation of the gains seen this year,” Dash told Khaleej Times. The Dubai Financial Market’s General Index surged 4.79 per cent last week while trading volumes surged to 639.86 million shares on the weekend. The Abu Dhabi market also recorded 1.55 per cent growth with a steady rise in trading volumes. Emaar Properties led the rally in real estate sector with 13.05 per cent increase in its share value to Dh7.36. Deyaar shares climbed 9.58 per cent while Arabtec and Union Properties stocks rose 4.18 per cent and 2.85 per cent, respectively. In banking sector, Dubai Islamic Bank and Emirates NBD advanced four per cent and 1.63 per cent, respectively. Saleem Khokhar, head of equities at National Bank of Abu Dhabi’s Asset Management Group, said last week that real estate and banks are likely to continue to attract investor attention in coming days. Dash said the regional markets should look forward to the MSCI inclusion of Qatar and UAE, as this event will provide support and a psychological base throughout the year. However, he said the proposed tapering of the Federal Reserve’s asset purchase programme may have a negative affect on emerging markets. “We believe the tapering off when it starts in USA will have a negative affect on most of the emerging markets, thereby sentiments for the GCC markets as well. But, we strongly believe the fundamentals of the GCC stock markets is very strong and any such decline should provide a great opportunity to increase stakes in the local markets,” he said. To a question, he said Dubai’s rally would need fresh triggers, as it’s a thin market with only 10 stocks providing the bulk of the gains. “The UAE in general needs the IPO market to really pick up and they need the new IPO’s to happen here and not be transplanted to London. We feel very strongly that a strong extension of the 2013 rally will be based on a strong local IPO pipeline,” he said. In reply to a question, he said integration of UAE markets will be a step in right direction and will boost the investor sentiments in the region. “We are heading in the right direction and similar to the MSCI saga, we think eventually all the boxes will be ticked and the powers to be will give the final blessing. Whenever it happens in 2014, it will be viewed very favourable and become a key catalyst alongside the MSCI inclusion. But like the MSCI process, we have seen many stops and starts so we temper our expectations and hope to be pleasantly surprised if it does happen soon,” Dash concluded. — firstname.lastname@example.org
Abu Dhabi tourism to hold biggest road show
Staff Report / Abu Dhabi’s tourism industry is set to roll out its biggest road show delegation to India this December with 25 stakeholders joining the initiative launched by Abu Dhabi Tourism Culture Authority, or TCA Abu Dhabi. Indian travellers now make up Abu Dhabi’s largest overseas source market for hotel guests with 14,540 Indians staying in the emirate’s hotels in the first nine months of this year — a 31 per cent rise on the same period in 2012. The delegation, comprising Etihad Airways, hotels and resorts, attractions, tour operators and destination management companies, are to press home the emirate’s case of affordable luxury and enhanced product base to India’s media and travel trade in four key cities across the country. The road show will begin in New Delhi today, moving on to Mumbai tomorrow before rolling into Ahmedabad on Wednesday and closing out in Bangalore on Thursday. “This will be our first outing in Ahmedabad from where Etihad Airways now operates a daily service bringing the Gujarat market well within our reach,” said Mubarak Al Nuaimi, director of Promotions and Overseas Offices at TCA Abu Dhabi. “The Indian market — which is now our largest overseas source market for hotel guests — has enormous growth potential.”
Real estate stocks buoy UAE
Muzaffar Rizvi / 9 December 2013 The emirate’s index so far surged 87 per cent this year, making it one of the best-performing markets in the world. UAE stock markets sustained an upward trend on Sunday and hit a fresh five-year high on buying in real estate and banking shares. The Dubai Financial Market, or DFM, which started trading 15 minutes late due to a technical fault, further built up the momentum in the wake of Dubai securing the right to host World Expo 2020 and noted fresh interests in its property and construction firms. The DFM’s benchmark stock index rose to the highest in more than five years and closed at 3,055.95 points, up 1.41 per cent, the highest since November 2008. Trading volumes rose to 586.72 million shares with 22 companies out of 31 traded in positive columns. The emirate’s index so far surged 87 per cent this year, making it one of the best-performing markets in the world. Abu Dhabi’s small-caps lifted the market to a five-year high as local investors hunted for laggards. The main index rose 1.27 per cent to close the day at 3,989.62 points, its highest close since September 2008. “The market climbed on strong rise in real estate stocks, and some banking shares. The investor sentiments remained positive in the wake of Dubai Expo 2020 and the strong underlying UAE economy,” Saleem Khokhar, head of equities at National Bank of Abu Dhabi’s Asset Management Group, told Khaleej Times. Emaar Properties climbed 3.07 per cent and remained most active traded scrip with 142.98 million shares. Arbtec, which awarded a contract worth nearly $1 billion to build a hospital in Al Ain, advanced 1.52 per cent with 117.08 million shared changed hands yesterday. In the banking sector, Dubai Islamic Bank rose 2.53 per cent and Emirated NBD fell 0.72 per cent. Air Arabia and DFM Company rose 1.41 per cent and 1.31 per cent, respectively and supported the benchmark index. “Market trend is positive, however, we are approaching year-end and holiday season, this might have on impact on liquidity and volatility,” Khokhar said, adding that real estate and banks are likely to continue to attract investor attention in coming days. In the capital, Abu Dhabi Ship Building and Union Cement recorded a 14.8 per cent increase each while National Takaful Company soared 14.4 per cent in heavy trading as volumes increased to 537.33 million shares from 491.88 million traded on Thursday. National Bank of Abu Dhabi and First Gulf Bank closed at Dh12.8 and Dh18.2, respectively. Etisalat shares slightly fell and closed at Dh11.55. In regional markets, Egypt’s main index rose 2.4 per cent to 6,484 points and Saudi’s Tasi advanced 0.9 per cent to 8,321 points. Qatar’s benchmark gained 0.5 per cent to 10,437 points, Kuwait’s main index was up 0.1 per cent to 7,773 points while Bahrain’s measure rose 0.2 per cent to 1,200 points. Oman’s market ticked up 0.02 per cent to 6,770 points.
Dubai foreign trade crosses Dh1 trillion
Issac John / 9 December 2013 Figures enhance UAE’s status as a global trading hub; India still emirate’s top export partner. Dubai’s non-oil foreign trade surged nine per cent to cross the Dh1 trillion mark by the end of the third quarter of 2013 from Dh918 billion for the same 2012 period, with India retaining its rank as the No.1 trade partner. Two-way trade with India grew to Dh111 billion in the first nine months, while China recorded Dh99 billion to reinforce its position as the second-largest trading partner of Dubai. The United States was at third position with Dh65 billion. “Trade is one of the key pillars in the overall structure of our local economy and a main driver for its growth. We look at the rising curve in trade volumes as an indicator of the success of our developmental strategies,” said Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council. The strong results and a steady increase in the volume of foreign trade exchanges are solid evidences of the effectiveness of Dubai’s economic policies, Shaikh Hamdan said. The pace of growth in trade further enhances the UAE’s status as a global trade hub and reinforces Dubai’s position as a focal gateway for international trade exchanges. “With the UAE voted the host nation of World Expo 2020 in Dubai, the trade sector will undoubtedly witness tremendous growth over the coming few years up to the beginning of the next decade. Appearing for the first time ever in the Middle East North Africa and South Asia, the world’s largest exhibition will pave the way for stronger trade flows, opening unprecedented opportunities in a region inhabited by around two billion people,” Shaikh Hamdan said. “Dubai’s highly-reliable and efficient infrastructure and quality logistic services will be strong assets to facilitate and support the expected trade growth across the region.” Dubai Customs statistics showed that he trade growth was driven by a surge in imports to Dh610 billion from Dh546 billion. Exports and re-exports also rose to Dh399 billion from Dh372 billion. Direct trade accounted for 64 per cent of Dubai foreign trade to hit Dh649 billion, up from Dh595 billion for the same 2012 period. Free zones trade share was 35 per cent at Dh348 billion and customs warehouse trade hit Dh12 billion Ahmed Butti Ahmed, executive chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation and director-general of Dubai Customs, said the roadmap to the development of Dubai’s foreign trade for the coming years is crystal-clear now. “As the emirate is getting closer to hosting Expo 2020, our main mission is to corroborate Dubai’s leading role in the world’s scenery, to become one of the world’s most important cities in international trade,” he said. “To achieve this, we need to implement commercial strategies that respond to the nature of on-going transformations in global economy, in the light of the uprising of Asian markets and their taking on a leading position in international trade movement, in order to maximise our utilisation of these transformations, by further cementing ties with Asian markets which strive to expand their reach through Dubai and strengthen their existence in a wide region that extends from Asia to Europe and Africa,” Ahmed added. China topped the list of Dubai’s import sources with a share of 16 per cent or Dh96 billion, followed by the US with a share of nine per cent amounting to Dh58 billion and India with Dh55 billion. In exports, India was first with a share of 21 per cent or Dh24 billion, followed by Turkey with 13 per cent and Dh15 billion and Switzerland with seven per cent or Dh8 billion. In re-export destinations, Saudi Arabia was first with a share of 12 per cent or Dh33 billion, followed by India with 11 per cent or Dh32 billion, Iraq with a share of 7 per cent at Dh20 billion.
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