Foreign investors to drive Dubai property market in post-Expo 2020 era

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Foreign investors to drive Dubai property market in post-Expo 2020 era

The Dubai real estate is expected to continue its golden run post-Expo 2020, as the foreign investors are returning to the market to capitalise on investment opportunities in the emirate.

The market, which attracted a total of 52,415 investors last year, recorded 72,207 new deals with a combined worth of Dh148 billion investment in various projects of the emirate. It reflects a 100 per cent growth in investment value, while the number of investors and investments surged 65.6 per cent and 73.7 per cent, respectively.

Of the total investors in 2021, 38,318 (more than 50 per cent) were overseas investors, who made 51,544 investments valuing Dh99 billion.

According to the Zoom Property Insights, this upward momentum will sustain throughout the year, even after Expo 2020 drops its curtains on March 31, 2022.

The emirate is gearing up for International Property Show (IPS) 2022, which is another event that will help bring foreign investment. Starting from March 24, 2022, it will welcome the investors from Spain, Serbia, Montenegro, Austria, the US, Ecuador, Canada and Mexico.


Ata Shobeiry, CEO at Zoom Property, cites the infrastructure, facilities and visa reforms as the major reasons supporting the return of investors to the Dubai property market.

“Dubai’s excellent infrastructure, long-term visa options for overseas investors and the world-class facilities are some of the major reasons that attract overseas investors. The Expo 2020 also played its role but going by the latest trends, I believe there will be increased activity in the market, resulting from the return of foreign investors after the expo has concluded,” he said.

Besides the return of overseas investors, the transition of Expo 2020 into District 2020 is also expected to drive the Dubai property market in 2022. It is planned to be a mixed-use community, which will utilise 80 per cent of the expo’s resources.

As the expo concludes in a few days, District 2020 will continue its legacy as a sustainable and human-centric future city. It will feature expensive business and retail spaces along with modern co-living, loft or urban-style residential units. The handover is expected to take place in October 2022.

“The sustainability, economic prosperity, diversity in the market and high returns are some of the other main reasons that make investors return to Dubai real estate,” Shobeiry said.

The District 2020 project will be re-purposing 80 per cent of the current Expo 2020 site and will become one of the five major urban centres as per the Dubai’s master urban plan 2040 announced in early 2021.


The District 2020, a future legacy of Expo 2020 is planned to have more than 200,000 square metres of Grade A, LEED-certified, commercial and residential space, plus 45,000 square metres of green space.

Haider Tuaima, director and head of Real Estate Research at ValuStrat, said that the location benefits from a direct link to the metro network, three major highways, and 90 minutes from three international airports and one seaport.

“The demand has already been demonstrated from the signing of technology and innovation-focused anchor tenants such as Siemens, Terminus, DP World and Siemens Energy. On a strategic level, given its location and advanced infrastructure, there’s no doubt that the District 2020 will be a successful hub for international business and act as a significant catalyst for the entire city,” Tuaima added.


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