How Dubai Is Rebranding As A Family Friendly Property Market

UK investors should take notice of the vast potential for growth in Dubai.

Over the last decade, Dubai has become a destination people want to live and work in. In 2018, most property investors and buyers are looking to stay long term rather than flipping properties quickly. There are newly fashionable areas springing up all the time. For example, Business Bay has become home to many looking for downtown living space. Developments like Volante Tower, which is a residential tower in Business Bay, which has mostly sold to owner/occupiers. It’s not long been completed but only seven apartments are still available in the development, thanks in part to the amazing views across the Dubai Water Canal towards the world’s tallest tower, the famous Burj Khalifa.

Successful Residential Areas

Foreign investment in Dubai property has seen record levels in 2017.

Image credit: Maher Najm via Flickr

Business Bay is just one of many enormously popular residential areas with infrastructure designed to make it accessible and enjoyable for residents. For example, there are miles of cycleways and pathways laid out, allowing people who live there to ditch their cars and enjoy the city streets in the cooler season between November and April.

New ideas such as a private member’s club within Volante Tower, including a pool, gym, spa and cinema, are boosting the popularity of living in the area. Its penthouse is priced at £6.5 million and represents decent value when compared to other countries. A report from Knight Frank in 2016 estimated that a similar place in prime central London would cost an average of £35 million, and almost double that in Monaco.

New Legislation To Protect Buyers

Other reasons for the growing popularity of residential areas in Dubai are the new legal frameworks that have been implemented to protect the buyer or investor. Since 2014, freehold titles have been available for foreign owners in specific free zones. These areas offer significant tax exemption and in Dubai include Business Bay, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Marina, Burj Khalfa and Emirates Hills.

Where freeholds aren’t available, leasehold laws have been implemented, closely modelled on Australian laws for terms of 99 years. These changes in legislation are being developed to attract international investors.

British Families Choose Dubai

UK investors should take notice of the vast potential for growth in Dubai.

Image credit: Serge Bystro via Flickr

Around 10,000 people move to Dubai from the UK every year, and there are increasing numbers of families settling in the region. This means more education facilities also. For example, half of the pupils at Dubai College hold British passports. The headmaster of this facility predicts that high class educational institutions will expand even further over the next few years He said: “We don’t yet have the numbers for Brexit but we see fewer people leaving for the States thanks to Trump.”

Wealthy expats from the UK generally prefer high-end detached villas in neighbourhoods such as Emirates Hills and Arabian Ranches. The latter now has an English-speaking school, and five-bed houses sell for about £2.5 million. A more affordable, but equally popular residential area is the Meadows, where a four-bed detached house will go or about £800,000.

Expanding Cultural Scene

There are lots of improvements going on in Dubai to ensure the city is offering what long-term residents and families want. These range from art fairs, film festivals, the Dubai Opera and the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Dubai is very much entering a new phase and while property prices don’t yet match their previous heights of 2008, the chance of another recession affecting prices like this is remote.

According to a report by property consultants Cluttons, Dubai remains the most popular area for property investment in the Gulf.