25% of Dubai buildings to be 3D printed by 2030






Dubai has taken a crucial step in realizing its goal of becoming a regional and global hub for 3D printing by announcing a decree to regulate the use of this game-changing technology.

In his capacity as Ruler of Dubai, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum issued Decree No. (24) of 2021 regulating the use of 3D printing in the construction sector in the emirate.

Dubai Municipality is tasked with overseeing the implementation of the new decree. The legislation supports the emirate’s strategic target to ensure that 25 per cent of its buildings are constructed using 3D printing technology by 2030, a statement from the Media Office said.

“The decree, effective from its date of issuance, also aims to promote Dubai as a regional and global hub for the use of 3D printing technologies. Part of a broader plan to spur economic growth and promote adoption of advanced technologies in the emirate, the new legislation seeks to enhance efficiencies in construction projects, enhance the local industry’s competitiveness, reduce waste and attract leading companies in the sector to Dubai,” it said.

The global 3D printing market size, estimated at $16.54 billion in 2021, is projected to hit $34.8 billion by 2026 at a compound annual growth rate of 22.5 per cent. Also known as additive manufacturing, the revolutionary technology is becoming popular with manufacturers. 3D printing process offers a range of advantages compared to traditional manufacturing methods. These include those related to design, time and cost, among others.

As per the new Dubai regulation, any entity seeking to conduct 3D printing activity in the sector must first register with Dubai Municipality and obtain a license before seeking further approvals from other authorities. “Real estate developers should also ensure that 3D printing related projects are executed only by contractors licensed for the activity by Dubai Municipality,” the statement said.

Dubai Municipality will promote the use of 3D printing in collaboration with government and non-government entities under the framework of the decree. To encourage the use of 3D printing in the construction sector, the municipality will create a consolidated list of incentives and facilities provided by both government and non-government entities.

The director general of Dubai Municipality will issue all the decisions necessary to implement this decree, which annuls any other legislation that may contradict its provisions, said the statement.



Dubai cancels or reduces fees for 88 government services








Dubai has reduced or cancelled fees for 88 government services to reduce financial pressures on businesses.

The move aims to lower living costs, support investors and improve the business environment in the emirate, said state news agency Wam.

The decision was approved by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai.

Here is the list of reduced fees:

Dubai Maritime City Authority will waive some fees relating to residency visas, including the processing of residency visas for applicants outside the country, the issuance of employment residency visas, urgent renewals of residency visas and residency visa transfers from a government entity to the Authority, among others.

Dubai Municipality will remove fees relating to permits for labour supplies rooms, re-issuance of cheques, urgent medical certificates and renewal of occupational health cards, among others.

Dubai Tourism will stop charging fees for tourism permits and replacement of lost tourism permits, tourism permits for people under 16 years and permits for fashion shows, among others.

The Roads and Transport Authority will waive fees for issuing no-objection letters for transfer of traffic files, permits for closing roads for major construction work and fees relating to recreational bikes, among others.

The Dubai Land Department will waive fees for replacing broker cards for real estate agents and the amendment of information on real estate brokers, among others.


Dubai Courts will cancel fees for obtaining certified copies of rulings of civil cases.

Dubai Economy will reduce fees for issuing and renewing licenses of business centres and issuing of licenses for providing government services, among others.


Dubai Maritime City Authority will reduce fees to renew annual representative office licenses and replacement of lost certificates and licenses, among others.

And Dubai Health Authority will reduce fees for medical fitness certificates for maritime activities.


The Resolution also authorises heads of government entities to take decisions to reduce or waive any payments other than fees imposed for its services and products, after the approval of the Department of Finance in Dubai.

Cancellation or reduction of such payments has to be formalised by the enactment of legislation and its publication in the official gazette.

Executive Council Resolution Number 19 of 2021 will come into effect from the date of its publication in the official gazette.



Dubai records Dhs14.79bn in real estate sales for June 2021








Dubai’s real estate sector recorded 6,388 sales transactions in June 2021, worth Dhs14.79bn, according to the 16th edition of Mo’asher, Dubai’s official sales price index.

This was the highest value of sales in eight years, state news agency WAM said quoting officials.


The sales transactions in June 2021 were 44.33 per cent higher in terms of volume, and 33.2 per cent higher in value compared to May 2021.

The results achieved in June 2021, in addition to the number of sales transactions reached in April (4,824) and May (4,426), made for a profitable Q2, which had the highest quarterly volume of sales transactions since Q4 2013, with 15,638 sales transactions worth Dhs36.86bn, 33.26 per cent more than Q1 2021, in terms of volume, and 46.76 per cent more in terms of value.

This brings the year-to-date total to 27,373 sales transactions worth Dhs61.97bn. In comparison, 2020 witnessed a total of 35,041 sales transactions worth Dhs71.87bn.

The base year for Mo’asher is 2012, the base quarter for the quarterly index is Q1 2012 and the base month for the monthly index is January 2012.

In June 2021 the overall monthly index recorded 1.07 and an index price of Dhs1,009,593; the apartments monthly index stood at 1.088 and an index price of Dhs904,920; and the villas/townhouses monthly index was 1.013 at an index price of Dhs1,822,343.

In Q2 2021, the overall quarterly index was 1.108 and an index price of Dhs1,023,552; the apartments quarterly index recorded 1.118 and an index price of Dhs927,442 and the villas/townhouses quarterly index recorded 1.076 and an index price of Dhs1,880,153.

According to proprietary Property Finder demand data, the top areas of interest in terms of sales transactions for villas/townhouses in Q2 2021 were Mohammed Bin Rashid City, Dubai Hills Estate, Dubai Land, Green Community and Town Square.



ValuStrat Price Index reveals 3.8 per cent growth in real estate prices






ValuStrat Price Index reveals 3.8 per cent growth in real estate prices during the April to June period compared to the previous quarter

Villas continued to drive the recovery in Dubai real estate prices during the second quarter of 2021, according to consultants ValuStrat.

Its ValuStrat Price Index, which has been expanded to cover more locations in the city, grew by 3.8 per cent during the April to June period compared to the previous quarter.

This increase cancelled almost all the capital losses of the previous year, ValuStrat said in a statement.


It added that in June the index registered 69 points compared to 69.4 points in the same period last year.

Despite the recent rebound, there is still a long way to reach 100 points registered as of January 2014, not to mention the peak of June 2014, which saw the citywide VPI achieve 112.9 points.

Villas, which represent 13 per cent of the residential market in Dubai, spearheaded the Q2 growth with a quarterly growth of 7 per cent and an annual growth of 6.3 per cent.

ValuStrat said all villas monitored by the basket saw improvements not seen since 2014. The highest annual capital gains were found in The Meadows, Arabian Ranches, The Lakes, Jumeirah Islands, Dubai Hills Estate and Mudon.

Quarterly, the apartments VPI grew 1.7 per cent but did not perform as well as villas on an annual basis, still declining 4.8 per cent when compared to Q2 last year.

Jumeirah Beach Residence, Palm Jumeirah, Downtown Dubai and the Views where the best quarterly performers.

ValuStrat said that compared to last year apartments in International City, Palm Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Al Furjan and Al Quoz Forth have written off their capital losses of last year.

The VPI for Dubai residential capital values has expanded to cover 95 per cent of the freehold market as the city has seen new locations become established and start to influence the overall real estate performance.

Three more villa areas and five more apartment locations have been added to the fixed basket of properties that its team of valuers appraise each month.

Villa locations are Dubai Hills Estate, Mudon and Green Community (DIP) have been added while, for apartments, Dubai Silicon Oasis, Al Furjan, Dubailand Residence Complex, Town Square and Al Quoz Fourth (Al Khail Heights) have been added.






Momentum in Dubai real estate to carry over into rest of 2021







Dubai’s property sector will sustain a positive momentum in the second half of 2021 as visa reforms, successful Covid-19 vaccination plan and government measures to support the economy spur demand and manage oversupply, experts say.


Analysts and experts said the villa segment is performing better than apartments and positive sentiments will lift property prices up to five per cent during the July-December period this year.

“Depending on the Covid-19 pandemic situation, the second half of this year may continue the positive momentum that began in the third quarter of 2020. This is possibly due to the general positive market sentiment following measures put in place by the government to spur growth in housing demand as well as manage oversupply,” Haider Tuaima, head of real estate research at ValuStrat, told Khaleej Times.

He said the excellent countrywide vaccination programme has further strengthened market sentiment.

“With average home prices hovering at Dh900 per square foot and banks offering record-low interest rates coupled with a higher LTV of up to 85 per cent, getting on the property ladder became more affordable,” Tuima said.

Latest data by real estate portal Property Finder indicated that Dubai recorded 27,373 transactions worth Dh61.97 billion during the first half of 2021. This is compared to 35,041 sales transactions worth Dh71.87 billion registered in 2020, reflecting the best real estate performance in terms of sales transactions in the past eight years.


Positive sentiment

“We are seeing the market already bouncing back. The market, across the board, has seen an uptrend. Citywide prices have increased by 1.3 per cent in March this year. This is the first year on year price increase we have since early 2015. Since the market bottomed out in November 2020, prices have recovered up to seven per cent until now,” Ayman Youssef, vice-president at Coldwell Banker UAE, told Khaleej Times.

He said sentiment is better in Dubai as the world noticed how efficiently the emirate handled the Covid-19 situation. This has made many luxury buyers consider Dubai as a place to put their investment in.

“We have seen a lot of regional and international buyers relocating to Dubai into the luxury segment because of the attractive prices and strong control of the pandemic. We are seeing a historic time for the Dubai luxury segment. Properties that are Dh10 million and above have seen a historic high market share of 2.5 per cent,” Youssef said.

“Low interest rates have converted many tenants into buyers. The sentiment among investors is improving since the market has already bottomed out and now seeing real demand. Prices are below replacement cost in many areas which is a good entry point for investors.”

He said occupancy is still low in B-grade apartments that don’t provide a lot of amenities and services.

“This is also because a lot of people prefer villas to apartments due to their new work-from-home routines and the need for bigger space, green areas and amenities. We’ve also seen a rise in demand in beachfront properties,” he said.

“The first half of 2021 saw strong performance as the market was in rebound. However, the second half of the year is expected to see moderate growth and we expect a price increase of three per cent to five per cent citywide from H1 to July-December 2021,” he added.

Steady rise

Prathyusha Gurrapu, head of research and advisory at Core, said due to various demand drivers, transaction activity has seen steady increase, particularly in the secondary market with a 64 per cent increase in transaction activity over the first quarter this year compared to the same quarter of 2020.

“On the other hand, off-plan market activity continues to face headwinds, contracting by 29 per cent over the same period. That said, we foresee steady absorption for near completion off-plan projects from select major developers over the remainder of 2021 as demand and sentiment improves with developers focusing on existing under-construction projects and deliveries,” Gurrapu told Khaleej Times.


Growth drivers

Highlighting the top five growth drivers for property in 2021, she said UAE’s high vaccination rates, safety and business continuity for businesses and residents; relatively easy access to finance — lower LTV values and lower interest rates making it easier to climb the property ladder; visa and social reforms; a raft of fiscal incentives and government measures to support the economy; and Expo 2020-led positive economic sentiment will further strengthen market sentiments.

“Despite high rates of vaccinations, due to the very nature of the pandemic and its ever-changing impact on global tourism and mobilisation, we are yet to say with certainty that we are in a sustained recovery phase. That said, with strong fundamentals, business resilience and investment interest, most market stakeholders hold a positive market sentiment and remain cautiously optimistic for a steady 2021 on the back of efficient government measures,” she added.

Ratings agency S&P Global recently shared positive remarks on Dubai’s real estate and forecast more than 30 per cent revenue growth in 2021 on supportive market trends for real estate and a gradual recovery in other business segments.

“We expect Dubai’s GDP to rebound about 3.5 per cent in 2021, followed by growth of 2.5 per cent in 2022,” S&P analysts had said.



European buyers relocating families to Dubai spur realty rebound







European buyers, mostly end-users relocating their families to the relative safety of Dubai, have been driving a significant rebound in the emirate’s property sector as prices hit an eight-year high, recording a 10 per cent year-on-year jump in June.


A report by Property Monitor, a leading property portal, said European buyers emerged as “a key demographic recently, driving sales with most being end users.”

“Based on our conversations with brokers and industry experts, the motivation here is the relocation of entire families from Europe as opposed to the sole breadwinner living in Dubai. As further evidence of this trend, several schools have reported an uptick in enrolments of new residents,” said the report.

“What we’re seeing here is an evolution... where people are buying homes to live in after renting for a few years, then going on to sell those homes and upgrade to larger properties, creating a mature property cycle,” Lewis Allsopp, CEO of Allsopp & Allsopp, the estate agency, said.

In June, Dubai’s resilient property market maintained its resounding recovery, with a 2.1 per cent price spike, the eighth successive monthly surge as transaction numbers recorded their best performance since December 2013 with 6,389 deals recorded, said the portal.

Median prices in June were Dh928,848 for apartments, Dh1.7 million for townhouses and Dh3.4 million for villas.

“On a monthly basis, prices spiked 2.1 per cent and now stand at Dh924 per sq ft. They were last seen at these levels two years ago. Since bottoming out in November 2020, property prices have risen by 12.7 per cent,” said the report.

“The recovery still remains uneven between communities with the strongest price increases seen in the market for villas and traditionally sought-after communities. However, we expect the recovery to balance out over the rest of 2021 and switch to a more tenable pace across Dubai,” said the report.

According to Dubai Land Department data, the Dubai property market recorded Dh68 billion worth of deals) in the first 53 days of the year. For the full year, the projections are for Dh300 billion plus.

Demand continues to remain robust for properties at the top end of the market with transactions for properties valued over Dh10 million registering yet another strong month.

In all, 111 transactions were recorded for this segment in June, slightly lower than the 117 in May, but still indicative of a buoyant market.

On a monthly basis, sales jumped 43.7 per cent and climbed a massive 174 per cent from last June when buyers were first taking notice of attractive real estate deals amid easing movement restrictions.

“A block of delayed registrations in June for previous months was recorded from Azizi Developments, including off-plan and initial sales from the developer. While this was a notable contributor to the rise in sales volumes this month, even without these deals, June recorded one of its best performances for transactions since at least 2009,” said the report.

A total of 2,419 off-plan transactions were registered in June, up 43.3 per cent on a monthly basis. Completed properties took 62.1% market share in June 2021 versus 37.9 per cent for off-plan, continuing a year-long trend as new launches stalled, and buyers demonstrated a preference for ready-to-move properties.

However, completed property transactions may start to give up some of these market share gains as new project launches gather pace. Meanwhile, initial sales transactions—the first sale of a property from the developer for an off plan or completed project—jumped 51.2 per cent monthly to stand at 3,800 in June.

Mortgages for villas and townhouses increased month-on-month while loans for apartments declined, reflecting buyer preferences. Overall, at 2,135, new loans for June fell by 9.4 per cent over the previous month, driven by a decline in bulk mortgages, which are primarily taken out for apartment buildings. 




10 good reasons for businesses to migrate to Dubai







One of the key takeaways from recent Ritossa Family Office Investment Summits in Dubai is the large number of entrepreneurs who have either moved their business and residence here or who plan to in the coming year. Interestingly, 50+ percent of the Summit attendees not currently based in Dubai indicated an interest in exploring relocation to Dubai in the next three years. This statistic is impressive considering the fact that the audience included business leaders, entrepreneurs, and private investors representing $4 trillion in wealth who are equipped to bring jobs and expertise to Dubai.

Despite the challenges the world faced in the past year, during which foreign direct investment declined globally by 42 per cent (from $1.5 trillion in 2019 to $859 billion in 2020), Dubai succeeded in attracting high volumes of FDI. This is a testament to our economy’s resilience and stability.

While it’s great news — and no secret — that Dubai’s economy is booming, start-up companies also cite Dubai’s reputation for safety, availability of quality education, ease of transportation, advanced healthcare systems evidenced by its ability to manage the coronavirus pandemic quickly and effectively, and tax structures as key reasons for their decision to relocate. CIO World Magazine reported in April that, “The UAE ranked first in the Arab world and the 31st in the world in the ranking of the most-friendly countries for emerging companies according to its annual assessment of the competitiveness of countries and their capabilities in an economy based on science and technology. The UAE scored 62 points on the general index, outperforming Greece, Norway, New Zealand and Indonesia.”

According to Fahad Al Gergawi of Dubai FDI, “Success is achieved when everyone is moving forward together with the understanding that ‘We are all responsible.’ Our leadership’s constant and proactive focus on FDI has ensured that Dubai and the UAE’s policies and regulations continue to be in line with international best practices that investors appreciate and expect. In turn, increasing FDI flows have improved prosperity and quality of life for all residents and is one of the cornerstones of the country’s economic development. Our policymakers recognized the need for quick action early on during the COVID-19 pandemic and ensured that the strategies implemented to deal with the situation took care of all aspects – from the well-being of our residents as well as the economy. Stimulus measures were identified and announced to enable sustainable business and economic growth. The Dubai Government alone announced stimulus measures worth Dh7.1 billion.”


Examples of companies relocating to Dubai include an impressive number of companies leading the way with sophisticated technology, artificial intelligence, biotech and medicine, solid waste solutions, safe and sustainable food, fintech, and more.

One high profile example is Icecap, which  involves the intersection of diamonds and blockchain. Founder Jacques Voorhees was impressed with Dubai during his early career visits but it was not until he visited in 2020 for a Ritossa Summit that he realised how Dubai had transformed into a true global capital.

“I had no plans to relocate Icecap to the UAE yet I was beginning to notice things. The Abraham Accords were allowing close interaction between Dubai and Tel Aviv, another center of the diamond trade. I learned that De Beers, the largest diamond mining company in the world, had recently relocated its every-five-week “Sights” (where they sell their rough diamonds) to Dubai, from Africa.  Over 90 per cent of the diamonds in the world are actually cut in India, which is a simple two hour flight from Dubai.  With De Beers here, all the primary diamond companies here, India right next door, and the world-class infrastructure needed to support the global diamond market already built, it was obvious that Dubai really had achieved its goal of becoming the center of the diamond industry.  When I returned a few months later for another Ritossa conference, I began to realise UAE was equally trying to become a leader in the blockchain space as well.  It even had a Minister of Blockchain.  It’s probably the only country in the world that has an entire ministry devoted to this technology,” Voorhees said.

Other businesses relocating to Dubai include: Cash Angel, a visionary investment company that re-located the CEO’s residence and the entire business from Paris to Dubai; The Tsangs Group, a leading family office based in Hong Kong; Platon Finance, a blockchain company; Cahero Holding, a real estate company; and The Bank of Nevis, to name just a few. Bitcoin Association, the global industry organization supporting the BSV blockchain, is even launching a Dubai-based hub for the Middle East and South Asia and views Dubai as an appealing business destination.

“The BSV blockchain is enterprise-class and meant for the large-scale applications, such as smart cities or delivering e-government services to an entire emirate or nation. Government ministries in Dubai and the UAE are serious about implementing blockchain applications at large scale, and we want to partner with them,” said Jimmy Nguyen, Founding President of Bitcoin Association.

“As an investor you look for the value-added of any proposition and with Dubai it’s the audacity of the proposition that energises you. Dubai is that unique global meeting point whose credentials continue to shine bright in this global pandemic. It’s safe and its first mover response to the pandemic has been some of the best in the world. It’s no longer the place just to buy an apartment for occasional use or as a modest protector of wealth but Dubai has evolved and the new narrative sees Dubai as being truly a global center for the incubation of ideas, access to liquidity, and a place that embraces new technology to underpin a holistic lifestyle. Create an environment where human capital can flourish and you build the sustainable life for the future. We travelled 7,000 plus miles to Dubai to establish our first international office because we understand the audacity of the proposition that is Dubai and see it as that unique confluence where all peoples of the world meet and where ideas and opportunity can readily percolate,” said Bank of Nevis Chief Executive Officer Michael J. Prest.

Booming Economy

The economy in the UAE remained strong despite the pandemic. Tourism, for example, was among the fastest in the world to recover.

“The UAE is envisioning the future beyond the Covid-19 crisis and we are working toward doubling our economy by 2030. Apart from benefitting from an array of incentives and latest law amendments related to full foreign ownership, bankruptcy, commercial companies and long-term residencies/citizenship, investors, entrepreneurs and creative minds can also capitalize on the country’s state-of-the-art infrastructure, superior connectivity and its highly evolved ecosystem of incubators, accelerators and investors. And yet, these are only few of the factors that make the UAE the bustling global trade and investment hub that it is today,” said Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade.

Business Friendly Tax + Regulatory Structures

Interestingly, many of the entrepreneurs who select Dubai as home base are expats from the United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, and other high-tax cities and countries. In Dubai, earnings are tax-free although it is essential to understand the tax requirements of every individual’s home country. Many also cite Dubai’s regulatory landscape as being desirable as they tend to prefer self-regulation. There are 38 free zones in the UAE that offer tax exemptions on withholdings, export, corporate and personal income as well as corporate tax exemption for 50 years from the date of the company’s formation.

“It was the tax and regulatory landscape that really made the decision to move to Dubai easy.  Our lawyers in the United States were very clear that not only were the tax issues problematic, but the regulatory landscape for NFTs and anything involving both blockchain and diamonds, was subject to change at most anytime.  That makes it very difficult to build a business.  You need a stable foundation.  You can’t build a new company on regulatory quicksand.  Meanwhile in Dubai, they’d already decided how NFTs were being handled and, with free zones like DMCC, all the tax problems went away, “ added Voorhees.

Gateway for innovation

As a gateway for innovation, Dubai meets the needs of aspiring startups, with impressive multinational design centers, high-tech startup hubs, and strategic partnerships. “We count on our private sector partners who continue to work with us on strengthening our economic model to achieve our goal. To make this journey as effortless as possible for them, we are constantly enhancing the openness of our economy and liberalising various sectors in line with the UAE’s strategic priorities and directions,” said Al Zeyoudie

Strong Leadership and government

Dubai’s current position as a global hub is due largely to strong leaders such whose vision led to Dubai’s rise. Today, international businesses are interested in Dubai due to strong government support of SMEs. Specifically, Dubai’s Smart City 2021 initiative is transforming the city, revolutionising the way government services are delivered, promoting private sector partnerships, increasing happiness, and attracting more interest in the region. Expo Dubai 2021 is another exciting milestone for the UAE that will draw worldwide acclaim as well as boost domestic travel which already expanded during Covid. With 180 nationalities in the UAE, its position as a global melting pot is admirable.

Ease of Residence Visas

To make it easier for businesses to relocate to the Emirates, the UAE announced in 2019 the availability of Golden Visas, long-term residence visas that allow business owners and their employees to live and work here without the historical requirement of having a sponsor. These visas are issued to qualified individuals and their families for 5 or 10 years, renew automatically, and offer 100 per cent ownership of one’s business, which differs from the historical requirement that a company outside the free trade zone have a local partner with at least 51 per cent ownership. The intent is to make the UAE more attractive to business professionals, especially start-ups and entrepreneurs.

Infrastructure and Transportation

Dubai boasts one of the best public transportation systems in the world, including excellent Metro and Bus options, and the Dubai International Airport (DXB) supports 100+ airlines and 260+ destinations worldwide. DXB is the world’s largest and fastest growing passenger and cargo hubs and the #1 airport for international passengers according to Airports Council International.6

Quality Educational Options

Dubai has 200+ private schools for ages 6-18 that provide a high quality of education for more than 300,000 students. Private schools serve 90 per cent of the population and include mixed gender classrooms while the public school classrooms are separate for boys and girls. University-level education is free for citizens and there are a number of training and vocational schools as well.

Healthcare That Leads the World

Dubai has a great health system that offers a high standard of care in top notch facilities under the supervision of The Ministry of Health and Prevention. Of note are the government’s four hospitals - Dubai, Rashid, Latifa and Hatta; however, there are a total of 40+ hospitals throughout Dubai. Dubai citizens have access to free healthcare and employers are required to provide insurance to their employees.

Healthy Lifestyle Options Abound

There is no shortage of ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle in Dubai. Picturesque beaches, fabulous cuisine, bustling streets ideal for walking, and a reputation as a sports mecca all combine to keep Dubai residents and guests fit and in shape. Skiing, polo, soccer, cricket, tennis, cycling golf, basketball, camel riding and football lead the list of popular sports options.

The Happiness Factor

An important goal of the Dubai government is to make Dubai the happiest city on earth, which is being accomplished via programmes and innovative intended to meet the needs of visitors and residents on an ongoing basis.

Dubai continues to launch new strategies and policies that further re-enforce investors’ confidence that tap into its unique value proposition as the City of the Future, the gateway to regional markets, and a global hub for trade and investment. It is the preferred location for the regional headquarters of multinational as well as regional corporations. Startups too find Dubai a dynamic and supportive environment in which to test, finance, and expand business models. They benefit from Dubai’s world-class physical, social, and business infrastructure to reach billions of consumers in the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and CIS regions.

In summary, Dubai’s prominence as a global powerhouse is strong and will continue to strengthen in the coming years. Stay tuned for more developments as its influence on the world stage expands.

Sir Anthony Ritossa is chairman of Ritossa Family Office. Views expressed are his own and do not reflect the newspaper’s policy.



Dubai: A post-pandemic investment destination for Indians









Consumer confidence in Dubai hits 10-year high






Consumer confidence in Dubai zoomed to its highest level in 10 years in the second quarter of 2021, underscoring the growing momentum of the emirate’s broader economic recovery on the back of buoyancy in tourism and real estate sectors as the vaccination drive made remarkable headway.


The second quarter saw consumer optimism in Dubai surging to 151 points, the highest level since 2011, from the 125 points recorded in the same 2020 period and 145 points in Q1 2021, according to the quarterly Consumer Confidence Index of Dubai Economy.

“The latest Consumer Confidence Index, which shows remarkable improvements in consumer perceptions in Dubai during the second quarter of this year, reflects the growing momentum of broader economic recovery,” said Mohammed Ali Rashid Lootah, CEO of the Commercial Compliance & Consumer Protection Sector atin Dubai Economy.

“For example, 75 per cent of consumers were positive on jobs, compared to 32 per cent in the same period in 2020. Besides, 91 per cent of consumers were also optimistic about finding a job in the next 12 months, compared to 75 per cent in the same period last year.

Among those confident of finding a job, 81 per cent fall in the 40-49 age group,” Lootah said.

Consumers were also positive about their current personal financial conditions as 81 per cent of them expressed confidence, compared to 57 per cent in the same period in 2020. Those looking forward to improvements in their personal finance over the next 12 months constituted 85 per cent in Q1 2021, compared to 73 per cent in Q1 2020. Consumers in the 50-59 age group make up 88 per cent of those optimistic of an improvement in their personal finance, Dubai Economy said in a statement.

Along with the soaring consumer confidence, Dubai has been recording a resounding jump in investor trust in the wake of a wave of reforms and stimulus measures rolled out during the pandemic. A 44.2 per cent foreign direct investment surge to Dh73 billion in 2020 year-on-year, is a testimony to the UAE’s growing appeal to global investors.

The recovery seen in tourism and commercial traffic as well as an increase in advertisements appeared to be the factors driving positive perceptions on the economy




Finance & Capital Market Real estate 'driving Mideast economic recovery momentum'






Finance & Capital Market

Real estate 'driving Mideast economic recovery momentum'

The Middle East region's economy is recovering relatively well, but is slower than the global average, with hard hit sectors like tourism and aviation still under strain, while real estate recovery is accelerating, according to a new report by PwC, a leading assurance, advisory and tax services firm. 
With the pandemic continuing to challenge different economic sectors across the region, PwC in its latest edition of the Middle East Economy Watch, points to signs of building momentum in the recovery despite a third Covid-19 wave this spring. 
The pandemic caused the world's worst global recession since the second world war, with deep contractions across the region. This was partly because of sharp cuts in oil production as lockdowns caused demand to drop substantially. 
Even the non-oil sectors such as travel, tourism, real estate, retail, wholesale trade and manufacturing contracted by considerably more than the global average, due to the various lockdown measures across the region and the decline of global demand.
The region witnessed another wave of Covid-19 this spring. Nevertheless, there were signs of solid economic recoveries underway during this period, stated the report. 
Saudi Arabia is the first economy to release data showing a very strong rebound in non-oil GDP. Also, other indicators have shown a recovery in consumption across the region. 
Global recovery is shaping up to be even stronger than anticipated earlier in the year, and is now expected to reach pre-pandemic output levels by this autumn. Meanwhile, the slower regional growth is partly because OPEC+ is only tapering its cuts gradually and so, the oil sector growth is seen as lagging the non-oil rebound. 
Forecasts for the region expect a return to pre-Covid levels of output around the middle of 2022 and some GCC countries, such as Iraq and UAE, will not get there until 2023, said PwC in its report. 
However, oil demand has been beating expectations, causing a surge in prices, meaning that OPEC+ might increase production quotas earlier than initially anticipated which, if implemented, should accelerate the return to pre-Covid levels of economic activity, it added.
According to the report, some vulnerable sectors such as tourism and aviation suffered severely due to the lockdown measures. 
The World Travel and Tourism Council estimates that the sector’s overall contribution to global GDP nearly halved in 2020. Due to travel bans, In Lebanon, the visitors' numbers fell to nearly zero making the sector contracted by four-fifths in 2020. Other countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Libya witnessed proportionally a smaller decline.
Aside from tourism, GCC countries, particularly the UAE and Qatar, were significantly affected by the collapse in global aviation. Emirates airlines showed a major decline in passenger numbers, resulting in a $5.5 billion loss. 
While Qatar Airways retained the largest network of any airline during the pandemic, only reducing its weekly flights by just over a half. 
Meanwhile in the real estate sector, lockdowns also made the process of trading property more difficult due to oversupply with weaker demand across the GCC. However, Dubai has been posting a steady rebound this year and Qatar is starting to recover by seeing an uptick in March, stated the PwC report. 
Due to their upcoming events, Expo in Dubai starting in October and the World Cup a year later in Qatar, the chances of boosting the real estate sector are highly promising. 
Also, in Saudi Arabia, real estate was one of the strongest sectors during Q1 and in Kuwait, real estate has spotted significant growth due to approving a draft law for residential mortgages, it added.
Richard Boxshall, Partner, Chief Economist at PwC Middle East, said: "It’s been over a year since the start of the pandemic, and the “return to normal” always seems to be just a few months away, but keeps receding. However, leading economic indicators now provide a good reason to think that the destination will soon be reached."
"Saudi Arabian residents are now shopping more frequently than in February 2020. Also, real estate prices in Dubai are seeing the most sustained increases since 2014 which is considered one of the benchmarks of regional confidence," remarked Boxshall. 
"And the purchasing managers indices, reflecting private sector activity, in the GCC have all signalled expansion this year," he added.
While the GCC is still recovering from the pandemic contractions, the region might face other challenges in the future due to the OECD/G20’s Inclusive Framework on BEPS to reform the global corporate tax policy. 
This could have implications on the GCC countries, which have among the lowest corporate tax rates globally. 
Boxshall pointed out that the impact of new rules on the GCC will depend very much on the details agreed.
"If they remain limited to the largest multinationals, few changes may be needed. In fact, a limited policy could fit with efforts to boost non-oil revenue in the region,"





Source Properties Real Estate consultants are RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Agency) registered.

ORN 342