Developers look to tempt buyers with Cityscape offers as market remains soft

Developers participating in the event include Aldar Properties, Arada, Nakheel, Azizi Developments and Sobha Group

Cityscape Global to get underway in Dubai this week with property developers showcasing their projects. Delores Johnson / The National 
Cityscape Global to get underway in Dubai this week with property developers showcasing their projects. Delores Johnson / The National 

Developers are hoping to incentivise potential buyers at this year’s Cityscape Global exhibition by offering discounts, fee waivers and other deals as the market for property purchases remains soft.

More than 100 companies including developers, consultants and architects will display projects at the three-day event, at Dubai’s World Trade Centre from September 25 until 27.

Developers participating in the event include Aldar Properties, Arada, Nakheel, Azizi Developments and Sobha Group, among others.

“The [Arabian] Gulf’s property market has been facing a tough time over the last year or so, which is down to a number of reasons, but primary among these are the supply-and-demand situation, a slowdown in government spending, a sluggish economy and the knock-on effects on consumer spending,” Ahmed Alkhoshaibi, chief executive of Sharjah’s Arada Developments, told The National.

“However, while some markets appear to be temporarily oversaturated, others are performing well. Sharjah, for instance, saw a higher value of real estate transactions in the first half of 2019 compared with the same period in 2018. While other markets have experienced significant fluctuations in prices, values in Sharjah have remained stable,” he said.

“In Dubai, we have witnessed a number of initiatives that have the potential to reinvigorate the property sector.”

The UAE government has undertaken measures that are seen as positive for real estate, such as issuing long-term visas and easing company ownership rules. In Dubai, the government is looking to assuage supply concerns through the formation of a real estate committee to encourage collaboration between government-related entities and private sector companies.

Real Estate Regulatory Agency will assume responsibility for overseeing escrow accounts held by developers and will also accredit the financial institutions qualified to manage them, according to a law issued earlier this month.

Rera will govern the overall development, brokerage and management of real estate with a view to providing “a secure environment to protect the rights of developers and investors”, the Dubai Media Office said.

The Abu Dhabi government also made changes to laws allowing foreigners to own freehold property in designated zones such as Saadiyat Island. Foreign investors in Abu Dhabi’s real estate market were previously granted leasehold for a maximum time period of 99 years.

“The market is a bit slow, but there is a strong opportunity for investors to invest. There is also optimism on the recovery of the market on the back of Expo 2020,” said Chris Speller, group director of Cityscape.

Aldar is among developers announcing deals, offering a 10 per cent discount on unit prices along with a waiver of service charges, free home maintenance, membership of Yas Island theme parks for 10 years and zero registration fees on 10 different projects in Abu Dhabi.

Nakheel will also offer incentives including low deposits, free Dubai Land Department registration and service charge fee waivers, among others. Arada, Azizi Developments, Tilal Properties and others are also trying to impress buyers with deals.

Dubai home rents and prices are set to continue falling this year and next as more supply enters the market, according to a report by Core Research. Nearly 29,500 units will be delivered in the emirate this year, with around 16,500 units already delivered so far and an additional 13,000 units expected over the remainder of 2019.

Updated: September 26, 2019 05:12 AM

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