Sobha Realty targets $1.6bn in sales this year as Dubai property market rebounds

Dubai is currently one of the most sought-after real estate destinations in the world, firm's chief executive says

Sobha Realty is developing a new project named Hartland Sanctuary that will have 9,000 units including apartments and villas in Dubai. Pawan Singh/The National
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Dubai developer Sobha Realty is bullish on the UAE property market and is targeting $1.6 billion in sales this year as the country's economy continues to recover from the pandemic.

The company's sales forecast is 60 per cent higher than 2021, Francis Alfred, chief executive and managing director of Sobha Realty, told The National.

“We have put in a high target because we are considering the market growth and the opportunities for a company like Sobha,” he said.

The developer is currently constructing the $4bn Sobha Hartland project with 9,000 units near Mohammed bin Rashid City. It plans to begin work on another development, also valued at $4bn, in the third quarter of this year due to growing investor demand.

The new project, named Hartland Sanctuary, will also have 9,000 units including apartments and villas, and will cover an area spanning 11 million square feet at MBR City, Mr Alfred said.

“We have always maintained our quality, whether it is good times [or] bad times. There is a very good reception for [our] products … in this market,” he said.

The UAE’s property market is recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic on the back of new government initiatives such as residency permits for those who have retired and remote workers in addition to the expansion of the 10-year golden visa programme.

Measures to contain the spread of the virus, such as the UAE's effective vaccination programme, have also helped the property market recover.

Many foreign residents have invested in property locally, with the aim of settling in the Emirates.

“Dubai has done so well post-pandemic. It is probably one of the most sought-after real estate destinations in the world,” said Mr Alfred.

“Investors from different parts of the world have been coming in and we strongly believe [that] with the kind of the government initiatives [coming up] including recent [ones such as] the weekend shift … this [momentum] should continue.”

Dubai, the trade and tourism hub of the Middle East, registered 61,241 sales transactions last year, with values up 110 per cent annually to Dh151.07bn ($41.13bn), making 2021 the best year for total transactions since 2013 and the highest in value since 2009, Property Finder reported.

“We believe the momentum should continue, the government initiatives have been definitely promoting the market growth,” Mr Alfred said.

Luxury home prices in Dubai surged 44 per cent in 2021, helping the emirate rank first in Knight Frank’s Prime International Residential Index 100 rankings, which analyses prime property price performance in 100 cities and second-home markets worldwide.

“The relentless demand from the world’s wealthy has fuelled a spectacular turnaround in the fortunes of Dubai’s residential market, with the decisive handling of Covid-19 by the authorities attracting the attention of global investors,” said Faisal Durrani, partner and head of Middle East Research at Knight Frank.

PNC Menon, founder and chairman of Sobha Realty. Pawan Singh/The National

Sobha expects to hand over 2,000 units to its customers this year, taking the total number of handovers at the Sobha Hartland development to 3,000. The project is expected to be complete by 2026.

UAE residents, as well as investors from the GCC, India, Russia, China and Africa have been buying units at Sobha Hartland, Mr Alfred said.

“Dubai has been attracting a lot of investors, high net worth investors and individuals who are ready to put their money in good quality and luxury investment.”

Sobha develops properties across India, Oman and the UAE. Last year, its senior executives also revealed that the developer is exploring new opportunities in Saudi Arabia, the Arab world’s largest economy, as well as in the UK.

Updated: March 06, 2022, 6:14 AM