Dubai and Abu Dhabi top the world in improving real estate transparency, report says

UAE is followed by France, the Netherlands, the US, Germany and India, JLL says

The UAE property market posted strong growth in 2021, with a similar trend continuing into this year as the country's economy recovers. Reuters
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Dubai has ranked first in the world for improving real estate transparency in the 2020-2022 period, followed by Abu Dhabi, France, the Netherlands, the US, Germany and India, a report has shown.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi have benefited from the concerted efforts of the UAE government towards increasing real estate industry transparency, the Global Real Estate Transparency Index report, released by advisory company JLL International and Chicago-based investment manager LaSalle, showed.

Dubai government initiatives have led to enhanced digital services and data provision, such as service charge management, automated valuations and transactions databases through the Dubai Rest platform, the report said.

Abu Dhabi is expanding its digital services through a dedicated platform, which includes sales and lease management as well as development and transaction databases, it added.

The report, which measured transparency in 156 cities in 94 countries, is an important tool in international real estate investment decisions for investors, developers and individuals.

“Our 2022 index comes at a time of heightened uncertainty and rapid change across the industry, economy and society,” said Richard Bloxam, chief executive of capital markets at JLL.

“Geopolitical conflict, the climate emergency and wide-scale changes in how we live and work, together with mounting economic pressures, mean that the steady improvement that we have seen in global transparency over the past 20 years cannot be taken for granted.”

The highly transparent markets are forging ahead on the back of technology adoption, climate action, capital markets diversification and regulatory change, the report said.

The UAE property market posted strong growth in 2021, with a similar trend continuing into this year as the country's economy recovers.

Economic support measures and 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 — also helped to improve market sentiment.

Abu Dhabi recorded 3,304 real estate deals worth Dh11.3 billion ($3bn) in the first quarter of this year, the emirate’s Department of Municipalities and Transport said.

Residential property prices in Abu Dhabi increased 1.5 per cent in the 12 months to March, a report by property consultancy CBRE showed.

The Department of Municipalities and Transport also released its first code of ethics covering real estate professionals in 2021.

The emirate’s improved position in the index can be attributed to the “expansion of digital services including sales and lease management, development, transaction databases and many more”, Abu Dhabi Government Media Office said in a statement on Friday.

“This report reflects the department's efforts to achieve sustainable and balanced growth in the real estate sector. Additionally, it advances the leadership's vision of making Abu Dhabi one of the world's top investment destinations,” said Adeeb Al Afifi, executive director of the department's real estate sector.

“Residents and guests of the emirate will benefit from enhanced stability and liveability by developing communities with integrated services and infrastructure.”

Updated: July 15, 2022, 8:09 PM