Where to buy property in Dubai as prices start to fall

With apartment prices in Dubai falling, which area is best for buyer to invest? JVC, Sports City or Remraam? Mario Volpi advises.
There is ongoing construction in Dubai Sports City. Sarah Dea / The National
There is ongoing construction in Dubai Sports City. Sarah Dea / The National

I see the sales prices on apartments in Dubai are falling now. Are they going to continue to fall? We are thinking of purchasing something as a starter home. I have been looking around several different neighbourhoods including Motor City, JVC, Sports City and even had a look at Remraam. Remraam seems very affordable, though the apartments are quite small. What is your opinion on this community? Are there other places I should also consider looking? AM, Dubai

All the areas you have mentioned are up and coming - especially JVC, Sports City and Remraam. Looking especially at Remraam, the one thing I can say is that at present there is little around in terms of amenities and facilities as this area is still very much developing. Having said that, this is the reason why the prices are cheaper. There is a lot of developing going on near/around the Umm Sequiem Road and ultimately, this in time, will be a thriving location as it is designed to cater for families and young professionals especially with the likes of Akoya, Arabian Ranches 2, Mudon and Sustainable City etc all under construction.

The real question is, if you can afford a bit more, then perhaps choosing more established areas such as Motor City or some parts of JVC and Sports City might be a better option. If you can handle living n or near a building site, then you can reap the future rewards of capital appreciation if you stick with Remraam.

In any case, always look for what facilities and amenities are being put in place with all these developments and if there is no transport infrastructure, you have to ensure good road connectivity which there is in the locations described, given that the Mall of the Emirates is only a 15 to 20 minute car ride away.

In any of these locations, I am positive that the investment will be assured in terms of capital appreciation in the longer term especially with what Dubai has to look forward to in the near future.

My landlord is not communicating with regards to either vacating the premises or having an increase in rent. I’ve already been to the real estate agency several times and they say the landlord is not replying to their emails or calls either. My contract expires this month and I would like to know what I can do? PL, Dubai

This, believe it or not, is a fairly common problem that some tenants face from time to time. Do not worry as there are two possible solutions:

1. Write out the rental cheques owed, in the name of the landlord for the same rental amount(s) as the previous year. The reason for the same amounts is due to the fact that the landlord (presumably) has not informed you of any changes to the contract giving the statutory 90 days’ notice prior to the expiration of the contract. Go and lodge these cheques at Dubai Municipality. They will also help you to organise the Ejari contract. They will inform the landlord that they are in receipt of the cheques and he will have to come and collect them from the municipality.

2. Repeat the issuing of the cheques, only this time lodge them with the agents.

Of the two options, it is better that you go for option 1 as this will add more weight to your case and the landlord will have no comeback whatsoever. The law states that a tenancy contract automatically renews at the same rate as before unless there is a 90 day notification of any changes which in your case there is not.

I’m a landlord of an apartment in the Greens. Last year (2014) our tenant signed a one-year tenancy contract and we served the tenant with a notarised notice to vacate the apartment after the 12 months. Do I have to send another notice three months before the contract expires? Or does the notarised notice suffice? ZD, Dubai

When sending a 12-month notification notice to a tenant to vacate a property there has to be specific reasons attached. You do not mention this in your email so it is hard for me to comment further. If you just want them to stay for one year, this is not allowed as the tenant has every right to extend the tenancy beyond one year. If the notification is justified under certain provisions then there is no need to send another notification to vacate three months before the contract expires.

Mario Volpi is the managing director of Ocean View real estate and has worked in the industry in the emirate and in London for the last 30 years. Send any questions to mario@oceanviewdubai.com

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only. Readers are encouraged to seek appropriate independent legal advice

Published: December 31, 2014 04:00 AM


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