Dubai governance shake-up positive for investment

15/08/2012 - Dubai Investment News Posted by Neil King
Dubai governance shake-up positive for investment

Dubai is in the midst of a major corporate governance overhaul at its state-owned entities, which could have a hugely positive impact on investment in the region.At the centre of the shakeup is Dubai Holding's hotel operation the Jumeirah Group. However, the changes being pushed through - including the appointment of former Virgin Group chief executive officer Stephen Murphy at the hotel operator - are likely to have a far-reaching impact on the emirate's property sector, which is in need of continued investment.Dubai has seen its property market contract in recent years, but strong tourism figures have kept many investors' capital performing well. In fact, in the first half of this year, hotel occupancy rates leapt by 79 per cent when compared to figures from 2011.A report from Jones Lang Lasalle showed that before the end of the year, some 4,500 new beds will be added to Dubai's holiday property stock. By 2014 this figure will have climbed by 11,000. As a result total capacity in the emirate will be far higher that the 54,300 beds available at present.Rising revenue per available room will also be music to investors ears, with Jones Lang Lasalle noting that room rates climbed by 13 per cent during the same period - reaching $212 (£135).However, a word of warning to investors was recently issued by EFG Hermes analyst Jan Pawel Hasman, who claimed that strong real estate performance from a handful of property specialists does not mean the property market doesn't have a long way to go.Matthew Green, head of research at CBRE, disagreed, however, suggesting that the bottom of Dubai's property market was well behind investors."For prime real estate in Dubai we are well past the bottom as there are not a lot of high-end properties coming online, but we are not expecting exponential growth going forward," Mr Green noted.He claimed that the reason for this was primarily that many investors were being cautious with their capital in light of the slump in Dubai's property market following the credit crunch.