2018 has proven another remarkable period in Dubai’s development. In the final report of our two-part series, we look at the significant milestones that shaped the second half of the year
Expat professionals rate Dubai one of world’s ‘most-appealing destinations’: Dubai is named the world’s sixth most-popular destination for expat professionals seeking new career opportunities. The ‘Decoding Global Talent 2018’ report, published by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in conjunction with The Network, ranks Dubai five places higher than in 2017. In total, 12 percent of 366,000 survey respondents from 197 countries worldwide cite the emirate as their preferred destination.
First-half property transactions valued at $30.2 billion: The total value of real estate transactions in Dubai reaches AED111 billion (US$30.2 billion) in the first half of 2018, marking another milestone for the emirate’s property sector. According to Dubai Land Department (DLD) data, 27,642 properties are sold during the six months to June, with 18,191 sales worth about AED40 billion (US$10.9 billion), 7,668 mortgage transactions valued at AED57.6 billion, and 1,783 other transactions valued at AED13.4 billion. In terms of buyer demographics, 3,700 investors from across the GCC are responsible for 4,919 transactions worth AED11.6 billion; 2,094 investors from 16 Arab countries made 2,561 transactions worth AED4.1 billion; while 9,935 nationals from 143 other countries worldwide made 11,889 transactions worth AED21 billion.
Dubai named region’s ‘most transparent’ real estate market: Dubai is once again declared the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s most transparent real estate market in JLL’s respected Global Real Estate Transparency Index (GRETI). The report, which ranks the world’s top 100 real estate markets, cites a raft of new government initiatives designed to bolster investor confidence in the market, particularly in terms of digital transformation services that make property transactions simpler and more efficient. In terms of global rankings, Dubai moved up eight places from 48th to 40th, putting it in the same bracket as established markets including Mexico (39), Russia (38) and China (33).
Middle East’s largest Chinatown confirmed for Dubai: Dubai’s bid to lure a greater number of visitors from China will take a major step forward with news the city will build the region’s largest Chinatown within the retail district of Dubai Creek Harbour.The new China-themed destination will be located at the heart of the Creek-side mega development, which will also be home to Dubai’s new tallest skyscraper, Dubai Creek Tower.The launch of the development coincides with the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the UAE.
Dubai sets new record for tourism arrivals in the first half of 2018: Dubai welcomed a record 8.1 million international overnight tourists in the first six months of 2018, buoyed by growth in arrivals from its top three feeder markets – India, Saudi Arabia and the UK. Russia, China and Western Europe also contribute to the growth of the emirate’s tourism sector, which at the end of 2017 was worth AED109 billion (US$29.68 billion) annually, according to Dubai Tourism. India delivered the highest number of international guests, once again crossing the one-million-mark over a six-month period and up three percent year-on-year.
Massive new marina project confirmed for Dubai Creek: Emaar, the developer of Dubai Creek Harbour, one of the biggest infrastructure projects underway in Dubai, reveals the precinct will house the city’s newest large-scale marina. Known as Creek Marina, the site will be designed in the shape of an oyster and house more than 80 single- and double-berths. It will feature a dedicated world-class yacht club with an array of shopping and dining outlets. Other facilities will include a selection of high-end retail, dining and leisure venues with a promenade featuring cafés, restaurants, fashion outlets and street-food vendors.
Expo 2020 Dubai boosts Gulf’s hospitality sector: A new report by Alpen Capital reveals Expo 2020 Dubai will deliver strong growth for the GCC’s hospitality sector over the next four years. Recovering oil prices will also drive industry momentum, delivering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.2 percent, from an estimated US$22.9 billion in 2017 to $32.5 billion in 2022, the report says.
DWC reports 26% increase in passenger traffic in third quarter: Dubai World Central, Dubai’s second international airport, reports a 26% rise in third-quarter passenger traffic compared to the same period in 2017. DWC welcomed 119,000 passengers during the period bringing the total number for 2018 to 637,176. The airport’s top two passenger source markets were Western Europe (40,349 passengers) and Eastern Europe (38,740). Top destination cities were Beirut (20,566 passengers), Amman (16,216), and Katowice (10,247) respectively.
Dubai Q3 property transactions total $4.6bn: More than $4.6 billion-worth of property transactions are recorded in Dubai in the third-quarter of 2018, up from $3.29 billion the previous quarter, according to a report published by international real estate broker, Luxhabitat. More than 6,300 properties are purchased during the period, with 80% of the total number being apartments, the company reports.Furthermore, 60% of all properties sold in Q3 are located in off-plan projects in areas including Port de La Mer and Madinat Jumeirah.
DXB declared one of the world’s ‘best-connected airports’: Dubai International Airport (DXB), the world’s busiest air hub for international passenger traffic, is named the 18thmost internationally-connected airport on the planet, according to the OAG Megahubs International Index 2018.It has moved up two places since 2017 when it was ranked 20thon the list of top 50 International Megahubs. DXB scored 194 on the connectivity index compared to 183 in 2017 and its home carrier, Emirates, was named the dominant airline, operating 45% of all flights out of the airport. DXB is already the world’s busiest airport for international passenger traffic, with 88.2 million people using the facility in 2017 and 90.3 million anticipated in 2018. It is in the middle of a AED28.8 billion (US$7.84 billion) expansion programme known as DXB Plus, which aims to expand the airport’s annual capacity to 118 million through process improvements and the use of new technology.
Dubai business optimism hits six-year high: Business optimism in Dubai reaches its highest level since 2012, according to Emirates NBD’s Dubai Economy Tracker Index.The city’s construction output also rises, according to the report, which analyses operating conditions in the emirate’s non-oil private-sector economy. “Firms in Dubai were the most optimistic than they have been since at least 2012, with nearly 77 per cent of respondents expecting their output to be higher in a year’s time,” comments Khatija Haque, the head of Middle East and North Africa research at Emirates NBD.
UAE named 11th ‘easiest place to do business’:The UAE rose a remarkable 10 places to rank 11th overall in the World Bank’s 2018 Ease of Doing Business report. The report, which assesses countries based on the openness of their economies and the ease in which companies can do business, ranked 190 nations worldwide in 2018. The UAE’s all-time ranking makes it the first country in the region to crack the top 20 in the annual report. The next best-placed country in the Middle East and North Africa was Morocco, which ranked 60th, ahead of Bahrain (62nd), Oman (78th), Saudi Arabia (92nd) and Kuwait (97th).
Dubai named world’s top ‘Construction Mega City’: Dubai is named the world’s ‘top city for construction projects’ in the ‘50 Construction Mega Cities’ report compiled by GlobalData. The report estimates Dubai’s construction pipeline to be worth more than $374 billion.The emirate beat London, which currently has $328.7 billion-worth of projects planned or under construction, to top spot in in the report. Moscow ranked third, with $191.5 billion-worth of projects. Dubai accounts for almost 14% of the $4.2 trillion-worth of construction projects currently underway in the world’s top 50 cities, according to GlobalData.
Dubai marks major population milestone: Dubai’s emergence as the Middle East’s first global city is bolstered by the news the emirate’s permanent resident population has crossed the three million mark. Dubai’s population has risen 232,400 – or 7.7% since Q3, 2017 – with the latest figure reported by the Dubai Statistics Centre (DSC) totalling 3,136,400.