Dubai’s EXPO2020 boost - the story so far

Sunday, February 16, 2014

 

The residential sector

When news broke of Dubai’s successful bid to host EXPO2020, the city exploded with joy, quite literally, as fireworks blasted from the Burj Khalifa and car horns could be heard blaring in the streets.

 

Among those cheering the loudest were almost certainly landlords who own property in the city and developers of residential construction projects nearing completion - in anticipation of a big payday in terms of rent increases and boosted purchase prices.

 

After the initial euphoria, it seems likely that the Expo win is almost certainly a factor in the huge leaps in rental and sale prices of residential properties. As end of year figures stacked up in early January, it was obvious that the days of bonanza Dubai property price increases had well and truly returned. Although there is a sense of caution from many that the Emirate must act to avoid a repeat of the property bubble.

 

It also seems likely that the Expo has contributed to the fact that the amount of residential units completed in the Emirate in 2014 will be triple to what it was in 2013 – with 28,000 compared to 9,700 according to Jones Lang LaSalle.

Commercial

Jones Lang LaSalle also stated that Dubai’s residential property sector has recovered but the commercial sector is still lagging behind. However, reports this month have suggested that the Expo will create 200,000 new jobs in the UAE, many of them temporary, but many in the white collar sector. The rise in the number of jobs is likely to mean an increased need for commercial space.

 

An indication of how much faith the commercial sector is putting in the Expo is the naming of the Burj 2020 - the world’s tallest commercial tower - which was announced soon after news of the successful bid broke. Construction is due to start on the tower in 2015 with the project due for completion by 2020.

Retail

It is hard to imagine how there could be more investment in Dubai’s already thriving retail sector, such is the high concentration of luxury shopping malls, but, development appears to be steadily continuing. An extension to The Dubai Mall is well under way, and, the Mall of the Emirates announced its own extension in June 2013.

 

While both developments would have almost certainly gone ahead with or without the Expo win, it seems likely that the news of the win will have developers working faster to fulfill their contracts so that they can move on to the next lucrative project. It was announced this month that Dubai-based contractor Drake & Scull had been awarded a contract to work on the MOE development.

 

Other retail projects continue to be revealed, including one by property conglomerate RP Group, of apartments and a retail precinct, and, another by Al Barari developers the Zaal family, who announced revitalised plans for an organic-themed residential and shopping district.

 

 

Infrastructure development

The Dubai Tram project, delayed because of the financial crisis, looks likely to be completed this year with reports that the vehicles are currently being tested appearing on an almost weekly basis. The tram will serve the Marina end of Dubai with many residents hoping its use will ease traffic in the area, particularly in the JBR district.

 

News broke earlier this month that the Dubai Metro will be expanded from 47 to 70 stations by 2020, with both the red and green lines to be substantially extended. When complete, the total length of the two lines combined will be 110 km.



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