Real estate expert: boom to continue

BIG 5: The oil boom and petrodollar recycling are creating a strong basis for a new Gulf real estate renaissance capable of withstanding future cyclical downturns, according to Khalid Esbaitah, executive manager and CEO of Al Mazaya Holding.

Khalid Esbaitah: real estate market can survive cyclical downturns.
Khalid Esbaitah: real estate market can survive cyclical downturns.

The oil boom and petrodollar recycling are creating a strong basis for a new Gulf real estate renaissance capable of withstanding future cyclical downturns, according to Khalid Esbaitah, executive manager and CEO of Al Mazaya Holding.

Supported by a growing economy, favourable government measures regarding foreign investments and freehold law, the real estate market in the GCC countries is witnessing a golden age and is expected to gain further momentum in the short to medium-term, added Esbaitah. The GCC countries are fuelled by surplus liquidity and very strong and stable parameters, decreasing the possibility for any forthcoming slump in the future.

Esbaitah said: "We have several positive factors such as the easy access to credit provided by banks to home seekers, the private Middle Eastern funds worth billions of dollars that moved back to the GCC region after the events of 11 September, and the growing population in the GCC states."

Esbaitah added that other factors driving growth in real estate include the increasing shortage of residential and commercial units in the GCC markets, the steady expatriate inflows and the openness of the region to foreign investments.

"The current real estate boom is likely to expand to other neighbouring markets in the Middle East, as we are currently witnessing mega projects being launched in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco, with more projects to be announced in these countries and others in the near future," he said.

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