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Dubai emerges as a global hub: Knight Frank

Forecasts from the IMF suggest that the UAE’s economy will outperform the likes of the UK, US, Germany, Hong Kong and Singapore over 2015-2020.

Prime home prices in Dubai saw an uplift of 59% over the five years to end-2014.
Prime home prices in Dubai saw an uplift of 59% over the five years to end-2014.

Over the last couple of decades, the growth in financial and business services, trade and logistics, and tourism activity has played an important role in fuelling Dubai’s emergence as a global hub, according to Knight Frank.

In its inaugural The Hub Report 2015, James Lewis, head of Knight Frank Middle East noted: ‘‘Unsurprisingly the impact on real estate has been positive, with higher levels of occupier demand being generated across the office, industrial and hospitality sectors, respectively.

"Moreover the emirate has established itself as a safe, family-friendly and low tax environment – which combined with its connectivity to other global centres – has been attracting the world’s growing population of high-net-worth individuals. Naturally then, demand for luxury residential property has been gathering momentum.”

Looking forward, forecasts from the IMF suggest that the UAE’s economy will outperform the likes of the UK, US, Germany, Hong Kong and Singapore over 2015-2020.

This, alongside the fact that the federation is among the easiest places to do business globally, should help to extend Dubai’s lead as a financial and business services hub in the Middle East. All else equal, this suggests that tenant demand for good quality, Grade A office space will remain healthy in the short to medium-term.

Turning to the industrial property sector, strong growth over the past decade in manufacturing and exports have been important drivers of demand for logistics facilities in and around Dubai, noted the report.

A number of reasons have supported this, including the quality of the UAE’s transport infrastructure (it has been rated as the best in the world by the World Economic Forum) and the emirate’s strategic location between Europe, Africa and the Far East. In fact these factors have been critical in helping Jebel Ali to attain its current position as the busiest port between Singapore and Rotterdam.

Dubai continues to make strides as a tourist destination and an air travel hub. Visitors to Dubai are staying longer to enjoy the city’s attractions, with the average length of stay rising from 2.6 nights in 2004 to 3.8 nights in 2014. 

Meanwhile in the residential sector, prime home prices in Dubai saw an uplift of 59% over the five years to end-2014, a better performance than London (52%), New York (47%), Hong Kong (31%), Paris (18%), Singapore (7%) and Sydney (2%).
 

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