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UAE: 61% of top earners are eyeing global property

Over 60% of UAE high-net-worth individuals intend to invest in global real estate in 2016, with London and New York topping the list of destinations, according to Cluttons

London and New York (pictured above) topped the list of preferred international investment destinations for high-net-worth individuals in the UAE.
London and New York (pictured above) topped the list of preferred international investment destinations for high-net-worth individuals in the UAE.

Over half of the UAE’s high-net-worth individuals intend to invest in global real estate during 2016, according to a survey conducted by real estate consultancy, Cluttons.

London and New York topped the list of international investment destinations, whilst Dubai led the pack in the Middle East.

Cluttons’ 2015 Middle East Private Capital Survey, which was conducted in conjunction with YouGov, found that 61% of high-net-worth individuals will most likely invest in their “top target city” before the end of the year.

Commenting on the results, Steven Morgan, chief executive of Cluttons Middle East, said: “The strength of the US dollar, to which the UAE retains a fixed peg, has certainly contributed to the strong appetite for global property investments, particularly in the face of mute local and international economic conditions, which have been traditional triggers for capital flight to perceived investment safe havens.

“With investment safety at front of mind for [high-net-worth individuals], London is just ahead of New York as the most preferred city for investment,” he continued. “However, our survey shows that New York appears more frequently in investors’ top three preferred cities for investment in 2016.”

London has been an investment destination for Gulf buyers for many years; a trend that the Cluttons report predicts will continue, with growth of average residential property prices expected to reach the 2.5% to 3% mark for prime city-centre locations in 2016.

The consultancy’s data also shows that, whilst residential property remains the most attractive investment asset for the UAE’s high-net-worth individuals, interest in commercial property remains strong, with 22% of respondents indicating a preference for offices as an investment class.

The Cluttons report, which was carried out in partnership with YouGov, investigated the investment trends and behaviours of high-net-worth individuals across the GCC, who either have made or intend to make an investment of $1m or more in international property.

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