Dubai's real estate market continues to serve as a key driver for the growth of various sectors and economic activities in the emirate, with the sector recording 84,772 transactions representing a value of AED300 billion in 2021, according to the annual transaction report issued by the Dubai Land Department (DLD). Guided by the leadership’s directives and strengthened by the government’s economic stimulus packages and the emirate’s hosting of Expo 2020 Dubai, the sector was able to achieve a high volume of transactions last year. Additionally, the strong fundamentals and attractiveness of Dubai’s real estate market and flexible and transparent procedures continued to draw investors from around the world.
The report revealed a 65% growth in the number of transactions and a 71% increase in value compared to 2020. A total of 52,415 investors concluded 72,207 new investments in 2021 worth AED148 billion representing a 73.7% growth in the number of investments, a 65.6% rise in the number of investors, and a 100% increase in the value of investments compared to 2020. Reflecting the sector’s ability to achieve progress despite the current exceptional circumstances, the results further reinforce its leading regional and global position.
Commenting on the results, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, said: “The directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai the world’s best city to live and work has served as a key driver in increasing its attractiveness as a global investment destination.
“Dubai’s robust infrastructure, flexible legislations that have kept pace with evolving market conditions, and its safe environment have all contributed to deepening investment confidence in its real estate sector. The rise in investments and the increasing interest shown by global investors in Dubai is testament to the effectiveness of the emirate’s strategic economic initiatives that have sought to strengthen its leadership in various sectors and enhance its global rankings in development indicators. Dubai has a clear vision for the future, and its partnership with the global investment community continues to be vital to its ability to accelerate growth and meet its ambitious goals for the future,” His Highness said.
HE Sultan Butti bin Mejren, Director-General of DLD, said: “Dubai's real estate sector has once again proven its resilience, attractiveness and ability to achieve sustainable growth even during the exceptional circumstances being witnessed globally. The results highlighted in the report bode well for the future as the country ushers in another 50 years of economic development. The real estate sector represents a major catalyst for the growth of various other sectors.
Bin Mejren added that the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and the follow up of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum have contributed to strengthening the capabilities of Dubai’s real estate sector and establishing it as the preferred destination for investors both regionally and globally and among the world’s the best cities to live and work.
“We are committed to continue working to achieve our strategic objectives in 2022 to becoming regional and global leaders in the real estate market as well as providing exceptional integrated services to all customers in the sector. We will also continue to develop legislations that will help regulate, encourage and manage investments in the real estate sector, in addition to enhancing knowledge of the real estate culture in the emirate.
Distribution of new investments
The report revealed that there were 6,897 investors from the GCC that registered 8,826 investments worth over AED16.88 billion.
A total of 6,097 Arab investors recorded 7,538 investments, with a value exceeding AED12.4 billion. Dubai’s real estate sector also attracted 38,318 foreign investors, who concluded 51,553 new investments worth over AED99 billion.
DLD's statistics also revealed that 17,705 women registered 22,165 investments worth over AED38.4 billion in 2021, a 72% increase compared to 2020. The results indicate that businesswomen have great confidence in Dubai's real estate market.
The Dubai Marina area saw the highest number of transactions, with 7,968 transactions, followed by Business Bay (5,687), Al Thanyah Fifth (5,092), Al Barsha South Fourth (4,813), Hadaeq Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid (4,352), Burj Khalifa (4,279), Wadi Al Safa 5 (3,536), Al Hebiah Fourth (3,261), Al Merkadh (3,150), and Palm Jumeirah (2,803).
Dubai Marina also saw the highest value of transactions with over AED28.6 billion, followed by Palm Jumeirah (AED26.6 billion), Hadaeq Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid (AED15.8 billion), Burj Khalifa (AED14.2 billion), Business Bay (AED13.19 billion), Al Thanyah Fifth (AED8.19 billion). Wadi Al Safa 5 (AED8 billion), Al Yufrah 1 (AED7.3 billion), Al Thanyah Fourth (AED7.2 billion), and Al Hebiah Fourth (AED7.19 billion).
The highest number of real estate mortgages were also recorded in the Dubai Marina area (1,440), followed by Hadaeq Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid (1,046), Al Thanyah Fifth (1,015), Burj Khalifa (922), Al Barsha South Fourth (875), Nad Al Sheba 3 (864), Al Yelayiss 2 (717), Al Thanyah Fourth (675), Me’aisem First (655), and Palm Jumeirah (618).
Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marina topped the list of areas in terms of the value of mortgages with over AED10.39 billion and AED10 billion respectively, followed by Al Yufrah 1 (AED 6.49 billion), Warsan 2 (AED4.7 billion), Business Bay (AED4.55 billion), Al Barsha South Fourth (AED3.4 billion), Burj Khalifa (AED3.4 billion), Al Wasl (AED3 billion), Al Thanyah Fifth (AED2.9 billion), and Al Thanyah Fourth (AED2.6 billion). The mortgage data reflects the confidence of Dubai’s national and foreign banking sector in the emirate's real estate market, which contributes to the availability of liquidity and cash flows as well as financing solutions offered by banks to encourage investment in Dubai's real estate sector.
Real estate brokers
The report also revealed that 3,171 new brokers entered the market, increasing the total number of registered real estate brokers to 8,002. According to the report, 2,715 brokers in Dubai's real estate market are women. A total of 1,421 brokerage offices were registered in the emirate.
The value of real estate brokers' commissions in Dubai's real estate market in 2021 exceeded AED3 billion through 12,067 transactions. Ten new real estate valuators entered the market, increasing the total to 71 valuators registered with DLD, and two new valuation offices entered the market, increasing the total to 38.
A total of 35 real estate projects with a value exceeding AED11 billion were completed in 2021 and 319 projects are in progress. Additionally, 602,714 Ejari contracts were registered in 2021, of which 315,222 were new contracts. A total of 6,168 real estate permits were also issued last year.
Furthermore, 49,790 real estate units were registered in 2021. A total of 41,020 units were sold, with a value exceeding AED68.5 billion, while 8,030 villas worth over AED18.2 billion were sold.
Three new real estate service trustee offices were registered in 2021, bringing the total number to 13, while the total number of real estate registration trustee offices remained at 13.
Real estate licenses
In 2021, DLD issued 4,230 real estate licenses. They were distributed by activity as follows: brokerage in the sale and purchase of properties (1,229), follow-up services (1,173), brokerage in rental properties (890), administrative supervision services for properties (262), purchase and sale of land and properties (159), private real estate rental and management services (128), real estate development (107), commercial complex (91), administrative supervision services for jointly owned property management companies (70), real estate mortgage broker (42) licenses, and shopping centres and malls (33).
The remainder of the licenses were granted for other commercial activities, such as real estate rental and management services for third parties, real estate valuation services, real estate representation office, and real estate survey services, among others.