Transformation of Dubai property market | AX Capital

Transformation of Dubai property market

Over a decade ago the Dubai property market faced its toughest challenges which started late 2008. The market has since undergone a major transformation as it continues to mature and develop in line with the city’s growth and sustainability agenda powered by the government.

One of the major highlights is the growth of the Real Estate Regulatory Agency [RERA], which has achieved a great deal since its inception in 2007 in developing a regulatory framework that seeks to protect real estate investors and end users, restoring confidence in the market.

Consumer protection measures introduced through legislation, most importantly the introduction of mandatory escrow accounts for developers selling off-plan projects and the introduction of the interim real estate register [Oqood] is also a boost to the Dubai real estate market.


A rental index was introduced in 2013 for landlord and tenant matters.

Witnessing the growth of the Dubai real estate market first-hand is so tremendous as a young and emerging market with only 445 deals in January of 2008. One of the Dubai’s real estate market biggest strides is how it reacted to the downturn following 2008; it’s a huge challenge regulating a market from scratch compared to developed countries.

The major achievements of the Dubai real estate market between 2008 and today can be classified into market maturity, regulatory framework, and youth-driven investments.

The market has come a long way since international freehold ownership was first introduced in 2002. The emirate has not only managed to return to growth after the impact of downturn Transformation of Dubai property market but has evolved despite ongoing headwinds worldwide.

Today, there is increased transparency in the market, a more diversified economy, lower dependency on oil and an increased number of real estate investment trusts.


There is the emergence of a number of new real estate market trends in Dubai, such as a shift in sales demand from high-end luxury to affordable mid-market properties; price point rate per sq. ft. driving demand, resulting in smaller units being launched; increase in end-user and first-time buyers; and a tenant/investor-driven market.

Research has shown that there is a direct relationship between the transparency of real estate markets and the level of investment they attract, as well as the number of initiatives that have been launched to improve transparency and the quality of information available to investors.