How will Expo 2020 Dubai impact the local real estate market and shape future trends?

Since the announcement of Expo 2020, there has been an increase of residential and commercial development at the site. New shopping centres, hotels and over 400 restaurants as well as luxury housing and cycling paths, will be completed prior to the highly anticipated event.

According to a recent Ernst & Young report, titled ‘The economic impact of Expo 2020 Dubai’, the event is estimated to bring in Dhs122bn to the overall UAE economy. While that will largely be made up of the tourism, hospitality and F&B industries, there has been a noticeable uptick in demand for rented apartments as a projected increase of visitors are expected to gather in Dubai. It is the perfect opportunity for landowners and investors who are on the lookout for a strong market for their properties.

 Despite the recent challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic the ‘UAE & MENA Real Estate Report’, which was produced by Informa Markets in 2021 found that 74 per cent of respondents are anticipating a recovery for the MENA region’s real estate industry within one to two years since 2020. A key proponent of this growth is regional mega-events such as Expo 2020.
Developers need to understand the changing demands of potential investors and organisations especially with Expo 2020 ready to open its doors to potentially hundreds of new businesses. Offering value for money for either larger units or high-end facilities, which will be key to attracting buyers. Commercial real estate developers will need to offer flexible areas for investors to create the perfect space for their business as opposed to pre-structured floorspace.
We are already seeing the implementation of these changes firsthand. Developers are focusing on adding high-end facilities such as gyms to established living spaces. Environmentally friendly buildings are also in the making. In addition, developers have been eager to start constructing new apartments and villas. The interest rates have been lower than usual, just like the property prices and mortgage rates, making them extremely attractive to those looking to buy in the market.

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