• Celebrate Diwali with Al-Futtaim IKEA’s AROMATISK collection

    Yes, it’s that time of the year. It’s time for celebrations, good times, fun, love, peace and simply enjoying every second of life. At Al-Futtaim IKEA, we’re adding to the celebrations with a new collection called AROMATISK. This is a colourful and inspiring range of home accessories. Designed to make your home even cozier and the celebrations even better. That’s something to celebrate, too! The new AROMATISK collection is designed to add not just a good vibe but also a touch of mystique.

    Inspired by the streets of India

    We have worked with designer Luna Gil. As a textile designer, it felt natural to include India’s deep-rooted traditional crafts like edge embroidery, block printing and indigo dyeing when I created the patterns for the AROMATISK collection.

    Give your home a special glow

    Light up a dark corner with this magical lantern that works as ambience-enhancement for your home. Once lit, warm light from the candle shine beautifully through the pattern creating shadows and textures.


    Since the marigold is part of all the decorations created for the Diwali festival of lights, it was given a leading role along with bold colours and organic shapes. We hope that the collection will inspire and evoke a desire to decorate your home.

  • Ru’ya, Careers UAE Redefined kicks off tomorrow at DWTC to inspire and empower Emirati youth

    Ru’ya, Careers UAE Redefined kicks off tomorrow at DWTC to inspire and empower Emirati youth

    19 September 2022 – Dubai, UAE: The much-anticipated Ru’ya, Careers UAE Redefined 2022,  is set to kick off tomorrow (Tuesday, 20th September) at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC). Featuring over 100 exhibitors looking to connect with Emirati youth.

    The three-day event will be held at Sheikh Saeed Halls 1, 2 and 3 until Thursday, 22nd September, and will welcome thousands of Emirati visitors from 10am to 6pm.  Ru’ya’s exciting agenda includes a series of stirring discussions, live performances, interactive workshops, competitions, and other great immersive experiences including ‘Project You’, which offers attendees a series of workshops to learn and upscale their skillset; ‘Top Coder in collaboration with AstroLabs Digital Academy’, a three-day immersive coding boot camp; and ‘Upcycle and Design,’ a sustainability focussed competition in partnership with Ikea.

    Experts from LinkedIn will also be on-hand to empower UAE youths with career development skills, such as how to improve their CVs and job interview tips. Each activity will be run by a key organisation or talented and brave Emirati youth who stood-out from the norm and created their own career path.

    The confirmed exhibitors’ portfolio includes elite organisations such as Emirates Group, Emirates NBD, Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA), Emaar Properties, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Accenture Middle East BV, along with many other prominent companies.

    Ru’ya 2022 will be held under the theme ‘Be’ and will encourage Emiratis to be ‘anything and everything’, empowering them to be in control of their future by discovering new career paths, uncovering bold new business ideas and exploring the unconventional and unchartered.

  • UAE weather: ‘This is not a dust or sandstorm’. Here’s why

    UAE weather: ‘This is not a dust or sandstorm’. Here’s why

    Residents have been waking up to a country enveloped in a haze of dust for two days, severely lowing visibility, causing disruptions to flight operations and leading to slow moving traffic

    Officials at the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) explained to Khaleej Times that what the UAE witnessed was neither a dust storm nor a sandstorm.

    “What happened in the UAE is not a dust or sandstorm. At NCM we don’t call this a storm. This is dust suspension,” says Dr Ahmed Habib from the NCM.

    Dr Habib says, “This dust suspension comes from the South and South-east of the country. There is low pressure in the South associated with fresh and strong winds in the South-east of the UAE…between the UAE and Oman. So, a sandstorm has occurred there, not here.”

    “The wind direction blew the sand to our country over the UAE leading to a loss in visibility. But there is no fresh wind here. The dusty air mass from their area moved to our area. So, here we actually didn’t witness the occurrence of either dust or sandstorm.”

    Both are different phenomena, though both are made up of soil particles. Sandstorms mainly constitute sand particles with a local impact, as gravity does not allow sand particles to be displaced a great distance.

    But dust particles are different since they are made up of silt and clay, which form natural colloidal and nanoparticles. The dust particles’ impact can apparently spread far wider, sometimes even across continents.

    Dr Habib highlights another key difference: “Wind speed in sandstorm is less than the wind speed in dust storm. Therefore, dust storm has accelerated wind speed.”

    Shedding light on the varying low visibilities that the country experienced, he adds, “Some areas in the North had a visibility less than 100 or 200m. One weather station recorded a visibility of about 400 metres, and another station in the south-east of the UAE recorded a visibility of 100m.”

    Dr Habib explains, “There are two kinds of weather stations in the UAE. One is a human weather station and the other one is an automated weather station (AWS).”

    “AWS uses special instruments to measure the surface weather observations and calculations are done accordingly. Conversely, we have human observers. They for example will stand at the station (point A) and observe a standing object (point B) that is posted at a specific distance from the station, knowing exactly the distance from point A to point B. If that object or tower is visible or not visible depending on the situation, the visibility is then calibrated in the traditional way by a human.”

    Dr Habib says the dust particles in the upper air are already settling down.

    “Dust suspension coming from South of the UAE has stayed over our area for quite some time. But now it is gradually settling down. From Monday (this) afternoon this will relatively get better. Then again after Wednesday, low pressure is expected in the south of the UAE and this kind of weather is anticipated again towards the end of week, in the southern and the eastern parts of the country.”

  • RTA issues 38,000 permits for e-scooter riders in 3 months

    RTA issues 38,000 permits for e-scooter riders in 3 months

    Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has issued 38,102 permits for riding e-scooters during the first three months from the launch of the free online registration platform on RTA’s website on April 28th, 2022. The daily average number of permits issued clocked 423 permits.

    The age group 30-40 years accounted for the largest number of permits issued (15,807 permits) which is equal to 41 percent of permits issued to all other age groups.

    The age group 20-30 years was equally prominent in the total number of permits issued recording 14,576 permits, followed by the age group of those over 40 years, and last 1,570 permits from below 20 years of age.

    These facts illustrate the huge interest in using e-scooters among a wide spectrum of community members of different age groups and the trend to use this mobility means as it can take users smoothly to their intended destinations.

    Nationality-wise, Filipinos accounted for 15,502 permits, followed by Indians (8,006 permits) ahead of Pakistanis (3,840 permits). The number of nationalities registered on the platform is 149 nationalities, which means a diversification of social segments that are committed to benefit from the use of e-scooters.

    Results of the first three months since the launch of the platform also indicated that 11,206 permit holders (29 percent) were tourists and visitors to Dubai.

    The figures highlight Dubai Government’s efforts to transform Dubai into a cycle-friendly city. They also reflect RTA’s pioneering efforts to encourage residents and visitors to use e-scooters as alternative individual mobility means considered ideal for short as well as first and last-mile journeys.

    Obtaining a free permit requires passing an awareness training course run via RTA’s website. Trainees should not be less than 16 years of age. The training course includes lessons about the technical specifications and standards of e-scooters, obligations of riders and districts where the use of e-scooters is permitted. The course also briefs users about traffic signs and relevant symbols.

    It is mandatory to obtain permits for those using shared or individual e-scooters on designated streets. However, it is not mandatory to obtain scooter permits if riders are riding in places other than streets, such as cycling tracks or pavements designated by RTA. Exception from the course is granted to holders of valid driving licenses or international driving licenses.

    RTA calls on all individuals to comply with the regulations of riding e-scooters in the designated places such as wearing protective helmets and safety jackets, avoiding the use of mobile phones, clearing the streets before entering, avoiding entering pedestrian zones, and fitting e-scooters with reflective signs to maintain the security of users and other road users.

  • Akira Back Launches ‘Uncorked’: an Exquisite Special Pairing Menu, Hosted by Chef Giovanni Ledon  

    Akira Back Launches ‘Uncorked’: an Exquisite Special Pairing Menu, Hosted by Chef Giovanni Ledon  

    Famed for its uber-stylish setting and stunning views of the Dubai skyline, Akira Back, at the iconic W Dubai – The Palm, is setting the scene for an incredible dining experience with ‘Uncorked’– an eclectic six course pairing menu, showcasing the very best of culinary creativity.  

    Hosted by Akira Back’s Chef De Cuisine, Giovanni Ledon, and in-house Sommelier, Irina Baeva, Uncorked will take place every 2nd Thursday of the month, starting on August 11th and is priced at AED 699 per person. 

    Offering an adventure for the soul, diners will be treated to a welcome drink, six delectable dishes- with an impressive blend of mouth-watering Japanese cuisine with Korean essence, accompanied with six, perfectly paired glasses of grape to elevate the dining experience. 

    Located in the exclusive Akira Back, Private Dining Room, Chef Gio will kick-start the culinary adventure with Avocado and Caviar, served with Thai basil, habanero, luxurious Oscietra Caviar, and nori rice crackersfollowed by panko fried Dibba Bay Oyster and King Crab and Sweet Corn, made up of corn foam, king crab and green olive.

    Foodies will then be treated to a refreshing Yuzu Sorbet to cleanse the palate, following by a selection of showstopping mains, including Lamb Chops, served with a red wine reduction and succulent Wagyu Short Rib, accompanied with salsa Negra, yuzu mojo, yucca and burnt leeks. End the night on a sweet note with a delicious Strawberry and Cream dish with mochi veil. 

    With each dish perfectly paired with a stunning grape, as recommended by in-house Sommelier Irina Baeva, the mood is set for an unforgettable dining experience, Akira Back style. 

    Akira Back Wine Pairing Menu: Uncorked 

    What: Six course wine pairing menu hosted by Akira Back’s Chef De Cuisine, Giovanni Ledon and in-house Sommelier, Irina Baeva. 

    • Inclusive of one welcome drink, six dishes, six glasses of paired wine and water 

    When: Available every 2nd Thursday of the month, starting from August 11th and 28th 

    Time: From 7:30pm with dinner starting at 8:00pm

    Where: Akira Back Private Dining Room, W Dubai – The Palm

    Price: AED 699 per person and up to 12 people 

    Bookings must be made in advance by calling 04 245 5800 or 

  • RTA, Cruise to operate two Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles to chart digital maps

    RTA, Cruise to operate two Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles to chart digital maps

    Cruise, the self-driving car service, will start this month the operation of two Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles (EVs) to prepare digital maps for Cruise’s self-driving vehicles. The process is a prelude for the launch of the actual service in 2023, rendering Dubai the first city in the world to commercially operate Cruise self-driving vehicles outside America.

    This comes in implementation of the directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, to proceed with the partnership agreement signed between Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Cruise, to operate Cruise autonomous vehicles to offer taxi and e-Hail services in Dubai.

    The two Chevrolet Bolt EVs will be initially deployed on Jumeirah streets and driven by specialist drivers. Cruise’s technology uses a high-resolution map of the physical environment, which is created using specialised mapping vehicles equipped with a suite of sensors including LiDAR, camera, and others, and are driven throughout the city to collect data, which is then used to create and maintain a navigable map for autonomous vehicles (AVs).

    Cruise, General Motors’ (GM) majority-owned autonomous vehicle subsidiary, shares the same vision as GM that AVs can help lead to a safe, less congested future for all, delivering enormous benefits for society in the form of increased safety and access to transportation. These efforts will clearly advance GM’s vision of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.

    Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA, said, “Preparing digital maps is an essential step in the process of operating self-driving Cruise Origin vehicles, which will be deployed in limited numbers next year to offer taxi and e-Hail services. We have plans to increase the number of deployed vehicles gradually to reach up to 4000 vehicles by 2030, and enhancing Dubai’s pioneering role in self-driving transport. It is an important step towards realising the Dubai Smart Self-Driving Transport Strategy aimed to transform 25 percent of total mobility journeys in Dubai into journeys on various self-driving transport means by 2030.

    “The operation of autonomous vehicles contributes to the integration of transport systems by easing the mobility of public transport riders and helping them to reach their final destinations. It fits well with RTA’s first and last-mile strategy approved last year relating to the first and last sectors of journeys from and to the nearest public transport points. It consists of two sections: groups and individuals,” Al Tayer added.

    “The spread of autonomous vehicles marks a quality shift in public transportation systems. It is associated with innovative solutions for facilitating mobility, easing city congestion, and boosting road traffic safety levels. Human errors are responsible for more than 90 percent of accidents. The Autonomous vehicles are environmentally friendly electric vehicles, and can serve considerable numbers of customers, particularly senior citizens and residents, in addition to people of determination,” he continued.

    In April 2021, RTA signed an agreement with General Motors backed Cruise to operate Cruise autonomous vehicles to offer taxi and e-Hail services, as part of its efforts to enhance Dubai’s pioneering role in self-driving transport and transform it into the smartest city in the world.

    The agreement, which is the first of its kind worldwide between a government entity and a leading company in the field of autonomous vehicles, is a major step toward realising Dubai’s Self-Driving Transport Strategy aimed at converting 25 percent of total trips in Dubai into self-driving transport trips across different modes of transport by 2030.

    The selection of Cruise as the exclusive provider of autonomous vehicles came after a comprehensive, multi-year process to choose the best possible partner. Cruise’s technology, resources, purpose-built vehicle, automaker partnerships, and approach to the safe testing and deployment strategy give them the ability to launch safely and faster than any other company.

  • Dubai’s Marine Leisure cools the City this Summer

    Dubai’s Marine Leisure cools the City this Summer
    •        Enjoy an array of chartered yacht activities including jet ski trips, overnight itineraries, sight-seeing and more to soak up the sea breeze throughout the summer season
    •        Experience breathtaking views of the city’s most iconic attractions from the sea through a variety of water-based activities

    With its world-class infrastructure and state-of-the-art facilities, picturesque coastline, luxury marinas and diverse destination experiences, Dubai has emerged as a leading marine leisure destination, providing residents and visitors the opportunity to enjoy a diverse range of sea-based activities and watersports to keep cool, unwind and explore this summer season.

    As Dubai’s enduring connection to the sea extends to the travel and tourism sector, Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism takes a look at some of the city’s maritime and aquatic leisure offerings that people can experience during the summer months in Dubai.


    Residents and visitors alike can utilise the services of leisure travel companies which operate yacht tours from beautiful marinas in the city including Dubai Marina Yacht Club, Creek Marina Yacht Club, Dubai Harbour and Jaddaf Waterfront Marina. The high number of quality and safety assured yachting companies offer bespoke itineraries, the latest watersport experiences, along with state-of-the-art nautical equipment, for a safe and refreshing day at sea.

    Guests can enjoy a tailored yachting experience, with a wide variety of dining options provided and a full day of onboard entertainment, all set to the backdrop of the impressive Dubai skyline. Moreover, when embarking on a trip at sea, guests can be selective in their routes and choose from which port to hop onboard. The vast majority of routes offered by these travel firms will include incredible views of Dubai’s most iconic landmarks, including the Dubai Marina, the Burj Al Arab and Burj Khalifa, whilst extended itineraries include excursions to The World Islands. Alternatively, if guests wish to enjoy a more extensive experience, yachts are available to hire for longer, extended excursions.

    Amit Patel, Founder and Managing Director of Xclusive Yachts, commented: “We offer 30 tours a day, and serve over one million tourists a year. All our tours are water-based with our most popular tour being a two-hour guided luxury yacht tour with a live BBQ, which takes you to the iconic landmarks, Ain Dubai, Atlantis-The Palm and Burj Al Arab. The yacht is fully air conditioned so guests can cool off inside, and we have our own dedicated fully air conditioned lounge in Dubai Marina, providing guests the opportunity to refresh before a trip”.

    With these fun and affordable days out at sea, the yachts will often dock at a tranquil location, allowing for tourists and residents to soak up the stunning sunset and have a dip in the refreshing Arabian Gulf. This then completes a cool afternoon enjoying all that Dubai has to offer, with guests even being able to make use of a floating supermarket located on a boat that is docked, meaning they need not return to the shore to purchase snacks and refreshments.


    Dubai Marina and the Dubai Creek area are also home to a number of traditional Dhow cruise companies, which provide a more authentic and simplified offering, without compromising on experience. Guests can enjoy stunning city views on these traditional wooden boats, taking in some of Dubai’s most famous landmarks. Many of the companies also provide Arabic buffets and beverages on board, at an additional cost, for an elevated experience. This fun way of exploring Dubai is a nod to Dubai’s maritime heritage and a unique way to relax. In addition to Dhow cruises, there are a number of cost effective and fun ways in which tourists and residents can enjoy the city skyline, including tours organized by Yellow Boat, one of Dubai’s most popular boat tour companies.

    Muhammad Ansari, CEO of The Yellow Boats said: “The Yellow Boats provide unique guided sightseeing tours on top-of-the-line rigid inflatable speed boats. We actively promote visitors to discover the city from the water to beat the summer heat. The Yellow Boats have a number of daily tours from 9:00am to 20:00pm for individuals, families and private groups who want a safe and extremely fun experience.”


    Maritime tourism in Dubai extends beyond the tranquil luxury boating experience, with multiple offerings for those seeking a more action-packed aquatic adventure including self-drive boat tours, island hopping, Jet Ski tours, water skiing, paragliding and more. Many watersports’ companies offer package experiences which allow friends and families to experience a full day of action-packed adventure, such as jet skiing past some of Dubai’s most beloved landmarks and water skiing off the back of luxury yachts, and more. As well as this, many travel companies are well-equipped to provide a range of water-based pursuits, including diving experiences, fishing trips, snorkeling, scuba diving, and kite surfing, offering one the chance to explore the magical marine life surrounding the city. Additionally, one of the most notable water-based activities in the city is the distinctive ‘fly boards’, offering thrill seekers a chance to be elevated above water on jet powered boot attachments.

    Basheer Al Salabi, Co -Owner SeaYou Watersports commented: “SeaYou Dubai offers an array of non-motorised watersports on the Palm Jumeirah, from rentals to lessons and training in watersports to guided tours. These activities include Kayaking, Paddle Boarding, Sailing and Windsurfing. Our popular Guided Kayak and SUP tours are among the most popular choices for visitors to Dubai, as they give our guests a unique viewpoint of Dubai and its landmarks. To accommodate our guests in the summer we run these tours during the cooler times of the day focusing on early mornings and sunset. The sunset tours are our bestseller as they give them plenty of photo opportunities. We aim to remove the perception that it is too hot go out in the summer and highlight that the outdoors can still be a great way to explore the city while staying fit as long as activities are run at specific hours of the day and that everyone stays hydrated.”

  • Inflation, recession fears keep GCC market on edge

    Inflation, recession fears keep GCC market on edge

    The MSCI GCC index witnessed a steeper monthly drop than last month at 9.0 per cent in June, witnessing a bigger drop than most other global equity markets, according to Kamco Invest’s GCC Monthly Market report.

    Tracking weak global trends, the aggregate GCC stock market index declined for the second consecutive month during June-2022 as inflation and recession fears kept investors on the edge.

    Dubai’s DFM General Index reported the smallest decline among the GCC markets during June-2022 while Abu Dhabi’s FTSE ADX index fell from the best performing market in the GCC during May-2022 to the second worst performing market during June.

    The MSCI GCC index witnessed a steeper monthly drop than last month at 9.0 per cent in June, witnessing a bigger drop than most other global equity markets, according to Kamco Invest’s GCC Monthly Market report.

    Performance within the GCC was mostly negative with Saudi Arabia witnessing the biggest and a double digit drop of 10.8 per cent followed by Abu Dhabi and Qatari benchmarks with declines of 6.8 per cent and 5.6 per cent, respectively. Oman, on the other hand, was the only market that closed in the green with a marginal gain of 0.2 per cent.

    Nevertheless, despite the two consecutive months of decline, the GCC aggregate index remained in the green in terms of 1H-2022 performance at +2.8 per cent with all headline GCC benchmarks in the green barring Oman that reported a decline of 0.2 per cent.

    Abu Dhabi continued to boast double-digit returns of 10.4 per cent during 1H-2022 followed by Kuwait and Qatar with returns of 5.2 per cent and 4.9 per cent, respectively.

    In June, FTSE ADX index fell from the best performing market in the GCC during May-2022 to the second worst performing market during. The index registered a decline of 6.8 per cent to close the month at 9,374.7 points, but the benchmark maintains its lead in the GCC in terms of YTD-2022 gains at 10.4 per cent. In comparison, the exchange’s market cap declined by 3.3 per cent during the month to Dh1.8 trillion. In terms of sector performance, the Real Estate index recorded the biggest monthly fall among the indices, registering 15.3 per cent decline during the month to reach 6919.9 points.

    Trading activity on the ADX fell for the second consecutive month during June-2022. Total volume of shares traded reached 3.9 billion shares in June-2022 as compared to 4.9 billion shares traded during May-2022, registering a decrease of 18.8 per cent. Monthly value traded declined by 6.6 per cent to Dh28.1 billion in June-2022 as compared to Dh30.1 billion.

    In Dubai, the benchmark DFM General Index declined for the second consecutive month by 3.7 per cent to close at 3,223.29 points after witnessing significant declines during the middle of the month. The monthly benchmark drop was led by fall in seven out of nine sectoral indices including large-cap sectors such as Real Estate, Financial & Investment Services and Telecom sectors. The Financials & Investment Services Sector index posted a monthly fall of 10.5 per cent after shares of Dubai Financial Market continued its declining trend during June-2022 registering a share price slide of 23.2 per cent during the month.

    The Real Estate sector index witnessed the second biggest monthly fall among the indices registering a 8.2 per cent drop to close the month at 4,731.1 points mainly on the back Union Properties and Emaar Properties witnessing share price falls of 12.5 per cent and 8.9 per cent, respectively.

    Shares of Emaar Properties got a boost at the start of the month after S&P upgraded the outlook on the company to Stable from Negative.

    Across the GCC, the sector performance chart for the month showed declines across the board with all the sectors in the red. The Pharma & Biotech index reported the steepest decline of 19.4 per cent followed by Consumer Durable & Apparel and Diversified Financials with declines of 14.5 per cent and 12.9 per cent, respectively. Banks and Energy indices also dropped by 8.7 per cent and 5.0 per cent, respectively. However, in terms of 1H-2022 performance, Energy and Banks still feature in the top five performing indices with gains of 16.6 per cent and 6.9 per cent, respectively. Pharma & Biotech topped on the decliners side with a decline of 32.3 per cent followed by Consumer Durable & Apparel and Diversified Financials with declines of 30.2 per cent and 13.3 per cent, respectively. 

  • Top things to do for kids this summer in the Dubai

    Top things to do for kids this summer in the Dubai

    Here’s a list of fun-filled activities and offers for the young ones this summer

    Sky Zone, Ibn Battuta Mall

    Summer is here so are the countless fun-filled summer camps in the country. One of them is the Sky Zone Summer Camp where little ones can experience fun activities like Ninja Warrior Course, Free Climb, Sea of Trampolines and so much more. The physical activities can be paired with arts and crafts. Summer Camp available from July 4 till August 26. Registration fee is Dh150. For more information, email

    House of Wisdom

    This summer, children aged 5-12 can embark on a fascinating round-the-world adventure with passports and boarding tickets at the House of Wisdom in Sharjah, which features a Summer Camp with several engaging activities for the little ones. For four weeks each in July and August, young explorers at The Little Reader, HoW can check out the cultures and geography of nations like UAE, Japan, India and more. Held on weekdays, from Mondays to Thursdays. To reserve your seat, contact @sharjahhow on Instagram.


    During DSS (Dubai Summer Surprises), Jumeirah’s Mercato will come alive with several events promising families a spectacular time at the venue. Shoppers, fun-seekers, and families, all can come together to enjoy a vibrant circus extravaganza at the mall during the festival. In addition, circus themed interactive workshops for children and roaming performances will be held at Mercato throughout DSS.

    Festival Plaza

    Located in Jebel Ali, Dubai Festival Plaza is inviting families this summer to have a gala time indoors with exciting mall activities. Relax, chill, and unwind with friends and families at the Chill Out Zone featuring board games, foosball, pool table, table tennis and a lot more. Game installations including a Giant Chess and Giant Jenga is also available.

    Kids eat free at Farzi Cafe

    Families visiting Mall of the Emirates this weekend can have a fruitful time at Farzi Cafe where an ‘All You Can Eat Breakfast’ deal is active. On every purchase of the breakfast meal by mums and dads, kids eat free. Dh59 per adult, from 10am till 12pm. Available every Saturday and Sunday.

  • Dubai property sales spike on strong demand,visa policies

    Dubai property sales spike on strong demand,visa policies

    Dubai’s real estate sector is turning more vibrant and transparent as investor-friendly policies tend to attract local and global property buyers and proof of the same was the recently concluded June 2022 sales which is considered the best since 2009.

    Dubai-based W Capital Real Estate Brokerage — established in 2007 — has assessed the strong momentum and exceptional performance of the real estate market in the Emirate, as the sector concluded the first half of this year on the upward track, to be the strongest first-half performance ever, with nearly 43,000  sales transactions, the total value of which exceeded Dh114.5 billion.

    Walid Al Zarooni, chairman of W Capital. — Supplied photo

    Walid Al Zarooni, chairman of W Capital. — Supplied photo

    “The real estate sector continued to break records in terms of sales and transactions, with the first half recording the best performance ever, as sales topped Dh114.51 billion,” said  Walid Al Zarooni, chairman of W Capital, a certified real estate expert from the Dubai Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) and author of ‘Secrets of the Smart Real Estate Investor’.

    Al Zarooni added that the real estate market in Dubai during the month of June 2022 also maintained continuous momentum recording 8,833 real estate sales transactions worth Dh22.69 billion, which is the highest number ever for the month of June since 2009. The same month’s sales transactions in 2009 amounted to Dh22.92 billion.

    When compared to the overall performance of June 2021, the last month witnessed an increase in transactions by 42.6 per cent, with an increase in value of 55.4 per cent.

    The real estate and properties transactions valued at Dh9.9 billion in total during the week ending July 1, 2022, according to the Dubai Land Department (DLD) data. The sum of transactions was 2,988. 379 plots were sold for Dh1.63 billion, 1,990 apartments and villas were sold for Dh4.26 billion.

    The top three transactions were a land in Palm Jumeirah sold for Dh80 million, followed by a land that was sold for Dh59.1 million in Saih Shuaib 3, and a land sold for Dh80 million in Palm Jumeirah in third place. Al Hebiah Fifth recorded the most transactions for this week by 205 sales transactions worth Dh463.12 million, followed by Jabal Ali First with 68 sales transactions worth Dh211.27 million, and Al Yufrah 2 with 15 sales transactions worth Dh19 million in third place. The top three transfers for apartments and villas were an apartment sold for Dh686 million in Burj Khalifa, an apartment was second in the list sold for Dh549 million in Marsa Dubai, and thirdly it was an apartment sold for Dh276 million in Business Bay.

    The sum of the amount of mortgaged properties for the week was 2.72 billion, with the highest being a property in Dubai Marina, mortgaged for Dh425 million. 144 properties were granted between first-degree relatives worth Dh1.35 billion.

    Al Zarooni stated that the exceptional performance of the real estate market in recent months is due to attracting foreign investors. The increasing demand, the high real estate prices, and the high return on investment, also encouraged the influx of foreign investors.“Undoubtedly, the Dubai Expo 2020 , which concluded late March, had a great impact on the good promotion of investment and residence in Dubai and increased the demand for buying real estate,” he added.

    .Al Zarooni expected the market to continue the upward trend during the second half of this year with the influx of more foreign investors, thanks to the stimulating measures taken by the UAE government, such as modernising visa procedures, besides economic stability.

    He also suggested that the continuous changes affecting the labor law in Dubai, with the availability of mega projects, will attract larger numbers of investors.

    “The prosperity that the UAE real estate market has showcased, particularly in the last couple of years has been truly impressive. This can be accredited in a huge way because the world has acknowledged and witnessed the UAE government’s response and management of the pandemic, the excellent work of the entire healthcare industry, the successful vaccination drive, and how every citizen and resident positively contributed to the betterment of the UAE community,” said Madhav Dhar, co-founder, and COO of ZāZEN Properties.

    “Additionally, the recent updates to the UAE Golden Visa regulation are just another great initiative that will spur investment into real estate even more, especially with the flexibility that these new rules have to offer, providing residents with a strong reason to invest in the country long term and allowing non-residents to make UAE their second home.”

    The real estate markets of Dubai and Abu Dhabi have been recognized as the top global improvers in 2022, according to JLL’s latest Global Real Estate Transparency Index (GRETI). Dubai also entered the ‘Transparent’ tier for the first time underlining its position as the most transparent property market in the Middle East and North Africa region. The emirate gained three ranks in the index to 31st position globally and is the only property market in Mena to feature in the ‘Transparent’ tier.

    Sultan Butti bin Mejren, director-general of Dubai Land Department.

    Sultan Butti bin Mejren, director-general of Dubai Land Department.

    Sultan Butti bin Mejren, director-general of Dubai Land Department, said: “With the global recovery of the economy, we recognised the need to focus on improving market transparency to make better decisions that will support both developers and investors alike. Today, investors from around the world are increasingly looking at Dubai’s real estate to invest, and we, at Dubai Land Department, are committed to enhancing transparency within the sector.”

    Bin Mejren added: “We are pleased that Dubai has entered a new phase of transparency and is the only city to do so in the Mena region. The government’s ongoing efforts that are driving digital services and data provisions, new regulations and sustainability reporting have helped advance Dubai’s ranking in this year’s Global Real Estate Transparency Index, which is an important guide used for cross-border investment and corporate occupiers to inform their decision making.”

    Abu Dhabi, which ranked 45th globally, gained one rank and maintained its position in the ‘Semi-Transparent’ tier. The improvements reflect the expansion of digital services through the Dari platform including sales and lease management and development and transaction databases.