• The market value for Dubai recorded the highest value ever, reaching AED 266,347 billion compared to AED 149,546 billion in 2021
  • The total sales transactions in Abu Dhabi witnessed a whopping AED 22,818 billion in value, compared to AED 15,145 billion in 2021
  • Economic diversification, recent incentives boosting the growth of foreign investments, new residence and visa policies were cited as top reasons for increased interest from international buyers
  • Business Bay, Downtown Dubai, Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Village Circle and Palm Jumeirah were found to be top choices for owning an apartment in Dubai
  • Saadiyat Island, Al Raha Beach, Yas Island, Al Reem Island and Al Reef were among the top five preferences for homeowners in Abu Dhabi

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, 9 February 2023: Property Finder has announced the launch of its latest annual Market Watch Report, recording key transaction trends and insights for Dubai and Abu Dhabi’s rapidly evolving real estate sector. 

According to most recent data from the Central Bank of UAE,  real estate activities have contributed to approximately 8.2% of the UAE’s non-oil gross domestic production (GDP). The Property Finder Market Watch Report further provides in depth highlights on search-specific data on consumer trends and transactional values in two extremely high performing Emirates in the UAE – Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Recording massive jumps in sales with high value transactions and heightened foreign investments, the property sector was found to play a key role in boosting economic evolution in the region.

Dubai raises the bar for 2023 with all new record highs

Dubai’s property market picked up in 2022, as economic activity made a strong recovery across the United Arab Emirates. The city’s outstanding performance in sales transactions also supported the sharp increase in its off-plan and secondary property sales, touching an all new market peak, recording the highest number of transactions and highest value across dealings. 

2022 for Dubai closed at a remarkable high with registered sales transactions reaching 97,465 compared to 60,210 at the end of 2021. 29,215 sales transactions were recorded in Q4 2022, compared to 17,732 in Q4 2021. In 2022, the market value increase of 78% was also recorded for these transactions, forming a new high for residential and commercial sales, led by steady demand for housing. 

Consumer buying behaviors were found to be rapidly evolving towards more long-term investments, with tenants preferring ownership over rental properties, driven by the surge in average market value by 25%. Furthermore, Property Finder proprietary data revealed that Business Bay, Downtown Dubai, Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC) and Palm Jumeirah were the top preferred choices for those searching to own an apartment, while Arabian Ranches, Arabian Ranches 2, Arabian Ranches 3, Dubai Hills Estate and Palm Jumeirah were popular hits for investment or residence purposes in the Villas category for 2022. A similar case was recorded for rentals, with Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT), Al Barsha and Damac Hills as additions. 

International investors charting a new narrative for real estate in Abu Dhabi

A great deal of diversification was noticed within Abu Dhabi’s real estate sector, with an increase in international investment led transactions, despite global instability. Most investors were found to be business owners or senior executives from the commonwealth states or western European countries including Germany, France, Italy and Switzerland. 

The significant boost to Abu Dhabi real estate was granted by off-plan market sales recording 5,046 transactions compared to 2,734 in 2021, witnessing a substantial growth of 84.6% compared to 2021. In Q4 2022, the off-plan sales transaction saw a new high for a quarter by registering 1,946 sales transactions, and a 58.6% increase compared to Q3 2022, which is considered one of the best performances of the off-plan market for the last years. 

Total sales transactions touched AED 22,818 billion, in contrast to AED 15,145 billion in 2021. The market value of the sales transactions witnessed a remarkable growth of 50.7% compared to 2021 as a result of consistent economic stability amid unstable global scenarios, the revival in tourism figures, successful vaccine procedures, and the scaling back of the COVID-19 restrictions.

Saadiyat Island, Al Raha Beach, Yas Island, Reem Island and Al Reef were found to be preferred locations for owning apartments in the city, while Al Khalidiya, Al Raha Beach, Al Reem, Corniche Road, and Khalifa City remained popular addresses for apartment rentals in 2022. 

Scott Bond, UAE Country Manager at Property Finder said: “As we step into 2023, we are noticing spikes in demand thanks to the huge progress achieved in 2022, especially during the last quarter with big ticket transactions taking place and a heightened flow of foreign investment. As home search enablers, we see a bigger, better and brighter outlook for 2023 and we’re excited to see a fresh wave of informed investments, driven by larger long term value through reliable sources.”

The detailed Property Finder Annual Market Watch Report for  2022 is available for download here