The  pandemic  has  significantly  impacted the real  estate industry in  Dubai,  which  was  disrupted  with  the lockdowns, restrictions, and growing trend of working from home. Recovery in the commercial market was slightly slower compared to residential real estate, but it has also enjoyed a boom in the Q4.

What  were  the  key  trends  we  have  noticed?  When  it  comes  to  office  units,  we  have  seen  a  number  of companies downsizing to accommodate their new working from home arrangements, as well as companies that wanted to utilise favourable conditions to upgrade to high quality office space. The retail market has struggled over the past year, with the restrictions of movement, closures,  and  even  today  with  a  limited  number  of  customers  they  can  accommodate  in  their  premises. 

However, by the end of 2020, we have seen an increase in the number of units sold, something that can be attributed to the actions taken by the Central Bank as well as a comprehensive 100 billion dirhams ($27.2 billion) economic plan helped businesses mitigate the impact of the outbreak. The liberalisation of business laws also came as welcome news to foreign investors and expat business owners. Another  factor  that  helped  nurture  this  favourable  business  climate  was  the  resumption  of  diplomatic relations with Qatar and Israel. This will undoubtedly open the door to new trade and business opportunities, acting as further stimuli for businesses in the country.

The fact that the total value of commercial units has decreased will likely mean that investors looking to take advantage of the economic situation will make 2021 a good year in terms of the number of transactions. This can be seen from the fact that despite buyer leads seeing a year on year increase of 79% throughout 2020, this was not reflected in the number of transactions. This might indicate a growing interest in purchasing a commercial property, with buyers waiting for 2021 to see what happens in terms of the economic situation.

For more insight into the 2020 real estate market, then take a look at our full report.