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Dubai property market still a bargain to Chinese

Updated: 2013-10-11 11:30
( Xinhua)

DUBAI - As real estate prices rose sharply in Shanghai and Hong Kong in recent years, a rising number of Chinese investors rush to booming Dubai to take their picks, although prices soared in the Gulf Arab city as well, the UAE daily The National reported on Thursday.

The report said that major Dubai developers such as state-owned Nakheel, the developer of the man-made island Palm Jumeirah, have hired Chinese-speaking staff in order to cope with the new rush of clients from the Far East. With rental yields profitable, the Dubai real estate market became the latest hotspot for Chinese investors who aim to put their money in property overseas.

According to consulate-general of the Peoples Republic of China in Dubai, over 270,000 Chinese nationals live in the United Arab Emirates.

The report quoted Hai Rong Xiao, a sales agent of property broker Atomic Properties in Dubai's International City, as saying that Chinese investors were rushing to snap up apartments in the Gulf Arab city.

In contrast to major Chinese cities like Shanghai or Hong Kong, the Dubai real estate market is still far from overheating albeit booming, said Craig Plumb, head of MENA research at real estate consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle.

"Apartment prices rose 15 percent in the last 12 months but they are still 19 percent below their peak in 2008, the year before the global financial crisis hit the Dubai real estate market," said Plumb.

Earlier in the week, Nakheel chairman Ali Rashid Lootah told Xinhua in an interview held at the ongoing three-day property fair Cityscape Global in Dubai, that Nakheel welcomed a rising number of Chinese first time buyers this year.

"Our latest development Warsan village, a residential complex near the Dragon Mall, the largest Chinese shopping mall outside China, became a real magnet for Chinese property investors," said Lootah. Nakheel hit the news on September 29, when it sold 262 homes in Warsan village on that particular day, cashing in 460 million Dirham or $125.44 million.

According to the latest research report on Wednesday by Jones Lang LaSalle, residential sales in Dubai grew in the third quarter by almost 18 percent year on year, while villa prices rose 15 percent year on year and apartment prices increased 15 percent year on year.

Amid growing investor confidence in Dubai's stability and positive business environment which will lead to more than 4 percent growth on its gross domestic product in 2013, Plumb said that he expected no letup in demand for property in the near future.