Dubai aims to attract Dh1 billion worth of Chinese investments into its property sector as the emirate’s real estate is undervalued and offers great yields to Chinese investors both in terms of prices and rentals, officials said on Tuesday.

Richard Huang, chairman of China-based UC Forward, said it would make Dubai a top priority for investments as Chinese investors compare Dubai with mature markets such as Hong Kong and Singapore.

“We believe Dubai real estate value has been underestimated and Expo 2020 makes great value for Dubai. The emirate’s property price is only 1/7 of Hong Kong and 1/3 of Singapore. Similarly, when we compare to Shanghai and Beijing, the returns on yields is one to two per cent but returns on rental yields in Dubai is seven to eight per cent, offering good potential for Chinese investors,” Huang said at a press conference.

The Dubai Land Department on Monday appointed UC Forward as its real estate promotion trustee for the Chinese market with an aim to attract Dh1 billion investments in the emirate’s real estate sector. UC Forward has also established its counter at the DLD office to provide free Chinese and English language consultancy services to investors.

The value of Chinese investments in Dubai’s real estate market has exceeded Dh12 billion. Since 1996, 4,475 Chinese investors have made 8,259 real estate transactions in Dubai, which places them at number 12 among the 217 nationalities investing in the local market, said Majida Ali Rashid, assistant director-general and head of the real estate investment management and promotion centre at DLD.

“We offer full attention to investors from across the globe, and the Chinese market is currently considered one of the most promising for attracting real estate investments. This is demonstrated by the high number of Chinese nationals choosing to visit and live in the UAE. In addition, the Dubai Property Show held in Shanghai last March achieved unprecedented success and attracted a large number of stakeholders,” she said.

Huang said UC Forward has more than 1,000 agents in China which would serve Dubai property.

“We see good products and potential customers. We tied up with the DLD to meet rising Chinese investor demand in Dubai,” Huang said, adding that “we are ready to service the Chinese community here. We service clients directly from China and also Chinese residents in Dubai,” he added.

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