If plans come to fruition, a major turnaround for the economy could be in hand by the second half of 2017
Dubai: Dubai’s developers have shown the intent … next up they need to get it into project mode with an estimated Dh7 billion to Dh10 billion worth of contracts expected to be awarded in the next two quarters. And that figure is excluding whatever work the $20 billion Jumeirah Central might come up with during this period.
If all of these tenders come to hit the market as expected, including some of the major works related to Deira Islands Mall and Meydan One Mall, the local construction sector will have a wave sized boost to work on, industry sources say.
And the full benefits could filter through the whole of the local economy by the start of the second quarter of next year itself. “The real estate and construction sectors in tandem can set the pace and the other sectors can then do their part,” said a senior official with a local developer. “By the third quarter, ample liquidity should be flowing through the system.”
If so, the turnaround would have started from Cityscape Global where all of Dubai’s leading developers confirmed new projects, some of them massive and long term in scope. Among these, obviously, are a new “city centre” in the form of Jumeirah Central and a sprawling suburban setting through Emaar South. And Jebel Ali will play host to the Dh30 billion Dubai Wholesale City, a 15-year project that has just started calling in the first lease enquiries.
“Al Maktoum International Airport was the initial catalyst for the city to push its borders out and then came the Dubai Parks & Resorts development, which opens October 31,” said an analyst. “With Emaar South and Wholesale City, there are enough pulls to spread activity across a wider southern corridor.”
But investors by and large are still waiting in the wings, unless it is for budget/mid-market offerings at Town Square (from Nshama) and Emaar South (being developed by a joint venture involving the master-developer of Dubai South and Emaar.) Industry sources add that a true barometer of market direction will be had when the public-listed developers announce their Q1- and Q2-17 results. “What Dubai did this week was seed the market with enough new projects to get developer- and investor-led funds flowing into the system,” said an industry source. “ And, according to Farhad Azizi, CEO of Azizi Developments, “There are more and more buyer demographics emerging in Dubai’s property market, maybe not in the numbers that investors have occupied to date. But they are there — Dubai’s developers need to change their product mix accordingly.”
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