UAE firms most confident that demand will grow
Real estate professionals in the Gulf have a bullish outlook on growth for their sector, notwithstanding a strong dollar, low oil prices and economic headwinds.

Over half of 300 firms surveyed at the recent Gulf Real Estate Awards predicted considerable growth over the next 12 months.

On average, 32 per cent of those surveyed expected their growth to be slightly higher across all key business areas over the next 12 months, with 49 per cent expecting it to be considerably higher. Less than 10 per cent expected the sector to see a dip in performance across key business areas over the same period.

Firms in the UAE ranked growth, revenue and competition as the top three challenges over the next 12 months.

UAE firms were most confident that demand would grow industry-wide over the next 12 months, with 61 per cent expecting some kind of growth, compared to 50 per cent of Omani firms and 40 per cent of Saudi firms.

There were more balanced views on industry-wide revenue growth, with 49 per cent expecting it to remain the same or decrease, compared to 51 per cent predicting some level of growth.

A total of 79 per cent of Gulf real estate leaders predicted the industry would see an increase in regulation. While Saudi and Omani firms considered regulation to be one of their top three challenges going forward, only a third of UAE firms saw this as a key issue for their performance.

Innovation was voted the most likely area to achieve the highest growth, with 55 per cent predicting considerable industry-wide growth. While only some predicted a slowdown in key business areas, innovation was unanimously declared to be immune to any slowdown over the 12 months ahead. The UAE was the least likely of all countries to see innovation as a challenge going forward.

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