Every great city is distinguished by at least one distinctive economic strength. Los Angeles has the entertainment industry, New York and London are finance meccas, San Francisco and the famed Silicon Valley are at the epicenter of the tech boom, Jerusalem and Rio de Janeiro trade heavily on their tourism industries, and so on. The UAE is one of the biggest oil powerhouses in the world, ranking 7th in oil reserves, and so Dubai is marked for both its role as a Middle Eastern center of finance in general and oil trading in particular. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given the importance of oil to the region’s economy, especially in the Arabian Peninsula, with the UAE a neighbor to both Yemen and Saudi Arabia. What’s more, you might have noticed that oil is just the tiniest bit in demand internationally, which has made the UAE one of the most rapidly growing economies in the region.
So, what’s the property situation like in the UAE?
Dubai is both one of the most fashionable and also the single most expensive city in the Middle East as measured by cost and standard of living. What’s more, it regularly makes Top 25 lists of the world’s most expensive cities. When it comes to UAE property (and temperature) it doesn’t get any hotter than Dubai.
That said, while its glamorous nightlife and glistening skyscrapers—including the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world—are certainly attractive, Dubai is pretty pricey, so much so that if you’re not planning on staying year-round you might be better off just looking into a hotel. Dubai boasts some of the most luxurious and, yes, expensive hotels in the world, the crown jewel being the Burj Al Arab, built on an artificial island and one of the most prominent landmarks in the city.
Elsewhere in the UAE
While from an international standpoint Dubai is the biggest draw in the UAE, there are plenty of other regions in the nation to look into. Abu Dhabi—yes, the place Garfield tries to mail Nermal in the Garfield comic strips—is located south of Dubai, even closer to Saudi Arabia, and like both of those places is expensive, with apartments in both the north and southern regions of the UAE some of the most expensive in the Middle East. That said, there is an interesting wrinkle in all of this: despite the vast, concentrated wealth present in the UAE, housing prices are actually dropping at the moment. They fell at the beginning of 2016, and there is speculation that they could be falling again by as much as 10% in some areas of the nation.
While this wouldn’t be the first or last time property values in an expensive place took a plunge, it does mean that while they’re still pretty pricey, if you’re looking to buy property in the UAE this may be one of the best opportunities to do so in some time.