The Investor’s Guide to Invest in Dubai in 2021
One of the most multicultural, beautiful, and prosperous cities in the world, Dubai boasts stunning historical sights, futuristic architecture, state-of-the-art infrastructure, cultural diversity, a fast-growing economy, and an incomparable vision. That is why thousands of local and international investors believe it is a golden opportunity to invest in Dubai. Below are some key facts about Dubai you should know:
- Attracts 15.93 million annual visitors.
- A gateway connecting 2.4 billion consumers across the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent, and East Africa.
- The world’s top city for visitor spending, amounting to $30.8 billion.
- 100% repatriation of capital investment and total profit earned.
- 100% foreign business ownership allowed.
One of the most popular tourist and business destinations in the world, Dubai offers world-class attractions and an enviable multicultural lifestyle that cannot be found in any other part of the world. With its world-famous skyline and premium property spots like Business Bay and Dubailand, Dubai has been ranked as the city with the best infrastructure and quality of living in the Middle East.
Despite the huge influx of tourism, it remains one of the safest cities in the world. The city is known for attracting talent from all over the world and is home to several multinational Fortune 500 companies that have found a strategic location from which to serve markets across the Middle East, African, and Indian subcontinent region.
Top Investment Sectors in Dubai
Dubai is considered to be the investment capital of the Middle East – and for good reasons. Dubai is the most cosmopolitan destination in the world with about 83% of its population comprising of foreign residents.
To have successful investment opportunity in Dubai, you need to understand which sectors are ripe for investing. Below are some of the sectors which can result in best investment in UAE for 2021.
Although the real estate market in Dubai, like much of the world, has seen slow progress in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is rebounding strongly in 2021. This may be due to the release of a vaccine and renewed investor interest in real estate in Middle East.
Since the population in Dubai is increasing on a yearly basis, the real estate sector is the perfect way to maximize your profits from low-rate investments.
Travel and Tourism
Dubai is one of the most preferred tourist destinations in the world. As a diversified hub, Dubai is showing a growth rate of about 8% to 10% in the travel and tourism industry. The fast growth in this sector is the reason so many investors are selecting Dubai as a place to do business, as well as a place to make a home.
Since Dubai has an amazing and diversified social scene, it is a great hub for travel enthusiasts, families, and businessmen, and hence offers wonderful opportunities for hospitality companies. With the ever-increasing demand and high market share, hotels and restaurants are a great place to invest in Dubai. DAMAC offers a wide range of hotels for Dubai investment opportunities and provides specific details on how to start a business in the UAE.
Why Real Estate Investment in Dubai is Popular
Dubai’s fast-paced evolution into one of the greatest cities in the world is driven by its status as one of the most — and perhaps even the most — important business hub in the Middle East as well as its booming tourism industry.
A state-of-the-art infrastructure, highly lucrative assets, and a first-class regulatory environment have made Dubai one of the most sought-after investment destinations in the world. The city aims to become the world’s most visited placed by 2025, which means this is prime time to invest in its thriving residential and hotel industry.
- Investment in Dubai properties is open to anyone in the world. This means more funds in the investment marketplace and greater liquidity of assets.
- Property prices in Dubai are affordable as compared to other tourist and business hubs around the world and the potential for further growth is limitless.
- Investing in properties in Dubai offers a stable source of income, which may fluctuate but will not disappear altogether, unlike dividend shares and interest on deposit accounts.
- Good real estate investments in Dubai can offer 8% to 10% rent returns.
- In addition, property investment in Dubai will also serve as a good hedge against inflation.
- Real estate in Dubai has a residual value, which will never fall to zero, unlike stock market assets.
- As a real estate investor in Dubai, you will have more control over the size, nature, and timing of investments.
- Real estate investors in Dubai can benefit from diversification in the form of different types of properties, rental levels, and locations. This allows you to spread your risk of income interruption.
- Real estate investment can also serve as an excellent collateral against loans and allow investors to get debt financing at the best rates.
- You will have 100% foreign ownership of businesses in Dubai as well as 100% repatriation of capital investment and total profit earned.
Best Areas to Invest in Dubai
Dubai is one of the best places in the world for real estate investment. The city offers a plethora of real estate opportunities for investors, ranging from residential properties like high-end apartments and villas to luxurious commercial properties situated within skyscrapers.
To maximize the return on your investments, you need to find the right location to invest in. Below are some of the best places to invest in Dubai:
Dubai Marina is a flourishing coastal business center which boasts breath-taking skyscrapers and towers. This is a prime area for Dubai real estate investments and offers an exciting range of apartments, villas, restaurants, and retail outlets, making it one of the most sought-after places to invest in Dubai.
Many traveling businessmen and tourists prefer to stay in this stunning area. The place offers a gorgeous view of the ocean and is a favorite and safest investment in Dubai since it is located near the business district of Dubai Internet City and Dubai Media City.
This strategic location attracts many people who want their workplace to be near while having their residential properties in the prestigious waterfront neighborhood that features the famous Dubai Marina Walk as well as hundreds of amenities.
Jumeirah Village Circle
In the heart of Dubai lies the Jumeirah Village Circle, a beautiful gated community in a rustic village setting. The community houses over 2000 luxury villas and high-end townhouses and is equipped with the most modern amenities. This is the perfect place for families as it consists of two international schools, medical facilities, a community center, and several clubs.
Jumeirah Village Circle is a short drive from the Expo 2020 pavilion and has easy access to the Dubai Marine, Jebel Ali, and the main roads in the city. It is also a stone’s throw away from the city’s major business hub as well as the Al Maktoum International Airport.
Investors show an increased interest in the location due to its competitive property pricing. The rental yields on the property are also highly credible, making it one of the best investments in Dubai.
Dubailand is one of the fastest-growing areas in Dubai and offers world-class residential communities like Mudon, Dubai Lifestyle City, and The City of Arabia, which is why it is famous among real estate investors for villas, haciendas, and apartments. There are investment options for every budget and it is also a source of sports, leisure, and entertainment.
The entire zone has been meticulously landscaped with beautiful botanical gardens and the area has some of the best cultural attractions and academies in UAE.
Dubailand is expected to become a major entertainment hub, driving tourism in the coming years. It boasts some of the biggest attractions, including the Dubai Outlet Mall, Global Village, Motor City, and several academies and sporting events.
Some of the biggest projects in the areas are from top real estate developers and include the Damac Golf Vita.
The fantastic location of Business Bay is situated right next to Downtown Dubai and extends from Sheikh Zayed Road to Ras Al Khor. It is one of the most famous commercial hubs in Dubai and is instrumental in making the United Arab Emirates a major business spot.
In 2017, Lonely Planet named it the fifth “coolest neighborhood to visit.” The area is one of the most popular places to live in since it offers a perfect mix of affordable but high-quality water-side accommodations as well as first-rate restaurants, hotels, and bars.
Business Bay has over 240 buildings, both commercial and residential. Considering that it is one of the fastest-developing areas of Dubai, the demand for its properties is increasingly rising. With schools, malls, medical centers, recreational facilities, easy access to several main roads and other amenities, considering real estate in Business Bay may be one of the best investments of 2021.
Jumeirah Lake Towers
Jumeirah Lake Towers is one of the ideal property and freehold locations in Dubai and consists of 87 high-rise towers that are constructed around four beautiful man-made lakes, and a park landscape. The area encompasses 1.36 million square feet and lies between Jumeirah Heights and Dubai Marina.
The independent community consists of apartments, offices, hotels, and shops and is bisected by the Sheikh Zayed Road. The neighborhood has all the amenities for a comfortable living, including educational institutions, restaurants, cafes, and supermarkets.
This is the ideal place for families and young professionals. Those hoping to invest in Jumeirah Lake Towers have the unique opportunity of having different layouts of their property since different towers in the district are built by different developers.
Known formerly as TECOM, Barsha Heights is a vibrant and elegant urban community that consists of both residential and commercial properties as well as hotels and serviced apartments. This neighborhood is home to Fortune 500 companies, including Microsoft, HP, BBC World, CNN, Reuters, and more as well as several SMEs, making it a wonderful place for both living and business.
Barsha Heights offers a premium-quality but affordable lifestyle, which promotes mixed-use facilities with a casual vibe. This multicultural area is highly attractive for investors looking to buy or lease properties in Dubai.
The community is one of the most versatile in the city and does not feature a single theme; instead, investors will find that the buildings are a beautifully surprising blend of modern and traditional architecture.
How to Invest in Dubai Business
The Government of the United Arab Emirates has started several initiatives to make it easier for people to invest in the city. Last year, the Dubai Land Department (DLD) introduced one of the best investment plans in UAE called “Invest in Dubai” to encourage foreign investors’ interest and attract investments in the sector.
The “Invest in Dubai” initiative has a mission to highlight the city’s position in the worldwide real estate industry through a virtual platform that features investors, developers, brokers, and other real estate shareholders and linking them to global investors as well as people seeking to live in Dubai.
“Invest in Dubai” is a one-stop shop platform that provides all the requirements and information for starting a business in the city. From understanding the various funding programs to the type of license you need, the platform offers a treasure trove of information.
Here are some of the benefits it offers:
The platform allows you to get an Instant License from Dubai’s Department of Economic Development, without any pre-approvals. This can help investors start their business in the city with no requirements for a bank account or a tenancy contract. This license is available for four types of establishments: Sole Proprietorship, One Person LLC, Limited Liability Company, and Civil Company.
As a licensee, you will also get an establishment card from the GDRFA-Dubai, along with three work permits for employees. You will also be able to see the payable fee if you want to apply for a license.
Business Setup Advice
The “Invest in Dubai” platform provides business support and recommendations. You can use it to find out the cost of an Instant License as well as a regular license. As an entrepreneur, you can also find out your company types, if you know your business idea, activity, and number of partners.
Investors will also be able to choose between free zone and mainland businesses. The platform is very intuitive and allows you to form your own account and log on to start the process of setting up your own business. Investors can also make use of the UAE Pass to log in to the platform.
With the help of a personalized dashboard, investors can manage their business and see an overview of partners, licenses, KPIs, and other options.
Mainland and Free Zones
Another thing that an investor needs to determine is to find out where you want to base your business — in free zone or mainland. The main advantage of investing in a free zone business is that as an expatriate, you can have 100% ownership of the business.
The “Invest in Dubai” platforms offers a heat map of active businesses in the region as well as major activities in the area, business age range, top sub-areas, and more. Depending on what you want to see, you can filter the results.
If you are not sure of which freezone to select, the platform also has a feature that can help you find the most suitable one for your investment. All in all, the platform has a total of 19 free zones available, based on industry, sector, facilities, amenities, and license type.
Choosing Your Company Name
When it comes to selecting the name of your business, Dubai has a few requirements. Some of these include not choosing a name that is offensive, has reference to Allah or any religion. In addition, if you are naming a company after a person’s name, that person should either be the owner or the partner in your company.
When you are applying for a company name and activity, you will also need to provide copies of the shareholders’ passport. Some free zones also require you to submit an NOC from your sponsor, which will confirm you are allowed to start a business in Dubai.
Since different free zones have different requirements, it is important you check their individual website for details.
Opening a Bank Account
Once you have received approval to set up a business, you should open a business bank account for your company. Dubai offers a wide range of the most profitable global brands including Emirates NBD, Citibank, HSBC, and Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank. You can choose any that meets your preference.
The last step to setting up a business in Dubai is to process the visa. Many free zones allow you to apply for visa on behalf of your partners or staff required to run your business.
The visa process is simple and includes entry permit, status adjustment, medical fitness test, registration for Emirates ID, and visa stamping.
Once these are completed, you can open up a business in Dubai.
Buying to Sell or Buying to Lease
When it comes to the best investment in UAE, investors need to know what kind of options they have. Dubai offers two main types of properties for investment: freehold and leasehold.
Freehold property can be owned outright by the investor while leasehold property involves setting a lease of a property for 99 years or less. If you want to invest in a leasehold property, it may be less expensive than freehold property, but you will also need to factor in costs like ground rent, maintenance charges, and service fees.
Buying to Sell
The Dubai Expo 2020 is slated to start in October 2021. This will provide investors a golden opportunity to make investments in areas near Al Maktoum International Airport and Dubai Investment Park. Investors will also have the option of investing in the hospitality sector, which is expected to boom again or resell their property with profit.
Apartment prices in prime locations in Dubai are low because of the pandemic; however, they are expected to rise as the Expo approaches, making it the best investment option to make money.
Buying to Lease
Investors looking to outright buy properties so that they can lease them out need to consider several factors like return yields and the ROI. Investing in neighborhoods that offer a mix of apartments and villas like the Jumeirah Village Circle, Jumeirah Lake Towers, and Barsha Heights is a good choice in terms of rental income and is one of the best investment plans for monthly income.
Dubai After COVID-19
As a global aviation, tourism, and business hub, Dubai has been hit hard by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The real estate in Dubai suffered a blow once the pandemic spread to the Middle East. However, experts are now predicting that the real estate industry will see a comeback, though with a slight lag. The Expo 2020, which will now start on Oct 1, 2021, is expected to provide some aid in Dubai’s real estate recovery.
Due to the current pandemic uncertainties, people who are looking to invest for the first time should have a slightly longer-term overlook as several macro factors are at play, including the revival of the job market, the risk appetite of banks, and funding availability.
With a COVID-19 vaccine now available, Dubai is expected to see an economic rebound. This is wonderful news for the real estate sector, which makes approximately 40% of the city’s economic growth.
So if an investor has the means to handle a mortgage in these times, industry analysts strongly encourage them to buy as the cost of real estate-related funds is low and property valuations are attractive.
Real estate experts state that affordability in Dubai is excellent and the city was marked by the UBS Global Real Estate Bubble Index as “fair-valued”, which means investing in it is more affordable as compared to other major cities of the world, like London, Paris, and New York.
Is Buying Property In Dubai A Good Investment?
If you are looking to buy property in Dubai right now, it is a good time. In the first quarter of 2020, Dubai saw property prices reduced by 10% compared to the first quarter of 2019. Thanks to low interest rates for mortgage, availability of higher loan-to-value ratio, discounted property prices, reduced service charges, attractive property valuation, and incentives like service charge waivers, Dubai is currently very much a buyer’s market.
Is It Safe to Invest in Dubai Property?
After the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dubai saw salary cuts, job losses, job insecurities, and credit standard tightening, all of which adversely affected the demand for property. However, after a year, it seems the buying appetite of investors is returning and experts are predicting a rebound in the property market.
Dropping prices and favorable bank rates mean investors are now looking once again to the real estate sector as buyers look to capitalize on the low prices. In addition, initiatives like the introduction of online property transfer from the Dubai Land Department or the stimulus package from the UAE Central Bank, as well as advantageous payment options from developers, are also supporting the real estate market.
With multiple analysts foreseeing a return in demand for investment in property, this would make an ideal time to buy property if you haven’t yet and hold on to your property if you have already invested in some.
Why Should You Invest in DAMAC?
DAMAC Properties offers investors the golden opportunity of participating in the future growth of the luxury property developer in Dubai and the Middle East.
DAMAC is proud to have a record of delivering over 32,000 homes since it was launched in 2002. The company has 34,000 units in the pipeline as of 31st December 2020.
The mission of DAMAC Properties is to benefit investors with attractive returns on investment, which are driven by enhanced margin and strong financial results due to the company’s full development phase business model.
DAMAC is an internationally-recognized company that serves to lead the growth of the premium Dubai property market and beyond. It has a proven business model as well as advanced in-house designs, project execution and sales, and hospitality and service capabilities.
The figurehead of the company’s success is DAMAC’s highly committed founding shareholder and an experienced management team.
Benefits of Choosing DAMAC Over Others
People who are looking to invest in Dubai need to know about some of the benefits that DAMAC provides:
Top-Notch, World-Renowned Property Developer in Dubai
DAMAC Properties is an internationally-recognized brand that boasts a strong reputation due to its stellar record of delivering high-end developments, including its various hotel apartments in the Burj area, the Marina Terrace, Ocean Heights, and the Park Towers in Dubai and Al Jawharah, and its co-branded project with Versace in Jeddah.
Because of its global reputation and strong position in the real estate market, DAMAC enjoys a higher sales volume, which translates to a higher profit margin than its competitors. This makes it one of the safest investment options in UAE.
The Growth Leader in the Premium Property Market in Dubai
Dubai is experiencing strong economic growth across several pivotal sectors. While enjoying strong growth prospects in the UAE, the city itself is experiencing an increased influx of expatriates who are willing to make foreign investments as well as an increased demand for tourism. These factors are encouraging the demand for premium residential properties.
As a leading real estate developer in Dubai, DAMAC Properties is in an enviable position of furthering the region’s property market as the sector recovers from the pandemic and sees renewed investor confidence.
Proven Business Model that Results in Attractive ROI
DAMAC is highly committed to maximizing profits and return on equity through its exceptional planning and decision-making processes. The company is able to maximize its profit through aggressive project cost management, acquiring land located in a prime location with good value, rapid speed of execution, active capital management and a robust and sophisticated sales and marketing team.
Advanced In-House Design, Sales, Execution, Hospitality and Service Capabilities
The secret to DAMAC Properties’ financial success is its ability to generate strong sales on units in a project from the get go. The company is proud to have its own in-house sales, marketing, customer relationship management, design, and project management team, which play a pivotal role in every step of the design, development, and sales process.
Looking Towards Future Growth Due to In-Progress Developments
DAMAC Properties has top-quality development projects that are expected to drive near-term growth, in the UAE and globally. It has also expanded into branded homes, which has increased the prospects for the company’s future growth and has joined hands with internationally recognized brands like Versace Home, Paramount Hotels and Resorts, Trump Organization, Just Cavalli, Rotana Hotels, and the Radisson Group.
Debt-Free Strategy With Fully-Paid Land
DAMAC Properties’ conservative business model demands paying the majority of construction costs through installment payments received on sales of units, enabling it to operate with low leverage and reduce risks to the company’s pipeline projects.
It has a conservative and flexible capital structure with agile management that allows it to respond proactively to changes in the economic cycle.
Sophisticated Management Team and Dedicated Shareholder
The company has an exceptional team of senior managers and directors who boast decades of experience in the real estate and development industry and in the sales and marketing, human resource, corporate finance, company administration, and legal and accounting sectors.
With the help of its diverse local and foreign team members, the company’s board is able to draw its knowledge and skills that have resulted in DAMAC Properties’ success thus far.
Can I Get Permanent Residency in Dubai?
The “Invest in Dubai” platform helps investors understand the requirements of getting a residency or a visa through investment. Last year, the UAE announced citizenships for investors, innovators, doctors, and other professionals. These residents are also eligible to apply for a Golden Visa, which will grant immediate citizenship to investors who have applied for the Citizen by Investment Programme.
Besides this, both the regular and Instant License, based on the type of company and activity, will provide investors residency options for their families as well. More details on the residency and citizenship requirements can be found in the “Invest in Dubai” platform.
Can a Foreigner Own a Business in Dubai?
The “Invest in Dubai” initiative is another step in making Dubai the place of choice for investors and entrepreneurs around the world. In December 2020, the government also granted 100% foreign ownership to foreign entrepreneurs, making it the best investment plan with high returns.
Where Can I Invest my Money in Dubai?
The great thing about Dubai is that it has some of the best things to invest in. It connects a population of over 2.4 billion across the Middle East, East Africa, and the Indian subcontinent and has the most culturally and ethnically diverse population in the world.
Because of these reasons, the best places to invest your money is the residential and commercial real estate industry, the travel and tourism industry and the hotel and hospitality industry. With its population on the rise each year, these sectors are guaranteed to bring you the most lucrative investment opportunities.
What is the Best Investment in Dubai?
If you are looking to invest in real estate, there are plenty of prime properties that you can consider. Some of the best investments in Dubai can be made in Dubai Marina, Dubai Internet City and Dubai Media City, Jumeirah Village Circle, Dubailand, Business Bay, Jumeirah Lake Towers, and Barsha Heights.
Is It Worth Investing in Dubai?
According to the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business score, Dubai attained a high score of 94.8, making it one of the top 20 easiest countries to start a business in. Investors looking to get high returns for their money consider Dubai as one of the safest bets for investment, particularly in the real estate and hospitality sectors.
Dubai is a Buyer’s Market Post-COVID
Post-pandemic, Dubai’s real estate sector is ripe for investing. DAMAC Properties offers some of the best places to invest in Dubai for both local and foreign entrepreneurs and investors. The company offers opportunities for investing in safe, luxurious communities with park landscapes and dozens of amenities, which are perfect for families as well as young professionals.
The coming months will present an opportunity for buyers looking for long-term investment in Dubai, investors seeking a high rate of return, and expats who are residing in Dubai. Investors can benefit from another few months of discounted prices before the Dubai Expo 2021, which is expected to raise real estate prices.
All of the above, plus the continued support from the UAE government in the form of stimulus relief package will influence directly or indirectly on investments made today and Dubai may be witnessing an golden opportunity that comes once in a lifetime for people who are ready to invest.
If you are interested in learning more about the unique investments opportunities that are available in Dubai’s market, view our properties or reach out to us today to get a free consultation.