According to a recent customer survey by DAMAC Properties, the Middle East's leading independent real estate company, its Emirates Gardens development scored an unprecedented 96 per cent approval rating with residents.
The survey, which was conducted as part of DAMAC Properties' proactive customer engagement policy, is used to evaluate customer's feedback on receipt of their Properties. The survey contains 12 predefined questions, including whether they are satisfied with the presentation of the apartment; the quality of the materials used and the ease of the handover process.
"This is an extremely satisfying result; it is one thing us knowing that we have produced a great development but hearing it from our customers is something else. Although this survey shows that 96 per cent of residents are delighted or extremely delighted with their property we will not sit contented until we have 100 per cent and will work with the four per cent to ensure that any concerns or issues they have are addressed," said Niall Mc Loughlin, Senior Vice President DAMAC Properties.
One of the residents that completed the survey, Mohamed Jeneby, a Kenyan property investor who took possession of his one-bedroom apartment last year, is extremely happy with his apartment and is confident that it will be a solid long-term investment.
"What I like about Emirates Gardens in particular is the location, Jumeirah Village is central to other areas such as Sports City, IMPZ, Global Village and Dubailand." Mr Jeneby commented.
Mr Jeneby has a unique strategy for evaluating his potential property investments; he monitors the number of passengers through Dubai's airport, which he believes provides a reliable indicator of the emirate's future growth.
"Back in 2006 when the ruler of Dubai said his vision was for 60 million passengers, I thought it was a pipe dream. The airport was handling about 24 million passengers at the time, and when those numbers grew to 34 million in 2007 I thought, it's time to invest" said Mr Jeneby.
Mr Jeneby closely watches statistics on passenger numbers through Dubai, as a forward indictor of the potential for future growth. "When you look at airport passenger numbers, when you look at Jebel Ali Port, the Metro, you can see that the infrastructure is in place. Dubai will grow, it's only a matter of time" he commented.
Dubai has the most advanced infrastructure in the region, with a well-maintained network of roads, 2 large air terminals and a port that is among the best in the world. Infrastructure is one of the key factors which have the effect of encouraging direct foreign investment.
Dubai's strategic geographical position at the gateway to Africa, Asia and Europe, has cemented the emirate as the favoured Middle East location for multinational corporations to establish their regional headquarters. According to research by CB Richard Ellis, more than 30 percent of senior managers in the GCC, prefer Dubai for their head office, over all other cities in the region.
"Dubai is well established as a regional trade and financial hub, and it has the infrastructure to support future development and growth. Other cities in the GCC are still a long way behind Dubai in providing the high standard of infrastructure required to sustain multinational corporations" said Mc Loughlin.
A recent report by leading international financial services company, Credit Suisse, recently announced that it expects Dubai's property market to revive this year on the back of improving domestic economic and financial conditions.
While real estate prices declined in 2010, the rate of decline slowed dramatically towards the end of the year. There was also a steady flow of real estate transactions in 2010. The Land Department recorded 38,410 transactions, with a clear interest from investors towards residential apartments.
"Many investors are waiting on the sidelines, hoping to pick the bottom of Dubai's real estate market. The problem with doing that is if you wait too long you may miss a sizable part of the upswing" said Niall Mc Loughlin.
Mohamed Jeneby believes Dubai is a buyer's market and says he is planning to purchase another property in Dubai in the next few months. He firmly believes that two years from today, people will sit back and say 'why didn't I get into the market then?'
DAMAC Properties agrees that Dubai's real estate market is now stabilising, and investors need to realign their strategies with the view that property should be seen as a mid to long-term investment.
"The days of flipping properties for a quick profit are over, and investors who take a longer term view of property investments will realise that there are currently some excellent buying opportunities in the market" said Mc Loughlin.
The UAE still offers an attractive place to live, and is geographically well positioned to recover more quickly than many other countries from the global financial crisis. The absence of income and capital gains tax in the UAE make the country an attractive market for real estate investments in the mid to longer term.
With more than 12 thousand units under construction across the region, and seven project handovers planned Dubai in the first half of the 2011; DAMAC Properties continues to be a major contributor to Dubai's real estate revival. Its portfolio of luxury products, which offer significant investment opportunities, will continue to be a major draw for investors.