Dubai Developer Damac Warns Against Property ‘Dumping’ Next Year

By Zainab Fattah and Yousef Gamal El-Din | Originally published on Dec 21, 2020 | Bloomberg

One of Dubai’s largest developers said 2021 would be another challenging year for the sector and warned against the risk of companies “dumping” property in a market already grappling with excess inventory.

“I hope the big developers don’t start dumping supply just because they can sell another few hundred villas or apartments,” Damac Properties PJSC Chairman Hussain Sajwani said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “We very strongly believe that next year will be a challenging year.”

Damac’s chairman has been advocating for a moratorium on construction in Dubai, the Middle East’s tourism and financial hub, where a property glut has driven home prices down by more than 30% since 2014. The government was forced to set up a committee to manage supply and demand as some of the city’s largest developers continued to build.

Now, it seems many are coming around to accept the need to halt new building. After resisting calls to stop, the head of Dubai’s biggest developer Emaar Properties PJSC, Mohamed Alabbar, earlier this month said his company stopped all new construction temporarily.

Measures to curb the spread of coronavirus “have forced everybody to stop no matter if they like it or not,” Sajwani said. “Everybody realizes there is too much oversupply.”

Damac won’t be bringing new product to the market, Sajwani said. “We have no intention of expanding because the situation still doesn’t look rosy at all going forward.”