The UAE is the third largest market in the world for branded residences

Originally published on Nov 21, 2021 | Khaleej Times

The UAE has emerged as the third largest country market for branded residences globally, with Dubai taking the top place among world cities, according to the latest Spotlight on Branded Residences report from Savills.

The US, home to almost 200 branded residence schemes, secured the top position followed by Thailand and the UAE as the second and third largest country markets, with 42 and 39 completed schemes, respectively.

Dubai top location globally

Dubai, Miami and New York are the top three locations for branded residences globally. These cities have established luxury property markets and attract a range of domestic and international buyers, according to the report.

Swapnil Pillai, associate director for research at Savills Middle East, said Dubai benefits from a healthy mix of projects from global brands along with a sizeable number of projects from domestic players bringing to the market a range of diverse offerings.

“In a highly competitive residential market, branded residences offer a point of difference. Brands bring design expertise and marketing benefits that help widen the customer base and achieve potential price premiums,” he said.

Branded residences in demand

Globally, the branded residences sector has expanded by 230 per cent over the past decade. Today, there are 580 schemes open and operating with almost 100,000 units between them.

“The market is forecast to exceed to more than 900 schemes by 2026, almost doubling the current supply. This growth is coupled with the rise in the number of brands participating in the space, rising from 69 in 2011 to 133 in 2021,” according to the report.

Over the next five years, the United States, Mexico, and the UAE will lead the market in terms of the number of new branded residences schemes in the pipeline. Egypt is also emerging as a hotspot; it is forecast to more than double its current supply by 2026, it added.

Riyan Itani, head of Global Residential Development Consultancy, Savills, said 2021 has seen the continued expansion of the branded residences sector globally, moving the 10-year growth rate from 170 per cent last year to 230 per cent this year.

“A sign of the industry’s recognition of the robust and profitable economic model that underlies branded residential development. Existing hoteliers are developing new residential brand concepts and bolstering their residential development teams,” he said.

“At the same time, an unprecedented number of both hotelier and non-hotelier brands are working to define their brand standards, structure their contractual documents and their operational approach to entering the market.”

Brand building gains momentum

Brands have spread rapidly into other global regions, particularly in Asia Pacific and the Middle East where economic growth and rising domestic wealth has supported expansion over the last decade, the report says.

The branded residences space has diversified significantly over the past decade, shifting from a market dominated entirely by hotel brands to a combination of hotel and non-hotel or lifestyle brands.

“While the branded residential sector has historically been, and remains, dominated by luxury brands, locations including South Korea, United States, UAE and Malaysia each have multiple non-luxury schemes in the pipeline for the forecast period,” according to the report.

In terms of parent groups, Marriott remains comfortably at the top of the rankings, a position it has held since 2002. However, there have been new entrants into the market as well as expansion of established players both in terms of type of brand and the location of the parent brand.

Accor, for instance, ranks fifth by number of completed properties in 2021, up from sixth place in 2020. The company has expanded its presence in the sector notably over recent years and has a significant pipeline.