Property

Brexit ‘can boost Chinese investment in Dubai property’

City’s educational facilities another factor set to entice Chinese investors, says property website

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Dubai has a huge opportunity to boost growing real estate investment from Chinese investors in the wake of Britain’s decision to leave the EU, said the regional head of one of China’s top international property websites.

According to Juwai.com, uncertainty in Europe following the Brexit vote could attract a new wave of Chinese investment in Dubai based on the emirate’s offer of quality new homes with potential for price growth. Enquiries on UAE property via the website for the first half of this year are 40% up on the previous six months, and 85.3% higher over the last 12 months than the previous year, Juwai reported.

Bernie Morris, the website’s president for the UK, Europe and the Middle East, said developers and marketers should use the UAE’s universities and international educational institutions to attract Chinese parents who are prepared to buy homes for their children to study overseas.

“Chinese property investors may react to the Brexit uncertainty with a flight to quality. This will only enhance the UAE’s prominence within the Middle East as the premier destination, one with a similar investment profile to parts of Europe. With its high-quality new residential construction, the UAE has the perfect product for those Chinese investors who prefer to invest in off-plan or new build property,” Morris said.

“Dubai has a great growth story to share with potential investors. It has planned theme parks, infrastructure projects and new housing, so Chinese investors can easily see that there will be economic activity to support future price gains. For many Chinese buyers, Dubai serves as a combined vacation and investment destination. They may buy a unit that can be rented out and managed for them, and expect to visit once or twice per year.”

The topic of Dubai benefiting from Brexit, especially where Chinese investors are concerned, will be a prominent one in the upcoming Cityscape Conference, Morris said. He will be one of the expert panelists at the conference, which will take place ahead of the three-day Cityscape Global exhibition starting the next day.

According to Morris, the UAE property sector’s apparent failure to capitalise on its potential as an overseas education destination is a “great missed opportunity”.

“With its offering of world-class universities, the UAE should be able to increase the number of Chinese students it attracts,” he said. “Property marketers need to make the case that the UAE is the perfect place to study overseas. If they do, we would expect to see a growing number of transactions by families purchasing homes for their children to live in while studying.”

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