Dubai's government gifted over half a billion dollars worth of land to local citizens, including ten plots on Palm Jumeirah, during the first half of 2014, official data showed.
Dubai Land Department records showed the emirate gave away 165 plots of land between January 1 and June 30, 2014, a drop of 32 percent over the same period last year.
The total value of the land bank amounted to AED2,036,871,505 ($554.5 million), a year-on–year decline of 14.8 percent compared to the same period in the first half of 2013.
Analysis of the data showed the majority of the plots were awarded in Mirdif, where 12 pieces of land worth $10,133,029.57 were gifted. Second was Al Thanyah Fifth with 12 plots worth $15.7 million, followed by Al Barsha South Fifth (11 plots worth $10.3 million), Al Thanayah Fourth (10 plots worth $47.6 million) and the iconic Palm Jumeirah (10 plots worth $23.2 million).
The most valuable piece of land awarded was a plot in Al Safouh in western Dubai valued at $77.8 million.
The figures come as recent data reported that construction projects awarded across the GCC are forecast to reach $195.67 billion this year, an increase of nearly $35 billion compared to 2013, according to a new report by Ventures Middle East.
Saudi Arabia with $64.29 billion constituted the largest share of the contracts awarded in 2013, followed by the UAE at $28.06 billion while the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are likely to lead growth in the construction market over the next few years.