Dubai should start selling gov't buildings to fund mega projects, says analyst

Not selling state land and property is “the biggest missed opportunity in Dubai real estate,” CBRE MidEast boss claims
Dubai should start selling gov't buildings to fund mega projects, says analyst
Nick Maclean, managing director of CBRE Middle East and North Africa.
By Sarah Townsend
Sun 17 May 2015 10:04 AM

The Dubai government should sell some of its real estate assets to fund ambitious national development projects, according to the head of one of the Middle East’s biggest property firms.

Nick Maclean, managing director of CBRE Middle East and North Africa, told Arabian Business that not selling state land and property is “the biggest missed opportunity in Dubai real estate”.

Sales of government property would stimulate inward capital flows and provide additional revenue for ambitious construction projects such as Expo2020, Maclean said.

Dubai has a target of attracting 20 million visitors a year by 2021 and the CBRE chief said that, while the government is not short of cash at present, it will need to continue being able to build new projects in the coming decades to keep people coming to the emirate.

The overriding trend in the Middle East is for state money to be invested in real estate elsewhere, for example in established markets such as the UK.

But by encouraging investment in home-turf real estate, the UAE will create a liquid market more sustainable in the long term.

“For a trading nation [such as Dubai] not to be trading real estate is an intriguing conundrum,” Maclean said, adding that the number of owner-occupiers in Dubai real estate is disproportionately high.

Several inward investment deals involving residential, office and hotel assets are expected to complete before Ramadan, he revealed. The buyers are predominantly from the Far East, Maclean added, though he declined to provide further details at this time.

For all the latest real estate news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.