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Sun 17 May 2015 10:04 AM

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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.

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.

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Ahmed 4 years ago

Dumb idea...sell a property you own, only to start paying rent on it. Short term gain at a long term cost.

Just because the Banks did it to save their skin, does not mean its a rational thing to do. On the contrary...BECAUSE the Banks did it, we NOW KNOW its irrational to do, and the Dubai Government should not make this mistake. If they do this, the new owners will jack up the rent in due course, increase the value of the building on the basis of a secure rental income from the Government) and in a few years time the Government will have to BUY BACK the building at multiples of what it would sell it for. So, a few middlemen and the new owners make money...Government looses money. Which part of this does Mr Maclean not understand?


IGK 4 years ago

When is Dubai going to get the highest value for it assets (after Expo 2020 or before) is the question