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Wed 8 Apr 2015 01:55 PM

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One in five of Dubai's prime properties said to lie empty

Property agents say the empty properties are mainly holiday homes or investments

One in five of Dubai's prime properties said to lie empty

As much as one-fifth of Dubai’s prime properties lie empty for most of the year, according to property experts.

The figure is in line with the international statistic that says one in four apartments in major cities across the world are empty. In Dubai, real estate experts believe that between 15 and 20 percent units in the city are left unoccupied, either because the property is a holiday home or an investment.

“Dubai does host a vast number of absentee owners, just like many other similar cities in the world that attract high net worth individuals,” Andrew Cleator, luxury sales director, LuxHabitat, told Khaleej Times.

“There are no recorded statistics for absentee owners, but in my opinion, I would safely say currently in the region of 20 percent of properties, of which buyers mainly come from Europe, Russia, the GCC and to a lesser degree the Indian sub-continent.”

Mario Volpi, managing director, Ocean View Real Estate, said Dubai, in its move to diversity away oil, promoted itself as an investment opportunity around the world.

“Remember that Dubai was promoted to different countries in the past as a property hotspot ripe for investment. As a result, many people bought into this and now own properties here while residing elsewhere,” he said. 

The investors typically buy luxury or beachfront properties, according to Gregory Lewis, senior negotiator, Knight Frank. “It’s a mix really. Some buyers will buy to rent (Downtown or Dubai Marina), some buy as holiday homes (Palm Jumeirah) and some buy for the future (Emirates Living),” he said.

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