Economic stimulus to boost Abu Dhabi's real estate market, says JLL

JLL believes that new 10-year visas and 100 percent foreign ownership rules are a "game changer" in Abu Dhabi
Economic stimulus to boost Abu Dhabi's real estate market, says JLL
JLL said the Tomorrow 2021 initiative will also encourage start-ups to enter the market more efficiently, which, in turn, will result in a boost to commercial activity in the emirate.
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Wed 31 Oct 2018 11:00 AM

Despite the subdued performance of Abu Dhabi’s real estate market in Q3, the emirate’s “Tomorrow 2021” initiative will lead to a more positive investment environment in the future, according to a new market report from JLL.

According to the report, the initiative will also encourage start-ups to enter the market more efficiently, which, in turn, will result in a boost to commercial activity in the emirate.

“With the reforms set to impact the real estate sector, the Tomorrow 2021 stimulus package will particularly focus on increased investment in the commercial market in the long term,” said Peter Stebbings, head of Abu Dhabi office – senior director valuation advisory MENA, JLL. “Further aspects of the package will impact free zone businesses, allowing them to trade on shore.”

Stebbings added that “this will boost economic activity and therefore benefit the real estate market in the future.”

Additionally, the government’s decision to allow 10-year visas to qualified expatriates and 100 percent ownership of companies outside of free zones will be a “game changer” that may lead to “increased market appetite”, according to JLL Middle East and Africa CEO Thierry Delvaux.

The report added that recovering oil prices in Q3 may also have a positive impact on future office demand by increasing unemployment, reversing contractions that earlier resulted from the consolidation of entities such as ADNO and Mubadala.

Over the quarter, the performance of Abu Dhabi’s office sector remained stable, with 3.7 million sq m of Gross Leasable Area (GLA).

Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi’s hospitality market saw an occupancy increase of 3 basis points. However, while occupant levels reached 70 percent in the quarter, average daily rates fell and RevPar declined by 3 percent compared to the same time period last year.

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