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Deloitte predicts 2018 will be a year of change for Dubai’s real estate market

31 January, 2018 — Deloitte the business advisory firm, has today launched the fourth annual Middle East Real Estate Predictions, Dubai, which predicts 2018 will be a year of change for Dubai’s real estate market, from the introduction of Value Added Tax (VAT) to the adoption of disruptive technologies such as 3D printing.

The report examines the performance of Dubai’s real estate market in 2017, covering the hospitality, residential, retail, office and industrial segments and explores how four key themes will shape Dubai’s real estate market in 2018.

Martin Cooper, Head of Development Strategy & Investment in Deloitte’s Real Estate and Construction team said: “The theme for Dubai’s real estate market in 2018 is change. Developers, operators and investors will need to navigate their way through increasing geopolitical uncertainty, the adoption of disruptive technologies and the introduction of VAT. How well they do so will determine their performance in 2018 and beyond.”

The introduction of VAT in the UAE will represent one of the biggest challenges for Dubai’s real estate market as stakeholders embed revised accounting systems and processes. In addition, the introduction of VAT on construction materials and professional services may cause cash flow and working capital pressures for some developers.

Bruce Hamilton, Partner in Deloitte’s Indirect Tax team said: “The interaction of any new law with existing commercial practice always creates some challenges. The introduction of VAT not only forces the Real Estate sector to relook at their own practices and procedures, but those of businesses in the value chain with whom they interact. VAT impacts throughout the business from procurement to marketing of sales and supplies. How well the real estate market, of whom developers are a crucial sector, come to grips with these changes could impact on the sector in 2018 and for years to come.”

Disruptive technologies such as 3D printing will become more mainstream.

Dubai will begin the journey in 2018 to become a world leader in certain disruptive technologies. 3D printing will become more mainstream in the real estate sector, as Dubai starts to deliver its 3D printing strategy and works towards the target that 25% of new buildings are 3D printed by 2025. In addition, Dubai will catch-up with other mature markets in the adoption of online retail in 2018, as Amazon and Noon gain traction.

Dubai’s development finance market is evolving and becoming more diverse.

Despite a challenging 2017, development finance for real estate projects is likely to remain available in Dubai in 2018. However, to access development finance, qualifying investors will need a track record of delivery, a well configured project and alternative sources of free cash to service project debt.

Dubai will become more connected than ever to the global economy.

Dubai will leverage its world-class infrastructure and business friendly legal and regulatory environment to remain well connected to the global economy in 2018. Although this will present a number of opportunities for Dubai, there are risks to the global economy that will need to be managed. These risks include increasing economic protectionism and geopolitical uncertainty.

About the Middle East Real Estate Predictions report, Dubai 2018

A Deloitte initiative that was produced by undertaking in depth market research, extensive consultations with industry stakeholders and analysis of data from sources that include the Economist Intelligence Unit, MasterCard, Oxford Economics, Reidin and STR Global. The in depth market research comprised an assessment of the trend performance and future prospects for Dubai’s hospitality, residential, retail, office and industrial markets.

To discuss the report in more detail please contact Martin Cooper.

To view the full report please click here

Press contact
Nadine El Hassan
Middle East Public Relations
Deloitte & Touche (M.E.)
Tel: +961 (0) 1 748444
Fax: +961 (0) 1 748999

Click here for the Arabic version

About Deloitte:

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee (“DTTL”), its network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL and each of its member firms and their related entities are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) does not provide services to clients. Please see to learn more about our global network of member firms.

Deloitte provides audit, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory, tax and related services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. Deloitte serves four out of five Fortune Global 500® companies through a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries and territories bringing world-class capabilities, insights, and high- quality service to address clients’ most complex business challenges. To learn more about how Deloitte’s approximately 245,000 professionals make an impact that matters, please connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

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About Deloitte & Touche (M.E.):

Deloitte & Touche (M.E.) is a member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL) and is a leading professional services firm established in the Middle East region with uninterrupted presence since 1926. DTME’s presence in the Middle East region is established through its affiliated independent legal entities, which are licensed to operate and to provide services under the applicable laws and regulations of the relevant country. DTME’s affiliates and related entities cannot oblige each other and/or DTME, and when providing services, each affiliate and related entity engages directly and independently with its own clients and shall only be liable only for its own acts or omissions and not those of any other affiliate.

Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting, financial advisory and risk advisory services through 25 offices in 14 countries with more than 3,300 partners, directors and staff. It is a Tier 1 Tax advisor in the GCC region since 2010 (according to the International Tax Review World Tax Rankings). It has also received numerous awards in the last few years, which include best Advisory and Consultancy Firm of the Year 2016 in the CFO Middle East awards, best employer in the Middle East, the Middle East Training & Development Excellence Award by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), as well as the best CSR integrated organization.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

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