(MENAFN - Arab News) Dubai's real estate sector is on a very strong growth platform and emirate's eMart, the new online portal for real estate transactions, attracted 29,000 visitors including 500 from Saudi Arabia.
The one-month old portal has attracted more than 150 real estate firms, 230 investors and more than 1,300 property units with a combined value of AED139 million.
"eMart, which was launched in November has already exceeded all expectations," says Sultan Butti bin Mejren, director-general of Dubai Land Department.
"This shows the portal's popularity as an all-in-one hub for lucrative property investments. Visitors whom we are attracting to eMart represent a cross-section of various nationalities: over 20,000 Emiratis, more than 2,500 Americans, 700 Britons and 500 Saudis. There is also growing interest from Indian, Pakistani, Kuwaiti, Qatari, French, German, Russian, Canadian and Japanese buyers and sellers, among many others," Bin Mejren added.
The total value of property offered for direct sales exceeded AED130 million. eMart also conducted its first e-auction, with transactions quickly passing the AED75 million barrier.
A study by Tasweek Real Estate Development and Marketing, meanwhile, says that the UAE real estate market is set to witness amazing return on investments between 9 percent and 12 percent per annum, which will serve as a major magnet for local and international investors.
The study also revealed that the contribution of the UAE real estate sector to the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would touch AED 111.4 billion by the end of 2013, which is expected to further surge to AED 118 billion by the end of 2014. The sector's contribution to GDP was AED108.2 billion in 2012 and AED 99 billion in 2009.
"2014 will mark a major step-change in the growth of the UAE real estate sector, specially that world economic recovery started with Euro zone comeback and US housing growth pushing the mortgage lending and interest increase all of which will become more robust and sustainable," said Masood Al-Awar, CEO of Tasweek Real Estate Development and Marketing.
"The prospects are good for the UAE's endured property market rally - Abu Dhabi's up-tempo market and Dubai's return as a preferred global real estate hub provide sufficient boosts to maintain momentum through next year," he said.
The Dubai market, the second most sought-after property destination after Hong Kong, increased by over 10 percent since the beginning of 2013, driven by the strong governmental support and improving confidence in the market amidst political instability in the region, the study noted.
The residential rental market would focus around Downtown Burj, Old Town, Dubai Marina, DIFC and Silicon Oasis neighborhoods, while those keen on buying residential units would eye developments in Downtown Burj, Dubai Marina, DIFC, Business Bay, Jumeirah Lake Towers and Greens, among other areas.
Offices leasing market witnessed slower activity in Dubai, while prices increased in the prime locations and the new business areas such as the Sheikh Zayed Road in the midst of increasing investor demand, the report opined, with rentals focusing on Dubai Marina, DIFC and TECOM among the preferred destinations.
However, according to propertyfinder.ae, Dubai Marina topped the list of Dubai's most searched locations to rent property in.
Other top 10 most searched rental locations in Dubai are: Jumeirah Lake Towers, Downtown Dubai, Palm Jumeirah, The Springs, Dubai Sports City, Jumeirah Village Circle, Dubailand, Jumeirah Beach Residence and International City.
The Tasweek study emphasizes positive growth for the Abu Dhabi real estate, with price stabilization and recovery in select areas - driven by the unveiling of mega projects such as the AED246 billion developments in the Western Region, which will positively impact the sector.
The residential and retail rental values in Abu Dhabi are also set to grow exponentially amidst the decision of the Executive Council to disengage itself from the annual rental cap in November 2013, the study said.
Since the real-estate business started to boom, major banks began to ink agreements with builders. On Tuesday, Ajman Bank has entered into a strategic agreement with Meydan Sobha Group to provide its customers financing for villas located in Mohammed Bin Rashid City - District One.