Qatari investors look abroad, including Dubai, for better yields
Qatar remains a prosperous nation which boasts the highest gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in the world. No surprises then that we find some of the best assets in the world are owned by Qatari nationals, writes Shaista Zulfiqar.
In England alone, the Qatari royal family owns 20 percent of Camden market; high-end store Harrods; 87 storeys of the European Union’s tallest building, the Shard; the London Olympic village; almost 50 percent of the most expensive apartment block in the world located at 1 Hyde Park; the Chelsea Barracks site, as well as the United States embassy building in Grosvenor Square.
These monolithic investments provide an insight into the power and wealth of Qatari royals, as well as other residents of the richest country in the world.
The Qatari real estate market is also thriving. Buoyed by the upcoming 2022 World Cup, the realty sector is seeing a massive surge in activity in both residential and commercial segments. However, the soccer tournament has not restricted Qatari investors from looking for more lucrative markets elsewhere.
Apart from Europe and other world markets, Qataris have kept a keen eye on its next-door neighbour, Dubai – one of the fastest rising global cities in the world with a plethora of opportunities for both investors
Dubai has long arrived on the world scene and is now working towards cementing its position as a serious contender on a global level. Its far-sighted vision to move away from oil dependence and diversify its economy has paid off, with the real estate sector paving the way for Dubai’s
Qataris know that well, which is why they are among the leading investors in the realty sector of Dubai. Qatari per capita investment in Dubai’s real estate between January 1, 2014 and November 15, 2014 reached AED937 million (QAR929 million), according to Dubai Land Department (DLD) figures. The number of investors? A mere 100, meaning the average per person investment was AED9.37 million (QAR9.29 million). The staggering numbers are not only reflective of the power of Qatari wealth but also the promise that Dubai’s real estate holds.
Qatari investors clearly understand the potential of Dubai’s property sector and the massive per capita investment speaks volumes about their trust in Dubai’s future, a trust reinforced when Qatari investors again put AED522 million (QAR517 million) into Dubai realty in the first three months
Apart from the DLD figures, Bayut.com, a Dubai-based property portal, has provided some insights into the search trends of Qatari vis-à-vis Dubai market. Bayut noted that of all searches by Qataris into the Dubai real estate market, the majority (78.29 percent) searched for properties that were up for sale in Q1 2015, compared to a mere 45.31 percent who did that in Q1 2014. On the other hand, only 21.71 percent of Qataris searched rental spaces in Q1 2015, compared to 54.69 percent last year.
Within these searches, apartments remained the most searched unit type, taking up 80.61 percent of the searches. The favourite areas for apartment searches remained, in order of most queries, Downtown Dubai, Dubai Marina, Dubai Sports City and Jumeirah Lake Towers. Average Q1 2015 prices in these areas were AED4 million (QAR3.9 million), AED1.2 million (QAR1.1 million), AED742,617 (QAR736218) and AED635,845 (QAR630,366), respectively. However, Bayut found that there was a considerable rise in searches for villas as well, with searches almost tripling from 7.55 percent to 18.5 percent, quarter on quarter.
Shaista Zulfiqar is a senior manager, communication & PR for Bayut.com.
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