Dubai skyline
File picture of the Dubai skyline. But the pace of new developments should slow down to absorb demand and supply, says Hussain Sajwani. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

An iconic skyline is perhaps one of the first images that come to mind when anyone thinks of Dubai. This magnificent skyline reflects the many accomplishments of this city’s diverse, innovative and bold real estate sector.

Over the years, the emirate has established itself as a prime global destination for real estate investments and unique living experiences. Dubai’s state-of-the-art infrastructure and government initiatives have continued to boost the real estate sector, which now accounts for 7.2 per cent of the UAE GDP.

While there is no denying that we have come a long way as an industry, it is also true that we have only just begun. Today, Dubai’s real estate sector stands at the cusp of a new era of progress, thanks to the long-term vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

His directive to form the Higher Committee of Real Estate with the Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, at the helm is a significant step towards forging a mature and balanced real estate landscape for the future.

Higher purpose

Dubai’s phenomenal growth over the years is based on the simple philosophy of sustained innovation. The announcement of the Higher Committee was part of the strategic direction revealed by Sheikh Mohammed in his “Letter of the New Season” in which he highlighted six significant guidelines.

The primary purpose of the Committee is to manage the balance between supply and demand, maintain the diversity of projects and ensure that developments add real value to the national economy. The Committee has been tasked with the responsibility of developing strategic 10-year plans for all major real estate projects in Dubai, and to ensure that semi-government real estate companies and private investment companies achieve a balanced and optimised project development portfolio.

Touch of control

While finding the right balance between supply and demand is not easy, I am confident that the Committee will be able to achieve this goal by adopting a dynamic approach in controlling construction and the launch of new projects. Doing this will not only help stabilise prices but also bolster investors’ confidence in Dubai’s real estate market.

To help create a robust strategy for the future, Dubai’s leading real estate players must collaborate with the Committee to carry out an extensive study of the real estate market to get an accurate assessment of the current situation across verticals.

Mindsets need changing

In managing supply and demand, developers have to play a vital role in supporting the Committee’s objectives. The industry is well aware of the dangers of ill-planned projects that lead to oversupply and duplication, without adding any value to the market.

With an official Committee in place, developers will need to be open and flexible to the idea of change. Besides managing supply, the industry needs to focus on aligning their projects with Dubai’s demographics and future needs.

The Committee’s focus on diversification of projects will play a key role in achieving this goal. By directing developers to create innovative and differentiated real estate offerings, the Committee will ensure that our efforts translate into positive returns for the economy.

A city known for its groundbreaking transformations, Dubai has embarked on a journey to evolve into a diversified economy that is based on knowledge and ambition. While Dubai retains its position as a top destination for global investors, it is also maturing into a place where people would like to build lives and bring up families.

Economic stability and a government that is committed to excellence in every field establishes Dubai as a city of the future. The launch of this Committee is a pivotal step in the right direction.

Considering the future needs of Dubai, we have amplified our focus on creating large-scale mixed-use developments that exemplify the essence of community living. We have always synchronised our ambition and strategy with those of the country’s wise leadership - and we continue on our mission to develop sustainable communities.

Hussain Sajwani is Chairman of Damac.