HOW DUBAI REAL ESTATE MARKET WAS AFFECTED BY COVID-19
In 2020, the Coronavirus pandemic had a clear impact on people’s life across the globe, physically, mentally and financially. It shifted the way we think and changed our daily routines and priorities. People who used to go out to eat at restaurants had to order in. Those who went to work five times a week had to adjust to remote working. The pandemic has changed us and the world economy significantly in all aspects, including the Dubai real estate market.
Since the Dubai real estate market relies on international investors, the travel ban at the beginning affected the market negatively.
However, as one of the leading real estate developers in Dubai, we had to show flexibility and proactiveness in how we conduct business. We went through a digital switch by making all the operations such booking, payments, registration and viewing, available online. Companies started adapting 3D viewing software that allows you to walk inside the space without having to physically be there.
Integrated payment platforms were introduced, such us Network for Visa, Mastercard and UnionPay, and Bitcoin Suisse for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Implementation of easy-to-use forms for registration and file management systems for documents uploads and exchange. Brokers, clients and developers in Dubai are using a digital process through Zoom or Team. They are using them for meetings, virtual trainings and presentations, and more. With offices equipped with big screens, our property consultants are ready to join zoom meetings and use 360 virtual tours to assist clients anytime. Technology is allowing them to do things faster, with more efficiency and ease.
Alongside the change in the digital process, customers’ tastes have also changed, needing living spaces that suit the “new normal”. We saw an increased demand for units that provide open spaces such as balconies, pools, gardens, clubhouses, courtyard and terraces. The need for fresh air and spaces to exercise were due to the promotion of a healthy lifestyle during the pandemic. With connection to outdoors, balconies have been a vital factor in selecting a one bedroom, two-bedroom apartment and even townhouses. This caused a realization that the community must become an extension of the residents living spaces.
These changes positively impacted projects such as Belgravia 3 in Jumeirah Village Circle and Wilton Park Residences in Mohammed Bin Rashid City. Those projects are self-sufficient communities that offer residents everything they need within the community. With spaces such as gardens, terraces, balconies and yoga retreats, Belgravia 3 and Wilton Park Residences fulfill the demand for spaces that brings the outdoors, indoors.
The pandemic has had a strong effect on the economy in Dubai during the lock-down. In such situations, it is important for people to have a passive income from investments such as real estate. A passive income means earnings obtained from rented property, limited partnership, or any other undertaking. It also means that a person does not partake in an active involvement in it. It is important because it creates a security net that provides stability and financial freedom. In 2020, Ellington Properties partnered with Smartcrowd to offer a shared investment in Eaton Place. The prices start as low as AED 5,000. This generates a good ROI without having to invest in a full apartment. Many investors are becoming share-owners of the same apartment, getting returns pro-rated to their investment share.
There is no doubt that the pandemic has changed the world, and created a shift in Dubai’s real estate market. People adapted to this new normal, and so has the market. It provided residences such as the Belgravia Series, Wilton Park Residences and Wilton Terraces. Communities have become more family-oriented and self-sufficient, providing their residents with all the necessities.