Freehold property market in UAE’s Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi . . . Labour City, in Qatar

Dubai 2

Doha’s expansion

Out of all expatriate workers in the UAE, Indians have been investing the most.  Billions of Dirhams in Dubai’s real estate market for years now have assured these of higher yields, capital appreciation and a status symbol of being part of the world’s most dynamic city.  Indians top the list of expatriate buyers in Dubai’s property market.

For instance, in the first nine months of 2015, Indians have invested Dh713billion in Dubai’s realty market.

On the other hand, non-GCC expatriates with valid UAE resident permit can now buy apartments in Sharjah’s Al Rayyan development on leasehold basis.

More recently, foreign property buyers in Abu Dhabi, who had been restricted to leasehold agreements, are now allowed to buy ‘freehold’ properties but only in certain designated investment zones.

The relaxation in property laws, which was announced prior to this month, brings Abu Dhabi in line with Dubai, which has long given more freedom to foreign buyers.

In effect, it was in 2002, that a decree was issued by the Dubai government granting freehold rights to all non-GCC nationals and this is the main influencing factor that has helped make Dubai’s property market jump up as one of the most vibrant in the world.

However some of the investment zones being developed in Abu Dhabi are controlled by majority state-owned Aldar Properties, the largest developer in the UAE.


Typical private rental housing in Doha

Meanwhile in neighbouring Qatar, Prime Minister inaugurated last week a new town labelled Labour City.  It is located outside Doha at 14 km distance from the town centre, and close to the industrial zone.  It costed $825m all inclusive.

The country does provide some leasehold properties in certain areas that are obviously not meant for the general expatriate public.  This Labour City is as it were located in the opposite direction that is well far from the sea.

Built over an area of 1.1 million metre², Labor City works took almost three years to complete.   It is to accommodates 100,000 workers whilst providing a suitable environment that is secure and safe.  Healthcare and recreational areas are provided.

Its area is neatly subdivided into an entertainment and business district, comprised of a commercial centre and a market with 200 shops, a cricket field, a theatre and four cinema halls. And the other sector of the city is mainly residential built to international standards.  All sectors of the City have integrated network of surveillance cameras that are coordinated by the two police city stations.

The City has green areas and open spaces and all modern mean of telecommunications from public telephone booths to Wi-Fi-equipped centres are arranged around public spaces.

Two small mosques and a large Friday one that makes it to be the second-largest in the country are located between the sectors of the city.  Nearby is a health centre cum clinic meant to deal with urgent cases and rapid examination but acts also as a relay for any serious cases transfer to the new workers hospital, currently under construction and due to be completed early next year.