Looking at the company's infrastructure, it is basically a one-stop shop. We have an excellent resale division that handles ready properties as well as an off-plan, leasing, commercial, and property management division. We also own a holiday homes company that manages properties for many of our investors. Even throughout a difficult phase in the market, we are receiving awards from developers and performing well. Our events have always been popular. Our client base has been loyal to us. Every time they want to invest, they come and consult us. In today's market, there are many excellent deals. Investors today are more educated and informed, given that we have easy access to information. As such, Dubai real estate has become a smarter real estate environment, something the authority has played an important role in. They introduced investor protection laws, bringing escrow accounts into place, thus reassuring investors. Another important legal change was requiring 100% of the land to be paid for. What Dubai has done in the last 10-15 years has never happened in history; the city has risen into the sky from nothing. Dubai's leadership is bold, because of which decisions get taken quickly. The developers and top brokers are also putting in the effort to inform and educate people. We also have Expo 2020 coming up, which will bring a lot of traffic to Dubai. There is a misconception of oversupply, of which there is little in the market. It is good in the long run that rents came down, as it became more affordable to live here.
Umar Bin Farooq
CEO, One Broker Group
Group CEO, Allsopp & Allsopp
We were recognized as the number-one broker by Property Finder. We have moved 1% of the population of Dubai. The main aspect of our strategy is to move with the market. As the market has matured, we find less investment. There is not as much international money. The core comprises the tenants living here now. They are the future buyers who become future sellers. We are involved in the market of working-class people seeking to upgrade or downgrade. The key to our success has been having a long-term plan. The cycle here is no different from that elsewhere. The key to success is being consistent. 2018 was a year of consolidation for developers and agents. Meanwhile, our business will finish with 22% growth. In 2018, while prices have fallen, there are two factors to consider looking at the economy. As long as people are still moving to Dubai, pricing will be solid. When people talk about retail on the ground floor, it is not reflective of a poor economic state; it reflects how some sectors are not adjusting to technological advancements. The common consensus is that real estate is not doing well because prices are down. However, this is not true because people are still buying and renting. Tenancy registration grew 20% from 2017. There is appetite from new people moving to the area. The current trend in the market is tenants prefer to buy houses.
Founder & CEO, LuxuryProperty.com
We came to Dubai looking to create a luxury property portal for a number of reasons. First and foremost, Dubai probably has more of the finest homes per capita than anywhere else in the world. In addition, there is a favorable business and taxation regime. Dubai is becoming a center of excellence around the concept of proptech and fintech, so luxuryproperty.com is essentially a digital destination. In a couple of years, we will be a true digital destination where people market their residences on our luxury portal. And no matter how much we digitalize, there is going to be a human element, as clients want to talk to us and confirm the property is fantastic. However, the digital side should allow people to compare prices, look at nearby schools, shopping destinations, or anything else. We are determined to use technology to significantly enhance and simplify the processes a client goes through in order to locate and subsequently purchase the right property for them. The market is mature and going through a cycle. If you are from Los Angeles, Paris, Lisbon, or London, property prices will rise and fall in a cyclical format, and most property cycles are on a five- or 10-year cycle. Dubai is a maturing market on a cycle. We have seen property values diminish over the last couple of years but all of the fundamentals remain strong. We have the finest infrastructure, some of the world's finest healthcare, wonderful international schools, and above all, it is a safe place to live.