Analyzing the Performance of Dubai’s Real Estate Sector in Q3,2022

Dubai’s real estate is on a roll. The sector has witnessed another successful quarter despite economic downturns and rising inflation levels globally. A vast amount of credit goes to the positive impact of Expo 2020, the FIFA World Cup, massive investment by the government into the infrastructure, the transformation of Expo city into a hub for businesses and residents, and the revolutionization of Expo village into a world-class & energy sustainable residential community for domestic citizens. All these factors made Dubai’s real estate sector more attractive for investors to invest in and have resulted in a colossal increase in real estate transactions in 2022. 

In the first 9 months of 2022, Dubai’s real estate has surpassed the total number of transactions recorded last year with 71,278 real estate transactions recorded. This is an 18.1% increase compared to 2021 when the real estate sector witnessed 60,347 transactions. This year so far has also been good for the luxury property sector. There has been a substantial rise in the sales of ultra-prime properties and luxury villas which were in the price range of AED 100-300 million

Real estate Transactions: Q3, 2022

Dubai’s property market is going through its finest days. The third quarter of 2022 has been one of the best quarters. The data from Dubai Land Department reveals that the real estate sector recorded 25,503 transactions worth AED 69.5 Billion (US $ 18.92 billion) in Q3, 2022. This was over a 17% increase in the value of transactions from Q2, 2022 with the total number of real estate transactions worth AED 59.15 billion

The total number of transactions in Q3, 2022 increased by 14% compared to the previous quarter i.e. from 22,504 to 25,496, and by 61% year on year. The sales of off-plan properties increased by 30.9% in Q3, 2023 compared to the previous quarter to reach 11,774. 

Surge in Property Prices in Q3, 2022

Dubai’s property market always remains lucrative for global investors due to its high ROI and several other advantages. This is one of the reasons property prices always show an upward trend. According to #Report: Dubai Real Estate Market Q3 2022 by Morgan’s International Realty, the property prices per sq. increased by 4% in Q3, 2022 compared to the previous quarter. Compared to Q3, 2021, the property prices in Q3, 2022 have increased by 16%

The property prices have decreased significantly compared to 2021. Villa and apartment price gains slowed to 24.6% year-on-year and 19.0% y/y respectively. 

Rise in Rents

The average rent for apartments has surpassed the average rent price for villas in Q3 on a y/y basis (22.6% y/y compared to 22.1% y/y). This is predominantly due to a substantial increase in the average rent of three-bedroom apartments which has more than doubled in Q3, 2022 compared to the second quarter. 

FIFA World Cup in Qatar in November this year will attract a vast number of visitors to Dubai which will have a favourable impact on rent prices. Both rents & prices for commercial properties will increase as the demand for business space rises substantially. 

Impact on the Secondary Market 

Secondary market (ready property) transactions were stable as compared to the previous quarter, yet 52% higher than the previous year. Primary market (off-plan) transactions increased by 31% quarter-over-quarter and 74% year-over-year due to an increase in new developments launched by the developers to meet the increased demand from high-end luxury property buyers.

Increase in the Demand for Prime & Super-prime Properties

The demand for prime properties (worth AED 10 Million) and super-prime properties (worth USD 10 Million) have increased exponentially. Transaction volumes for properties valued at AED 10 million or more increased by 9% Q-o-Q and by 34% Y-O-Y. 

Transaction volumes for super-prime properties valued at USD 10 Million (AED 36.5 million) and above registered no change in Q3, 2022 compared to Q2, 2022. However, transaction volume was 88% higher compared to the same period the previous year. 

The number of transactions for properties with a value of AED 100 million (USD 27.3 million) or more increased by 33% from the previous quarter and by 300% from the previous year.

Most Popular Areas

Business Bay, Downtown, and Damac Lagoons remained the most popular areas in terms of the highest number of transactions in Q3, 2022. Palm Jumeirah was at the pinnacle in terms of the largest value of transactions during the quarter prominently due to a surge in the demand for prime & super-prime properties. There were a total of 593 transactions, and their combined worth of AED 5.6 billion

Most Expensive Property Sold

The most expensive property sold in Q3, 2022 was an 8-bedroom villa named Casa Del Sole mansion by Alpago Properties Sold for AED 302 million (USD 82.2 million) on Palm Jumeirah on July 05

Outlook for Q4, 2022

In Q4, commercial property sales will compete with residential property and their overall performance will improve. This is very evident from the data of Q3, 2022 which suggests that the transactions for office retail surged by 21% quarter over quarter and by 75% year over year. Business Bay remains the top choice of investors to buy a commercial property. 

There has been an increase in the number of new properties with over 31,000 new units added to the industry between Jan-Sep 2022. There has been an emerging trend of an increase in sales of off-plan properties combined with a pronounced slowdown in sales of existing properties. The announcement of the list of new mega projects and master communities is also great news for the real estate sector.

Due to rising inflation & interest rates in the US, the interest rates will also increase in Dubai as The Central Bank of the UAE follows the policy rates from US Federal Reserve given the dirham’s peg to the dollar. This will lead to higher costs of borrowing loans for the developers and will result in an increase in property prices in 2023 & 2024.

How Kaizen AMS Turned me into a ‘Top Performer’ with its Incredible Leadership

Story of our Excellence Officer – Mr. Faisal Shaikh

Time flies!! Today marks my first proud year at Kaizen Asset Management Services. These 365 days working as an ‘Excellence Officer’ at Kaizen have been a blend of learning, fun, persistence, and progression. In my role, I get an opportunity to serve residents from hundreds of nationalities which provides me exposure to working in a truly international environment.

Kaizen is my first employer for which I am working in the Resident Experience role. Prior to this, I was not aware of how things work in the fast-paced real estate and property management sector in the UAE. However, as once said by Rita Wilson, “Be fearless in trying new things, whether they are physical, mental, or emotional since being afraid can challenge you to go to the next level.” This quote has always been my inspiration in trying new things. This is the reason I accepted the offer of joining Kaizen AMS as I wanted to ‘test the water’ and gain valuable experience working for the top property management firm in Dubai – Kaizen Asset Management Services.

Before joining Kaizen, I always had a curiosity about how things work in a multicultural environment. Prior to moving to Dubai, I didn’t have international experience. I worked in India for almost a decade. I firmly believe that joining Kaizen AMS was the most beautiful decision of my life as this great firm introduced me to the multicultural environment and now I really enjoy working with my co-workers from various parts of the globe.

The best part about Kaizen AMS is its people who are very supportive and motivate their fellow workers to achieve the impossible. Here I would like to mention the name of my Line Manager – Mrs. Vidyashree Cawa who has always encouraged and assisted me in overcoming my anxiety and providing me with comprehensive training so that I can perform my job responsibilities with utmost professionalism and efficiency. Being an immigrant herself, Vidyashree understands that a new joiner who moves to Dubai living alone from his/her family can fall prey to anxiety, stress, confusion, and loneliness. Thus, she always makes all possible attempts to overcome these barriers by maintaining touch with all the team members. Vidyashree always maintains transparent communication through Slack and answers the team’s doubts and queries in real-time. Vidyashree hails from Mumbai, India. She is known for her unparalleled team management skills and responsiveness. Vidyashree leads the team, helps the team members grow, and takes full ownership of driving the team’s performance. She is very adaptive to new situations and encourages others to perform at their optimum level. The best part about Vidyashree is that she makes working on complex projects really fun.  I really appreciate her efforts and feel proud to work under her leadership. I am genuinely honored to be led by such a great leader. Vidyashree’s continuous support has empowered me in performing to the best of my abilities and maintaining 100% performance and client satisfaction scores since I joined.

Along with Vidya, another leader who has influenced me a lot is Kaizen AMS’ CEO – Mr. Fadi Nwilati. His incredible leadership, positive attitude, and quality of maintaining a personal touch with all the employees have always motivated me to perform to the best of my abilities. Fadi is a very responsive and kind-hearted gentleman. Leveraging his incredible leadership and people management skills, he resolves any complex issue faced by me in my job in a few minutes. Fadi firmly believes that the ‘best care of clients starts with the best care of employees’. Thus, he lays special emphasis on the well-being of every employee. 

At last, I want to say that Kaizen AMS has empowered me in growing both professionally and personally and in nurturing new and meaningful relationships. The last one year has been a great journey with Kaizen. The benefits that come from working with Kaizen AMS are above and beyond the monetary rewards. I have received more positive feedback and recognition here from my stakeholders than anywhere else in my life. I can say with utmost confidence that Kaizen AMS is among those employers who along with Creating Memorable Experiences f for the residents and clients also create memorable experiences for its employees and truly exemplifies its purpose of formation.

The Impact of ‘Dubai Metaverse Strategy’ on the Real Estate Sector

Global technocrats are brainstorming to come up with unconventional ideas to design the Metaverse concept which was coined by Neal Stephenson in 1992. Neil used the term Metaverse in a science-fiction novel however it took almost three decades to turn this fiction into reality. A vast amount of credit for this goes to the tech giants like Facebook and Microsoft for making the Metaverse a household name. The covid-19 pandemic has also triggered the growth of Metaverse as people avoided in-person interactions and the corporate sector and corporates embraced the remote working culture. 

Metaverse is all set to change the way residents interact and work in Dubai. There has been an upsurge in the number of residents who expect their communities to be metaverse-enabled. Responding to the resident’s demand, a vast number of real estate developers are significantly investing in the space. Damac Group is in the process of building digital cities and has joined hands with the data centre firm Edgenex, Swiss luxury jewellerde Grisogono, and fashion house Roberto Cavalli to launch distinctive virtual homes and digital property as well as digital wearables, and jewellery. Without a shadow of a doubt, Dubai is indeed heading towards the virtual future with Metaverse.

Why is Metaverse Important for the Real estate Sector?

According to the article titled – ‘What Is a Metaverse? And Should You Be Buying In?by Gartner, the Metaverse refers to a collective virtual space which is created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical and digital reality. Metaverse represents a combinatorial innovation, as it requires multiple technologies and trends to function. Contributing tech capabilities include augmented reality (AR), flexible work styles, head-mounted displays (HMDs), an AR cloud, the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), and spatial technologies. 

Metaverse is the next big thing in the real estate sector as it allows users to use avatars to represent themselves, communicate with each other and virtually build out the community. In the metaverse, digital currency is used to view and buy property using digital currency. 

The Role of Metaverse in Enhancing the Resident Experience

Dubai’s real estate sector is setting up new benchmarks in leveraging metaverse for the benefit of the residents. Metaverse has enabled residents in 3-D virtual tours to view the property they are planning to invest in from their homes. Real estate developers are tieing up with the leading property technology or proptech firms to develop hi-tech 3D visualization platforms to enhance residents’ experience and integrate their upcoming launches into this ecosystem. This will allow customers to buy, rent, and sell properties digitally. 3D visualization boosts the buyers’ experience by facilitating them in viewing a vast number of properties from the comfort of their homes and configuring the interior decoration to their liking. Later on, they can also make all the payments related to property purchase payments, utility bills, service charges, etc. digitally through Metaverse. This way, Metaverse is emerging as a one-stop solution to cater to all the requirements of the residents and is elevating overall resident satisfaction across all residential communities in the UAE. In the coming months, Metaverse will also positively impact the commercial real estate sector and will allow tenants in making payments for their rents and utility bills digitally.

 ‘Dubai Metaverse Strategy’ – a Big Push for the Real estate Sector

The UAE is blessed with visionary and committed leadership which always embraces advanced technologies to make the region frontrunner in the race of innovation & development and Dubai’s Metaverse Strategyis just one of the best examples. 

Dubai Metaverse Strategy aims to transform Dubai into one of the world’s top 10 metaverse economies as well as a global hub for the metaverse community. The strategy aims to build on Dubai’s achievement of attracting more than 1,000 companies in the fields of blockchain and metaverse and foster innovation, enhance the metaverse’s economic contributions through R & D collaborations, and promote advanced ecosystems utilizing accelerators and incubators which facilitate and attract corporates and projects. Dubai Metaverse Strategy also aims to develop global standards in building safe and secure platforms for users and develop metaverse infrastructure and regulations to accelerate the adoption of these technologies.

Dubai Metaverse Strategy will boost the growth of Metaverse adoption in real estate and will encourage more real estate developers to invest in it. This initiative will also enhance the quality of the projects as the value will be largely dependent on the uniqueness of the project. Dubai Metaverse Strategy encourages the development of a diverse range of advanced innovative Metaverse platforms which will lead to the establishment of a variety of experience centres on virtual lands. These centres will facilitate developers in showcasing their existing and upcoming projects and products and creating promotional activities. Through metaverse, real estate developers will be able to create more awareness among the buyers about how they can leverage metaverse to enhance their experience such as: by scheduling virtual tours, online bookings, land registries, and in getting faster, improved, and 24×7 services using Chatbots. Dubai Metaverse Strategy is also a big push toward enhancing transparency in the real estate sector and ensuring the utmost security for the investment of property buyers. 

Why is there a Need for Triple Bottom-line Decision Makers?

Author – Anas Gahshan, Senior FM Manager, Kaizen AMS

Sustainability is one of the major strategic goals for the built environment in the UAE. This is one of the reasons that there have been an exponential surge in investments by the real estate sector and strata management firms in sustainable and clean energy projects to align their vision with the UAEs Energy Strategy 2050. The Energy Strategy targets an energy mix that combines renewable, nuclear, and clean energy sources to meet the UAE’s environmental goals of clean energy (44%), Gas (38%), clean coal (12%), and Nuclear (6%).

With rising awareness, property buyers & investors are prioritizing the sustainability efforts of the developers over the quality and prices of the project. In the last decade, sustainability has emerged as a key factor in the property buying decision. The research conducted by Epson reveals that 94% of millennials in the Middle East prioritize environmental and social issues and over 90% of employees in the UAE think that the use of green technologies can play a pivotal role in improving the air quality and will have a great social impact on the businesses. While designing their future plans, organizations are considering sustainability as their top priority. This is allowing them in addressing the emerging challenge of climate change and also in gaining a competitive edge.

Today, sustainability has become a viable decision-making tool for corporate leaders to evaluate the impact of their decisions over the entire life cycle of the product or practice. Sustainable practices are empowering the UAE’s corporate sector in striking the right balance between mother nature, the built environment, and profitability.

An Urge for Triple Bottom line

Triple Bottom Line (TBL) is an accounting framework which considers social, environmental, and financial results as bottom lines. Businesses of all types – Corporates, NPOs, and government entities – leverage the TBL framework to evaluate their financial performance and the impact of their operations on the environment and society.  Triple Bottom Line encourages real estate leaders to nurture the mindset of prioritizing sustainability in every single process, activity, decision, and strategy. TBL is based on the principle that any action that achieves benefits in one aspect cannot be initiated without measuring its impact on the other crucial aspects of the business.

3Ps of TBL

The Triple Bottom Line (TBL) concept functions on the principle of 3Ps – Profit, People, and Planet. The Profit aspect evaluates the performance of an organization based on its financial performance. It focuses on key aspects like – business decisions made, strategic planning, and the methods of cost reduction.

The second P – People measures an organization’s social impact and its commitment to people (i.e. its stakeholders, employees, and people involved in the supply chain, customers, the organization’s surrounding community, and future generations.) Some of the methods used by organizations today to measure the bottom line includes – advancing human rights; volunteering; donating to the poor or hungry; promoting diversity, race, and gender equity; and improving life expectancies.

The third P – Planet measures the environmental impact of an organization. In the last decade, like any other sector, the real estate sector has also been the contributor to rising air pollution which has adversely impacted the climate at staggering rates.

The bottom-line approach aims to encourage organizations to reduce their carbon footprints to protect nature and precious human lives. Some of the prevalent methods to measure the bottom line includes – curtailing carbon footprints by cutting down on energy consumption, reducing reliance on fossil fuels, ensuring effective waste management, streamlining shipment practices, and above all using ethically sourced materials.

The 3Ps of Triple Bottom Line (TBL) should be of paramount importance for every organization as it enables them in weighing the impact of each aspect on another. This will entitle organizations in deriving the maximum benefits from all three aspects and making informed decisions which are bearable, viable, and equitable.

Challenges in Sustainable Decision-making

 Lack of standard guidelines to accurately measure TBL

  • Lack of structured framework
  • Achieving a global standard is a time-consuming & costly affair

 Sustainable Decisions

Many organizations wonder how they can make sustainable decisions. Well, it is not as tough as it seems. The foundation of sustainable decisions starts with drafting a sustainable strategy which supports the organization’s mission, vision, and values. Sustainable decisions must align with the services offered, business operations, nature of the business, policies & procedures.

There are 5 phases of executing a sustainable strategy. These are as follows –

  • Analyze the goals of the sustainability strategy
  • Evaluate the feasibility of initiatives and plans
  • Outline a preliminary sustainability plan
  • Ensure that the plan accomplishes the sustainable goals of the firm
  • Nurture a culture and mindset towards sustainability which can be implemented in the existing organizational processes
  • Execute the plan post management’s approval

The Direct Impact of TBL on organization

Prioritizing People, Planet, and Profit as a core of the organization often leads to extraordinary business results. Organizations must place ESG goals at the top of their value proposition to maximize their impact on the Planet and People and drive unprecedented business results –

  • Create a checklist of feasible sustainable practices and ESG Governance
  • Reinforce supply chain management to protect against business interruption
  • Ameliorate customer relationship and satisfaction
  • Evaluate the impact of ESG goals on the people and the environment to strengthen brand reputation and customer relationship
  • Prioritize the people in every decision to drive employee loyalty, retention, and diversity and increase employee engagement
  • Align goals with ESG standards to reflect organizations’ vision, values, and strategy which connects with both internal or external stakeholder
  • Maximize the business performance by following all three aspects of ESG. This will have a profound impact on the financial performance among ethical business performance will have a higher rank than other organization performance.

To make wise and informed sustainability-driven decisions, organizations must understand the following basics –

There is no Yes/No approach to the right decision, when it comes to sustainability, it is not an option. Right decisions must consider the organization strategy, employees’ collaboration, and management’s objectives. These decisions must be backed by research and data. Before reaching a final conclusion, an organization must perform data collection, data analysis, the study of alternatives, and the impact of each decision on Triple bottom line aspects by considering the insights drawn from Life cycle analysis and their monetary & non – monetary values.

While businesses have historically been the greatest contributors to climate change, they also hold the keys to driving positive change. Many business leaders are now recognizing their responsibility to do so. This effort isn’t solely on the shoulders of the world’s largest corporations—virtually all businesses have opportunities to make changes that reduce their carbon footprint by considering TBL in their strategic decisions. Adjustments like using ethically sourced materials, cutting down on energy consumption, and streamlining shipping practices are steps in the right direction.

This article was penned by  Anas Gahshan, Senior FM Manager, Kaizen Asset Management Services. It is part of CMtoday’s Expert Talk series.

Kaizen AMS Wins the ‘Property Management Company of the Year’ Award at the Smart Built Environment Forum 2022

Kaizen AMS is elated to announce that yet again we have been recognized as the ‘Property Management Company of the Year’ at the prestigious Smart Built Environment Awards -2022 held on 23rd September 2022 at Ritz Carlton DIFC. With this, Kaizen has continued its long and incessant legacy of winning at Smart Built Environment Awards and yet again reflected its true commitment toward the environment and health & safety of UAE residents. Kaizen Asset Management Services (Kaizen AMS) has also been recognized across the vast gamut of other important categories.

Smart Built Environment Awards is a platform which recognizes the companies in the built environment for their efforts and practices in creating happier communities and meeting smart city and sustainability goals. The event is a knowledge-based platform, giving delegates the information they need to arrive at an informed decision on making their built assets more economical for owners and more functional for occupiers. Smart Built Environment Awards are focused on four major aspects of real estate i.e. -Property Management, Community Management, Facilities Management, and Prop Tech.  The two-day event is focused on keynote speeches, panel discussions, presentations, and workshops and covers the biggest issues and trends driving real estate development and management in the Middle East region.

Kaizen AMS was awarded as the winner of Property Management Company of the Year and Partnership Award-PropTech award category for its continuous investment in introducing world-class and ground-breaking technologies to its 130+ managed communities across Dubai to create ‘memorable experiences’ for its 40,000 + residents. Kaizen AMS has won ‘Partnership Award-PropTech’ for working alongside our one-of-its-kind technology partner, Socienta to drive the digital transformation in Dubai’s real estate sector and for tackling complex industry problems with our technology and expertise.

Abdulrahim Al Khayat, Head of Finance – Kaizen AMS (first from the left) Ghassan Talhouk, CEO – Socienta (second from the left), and Ali Dikici, CTO – Socienta (first from the right), accepting the Partnership Award-Proptech   

Speaking at the Occasion, Kaizen AMS’ Founder and CEO – Mr. Fadi Nwilati said – ‘Yet again, We Kaizeners have proved to the world that ‘people with great passion, make impossible happen’. The top 3 reasons behind our monumental success since our inception are 1.) Focus on creating memorable experiences for our stakeholders 2.) Deploying a vast range of novel property technologies to minimize the energy-consumption & operational costs 3.) Launching a series of sustainability initiatives to reduce the impact of our operations on the environment and focusing on sustainability and the environment.

Binny Varghese, Portfolio Manager (first from the left) Jaza Naveed, Portfolio Manager, Anas Gahshan, FM Manager, Joanna Jankowska, Commercial – Asset Portfolio Manager, and Fadi Nwilati, CEO accepting the Runner-up award for ‘Energy Smart Initiative of the Year’

Additionally, Kaizen AMS was awarded the Runners-up position in the ‘Energy Smart Initiative of the Year’ category for adopting new technology and approaches to minimize energy consumption, implementing new energy campaigns, and retrofitting initiatives, and for introducing new technologies for renewable energy and policy implementation.

Vidyashree Cawa, Sr. Manager – Communications Excellence (first from the left) Anas Gahshan, FM Manager, Rodelia Cruz, Sr. Manager – Compliance and Special Projects, Abdulrahim Al Khayat, Head of Finance, Fadi Nwilati, CEO, and Jatin Babla, Marketing Lead, Kaizen AMS accepting the Runner-up award for ‘Adoption of Tech’

Kaizen was also runner-up in the ‘Adoption of Tech Award’ for successfully adopting PropTech and other revolutionary technologies within their operations and for implementing a successful digital transformation strategy.

The Role of Dubai Land Dept. in Making Real estate sector More Transparent than Ever

Since its inception, Dubai Land Department, or DLD has played an instrumental role in taking Dubai’s property market to new heights and making it the ‘apple of the eye’ of global investors. The incredible efforts laid by Dubai Land Department and its visionary leader His Excellency Sultan Butti Bin Mejren have yet again been recognized at the global level. 

According to the latest Global Real Estate Transparency Index (GRETI) -2022 by JLL, Dubai has been named as the most transparent city in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. This achievement is significant as for the very first time; Dubai’s real estate sector has entered the prestigious ‘Transparent’ tier to become the only city in the MENA region. 

Where does Dubai Stands Globally?

Dubai is at the 31st spot in the world in the latest Global Real Estate Transparency Index (GRETI) -2022 closely followed by the UAEs capital, Abu Dhabi which is at 45th rank, and Saudi Arabia at the 49th rank. Both Abu Dhabi & Saudi Arabia are under the ‘semi-transparent’ tier. 

The list of 99 nations is led by the UK followed by the US and France. Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden, Germany, and New Zealand are among the top ten nations.

The Role Played by Dubai Land Dept. to Make Real estate Transparent

Dubai Land Department has played a crucial role in leading the real estate sector towards transparency. It has invested in a vast range of unconventional technologies and has launched several applications to provide real-time information to all real estate stakeholders. According to HE Sultan Butti bin Mejren – “the government’s ongoing efforts that are driving digital services and data provisions, new regulations and sustainability reporting have helped advance Dubai’s ranking in this year’s Global Real Estate Transparency Index, which is an important guide used for cross-border investment and corporate occupiers to inform their decision making,”.

Here are the top measures taken by DLD to make Dubai real estate transparent –

1. Publishing Transactional Data

One of the key measures taken by the Dubai Land Department to make the real estate operations transparent is by making more data available to potential investors to empower them in making sound decisions. A few years ago, the Land department launched a service to publish transactional data along with a service charge index which allows potential investors to analyze the maintenance charges before they make a final purchase decision. This initiative includes making all-important real estate information available on the website such as: sales transactions, gifts, mortgages, Ejari registrations, valuations, land, building and unit data, broker, developer, and projects data, along with unique identifiers for each transaction, such as property IDs and Ejari contract numbers.

2. ‘Green List’

In a transformational move, Dubai Land Department (DLD) launched its revolutionary ‘Green List’ initiative to promote active communication between the owners and the brokers and minimize the complaints of the owners pertaining to brokers contacting them without their content. The ‘Green list’ initiative has proved to be instrumental in making real estate operations transparent by ensuring only legitimate brokers can contact owners. Furthermore, the green list also plays an important role in minimizing direct marketing which is indeed a serious real estate violation and often results in a surge in property prices.

Green List overcomes many gaps and ambiguities involved in serving the tenants, owners, and brokers effectively. This initiative is in line with the Dubai Land Department’s strategic goals of ensuring utmost customer satisfaction through innovation and by introducing an advanced technology platform to regulate and lead the real estate sector towards sustainability. The green list also ensures the highest level of protection and integrity of consumer data. 

3. DubaiRest App

DubaiRest is one of the biggest initiatives of the Dubai Land Department to lead the real estate sector towards transparency. DubaiRest is the smart real estate platform for real estate services, through which all real estate services are performed by the real estate stakeholders such as: property owners, tenants, real estate brokers, developers, real estate valuators, and investors. 

DubaiRest is a game changer in allowing property owners to access their properties through a real estate wallet which provides them with real-time data on the current prices of their properties, rental return, and service charges. The app. also provides important information on the rental index and the sale index in different periods. Dubai REST also facilitates property owners and tenants in managing their leases such as: registration, renewal, and cancellation, and in submitting the rental disputes and following up on them.

4. e-NOCs

On April 20, 2021, Dubai Land Department (DLD) launched its one-of-its-kind Electronic No Objection Certificate (e-NOC) system to simplify the process of obtaining no-objection certificates digitally for the property owners. e-NOCs are only applicable for owners of the buildings where the budget of the current year is not approved or the current quarter of that building is not invoiced for any reason. e-NOCs facilitate the owners to directly proceed with the transfer after clearing all the service charges which are invoiced through Mollak. e-NOCs play a vital role in reducing the additional cost on the sellers as developers and strata management firms demand. Only ready properties managed by Owner association management companies and owners receiving service charge invoices from the Mollak system are eligible for e-NOC.

5. Dubai Real Estate Institute (DREI)

To keep all real estate brokers and stakeholders aware of the happenings in the sector, Dubai Land Department launched continuing education program as the second phase of empowering brokers working in the Dubai real estate market through vocational training courses. The vast range of courses is designed and introduced by the Dubai Real Estate Institute (DREI), the educational arm of the Dubai Land Department in collaboration with the Real Estate Licensing Department in the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA). The courses are developed on an academic basis and aim to improve the efficiency of all the real estate stakeholders in Dubai. One can register for the courses through the website –

6. Well-being Certificate

During the UAE Innovates 2021 week from February 21-27, 2021, Dubai Land Department (DLD), through its Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA), launched the Well-being Certificate in cooperation with the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) in New York and Facility Management companies. The certificate targets various freehold buildings managed by common-area management companies licensed by RERA. The certificate is based on evaluating the target buildings on world-class health and safety standards, including policies and procedures that enhance the health and safety of residences and workplaces, to the extent to which maintenance procedures and facilities management are applied to reduce diseases, contribute to the adoption of emergency preparedness plans, increase awareness and the involvement of decision-makers, cleaning procedures and the management of air and water quality. Well-being Certificate played a key role in making the real estate operations transparent and safeguarding the investors from investing in unhealthy buildings.

Final Words

Dubai Land Department has always been an integral part of the monumental success of the real estate sector. This is the reason that city’s real estate is considered one of the most transparent in the Middle East within a very short span and has attracted the attention of global investors. Dubai’s property market has gained significantly in the transparency index which has been led by the vast number of new regulations around market lending practices, beneficial ownership tracking and sustainability reporting, digital services, and data provision. Some of them include – service charge management, automated valuations, and transactions databases through the Dubai REST platform. The gain in the Global Real Estate Transparency Index (GRETI) -2022 is also a big boost for the upcoming initiatives announced by the Dubai Government with private companies such as transaction-based sales indices and a building wellbeing certification.

Smart Home Technology – Reshaping The Future of the Property Management Industry

Technology has always been the lifeline of the property management (PM) industry. It has always accelerated the capabilities of property management firms in improving efficiency, driving lasting value, increasing resident satisfaction, and boosting revenue growth. Technology has vested the property management (PM) sector in coming up with new tools, devices, and features to cater to the requirements of the residents and increase their satisfaction with the community. This technology adoption has surged exponentially during Covid-19 to maintain social distancing.

Smart home technologies have also enabled property management firms in overcoming market disruptions and in data collection to ensure they always remain the top choice of developers when they are looking for a management firm to manage their community.

What is Smart Home Technology?

Smart home technology facilitates in setting up of a convenient home where residents can automate and control all the appliances and devices remotely from any part of the world using their mobile and an internet connection. All the devices in a smart home are interconnected which facilitates users in granting security access, controlling the home temperature & lighting, and monitoring CCTVs / cameras.

Smart home technology has gained a lot of traction among tech-savvy millennials and Gen Z who need instant gratification. Real estate and property management head honchos are embracing cutting-edge and unconventional smart home technology to cater to their demands and are upgrading their conventional methods with digitized ones to accumulate results-driven data in real-time. Smart home technology is proving instrumental for the real estate sector in enhancing the customer experience besides fortifying client relationships.

Why is there Rising Popularity of Smart home tech. in the Real estate & PM Sector?

Smart home technology has completely reshaped real estate and left a profound impact on the residents and the community. There has been a huge proliferation in the number of property managers & community managers embracing smart home gadgets (like Smart TVs, smart lights, speakers, LED screens, and doorbells to name a few) to make their community more attractive to buyers. Adding threat prevention devices, such as keyless locks, video doorbells, or motion sensors, also minimizes insurance premiums by 10-20%. Smart home technology has empowered businesses and households in overcoming the traditional model of lock and keys and accessing their property from the touch of a screen on their mobile. 

1. Preventive Measures for Potential Damages 

In the last decade, there has been a colossal increase in the popularity of smart sensors in the property management (PM) industry. Asset protection is the major reason why property managers are deploying smart home devices in the community. Smart sensors alert property managers in case of any leaky pipe or broken window which can cause major damage to the residents as well as the building. Smart sensors are a must for common areas as residents may not report damage outside their property. On average, a building experiences at least 4-5 water leakages annually costing between AED 20,000 – AED 80,000. Property managers can save a vast amount of money from this expenditure by staying proactive and installing smart sensors to detect any potential water leakage in advance and prevent it. 

2. Energy-savings

Smart home technology allows property managers and owners to conserve energy using smart thermostat management. The research paper titled – Investigation and Analyses of Energy-Efficient Technologies for HVAC and Lighting Systems via Energy Auditing Processes published by IEEE reveals that Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) and lighting account for most of the energy consumption in the UAE. The average temperature recorded over a year is almost 35°C. Therefore, 70% of the total electricity consumed by the country is due to the air-conditioning system. Lighting systems consume between 22% and 30% of a building’s energy. Using Smart thermostat management, property managers can set common areas or vacant units to energy-efficient schedules that observe peak and lull times to regulate the temperature and minimize the overall energy output of the community. 

3. Organizing Virtual Tours

Smart home technology has enabled tenants and investors in overcoming the challenge of physically visiting the property through virtual property tours. This concept has proved to be a boon for the property management firm during Covid-19 in maintaining social distancing and preventing their employees and potential investors and tenants from contracting the pandemic.

Self-touring technology is an integrated software-hardware solution that allows property managers in scheduling virtual tours for the tenants at their preferred timings and outside the regular working hours. Even tenants can schedule self-tours directly from the listing sites and receive links on their mobile phones with step-by-step instructions on how to view a property or a community. Post-completion of the tour, prospects can provide feedback or submit an application to the property manager. Self-touring technology benefits the tenants by offering an easy viewing experience and streamlines the complex application process.  Furthermore, 360 immersive technologies and virtual tour photography are allowing property management firms in using 360 photos to create a seamless digital tour of a reallocation for potential buyers and in driving the users’ engagement and interaction. 

Self-guided property tours have assisted property management firms in finding out more potential property buyers and tenants. Self-touring options list a vast range of exclusive properties which attract potential buyers resulting in lower vacancy rates, higher occupancy, and a faster leasing cycle. Furthermore, self-guided tours increase the possibilities of lease conversion by several folds. 

4. Making the Property Attractive for the Buyers 

Smart technology features increase the attractiveness of the property and make it more appealing to buyers and tenants. This has a profound impact on its occupancy rate. For instance – smart features like installing smart TV, or lights, smart doorbells, CCTVs, etc. makes it much easier for the sales team to sell or rent the property. It also empowers property managers in meeting their goals like – resident security & safety, energy efficiency, increasing occupancy, ensuring higher resident satisfaction, and minimizing tenant turnover. Smart bell features add an additional layer of security to the property and make it easier for the property managers to monitor the empty units with ease and design the strategy to boost the occupancy rate. 

Final words

Smart home technology is ever-evolving and has impacted every aspect of the property management and real estate sector. In the coming years, there will be a surge in the number of property management firms embracing smart home technologies to create unparalleled and incredible experiences for residents. 

Smart home technology is also playing a pivotal role in minimizing the overall utility cost of the community and damage risks. Smart thermostats can lower annual utility costs by up to 23%. This results in lower operational costs for the community with benefits being transferred to the residents in the form of lower rents and service charges. Property management firms and landlords are also getting equally benefited as lower rents & service charges lead to higher occupancy rates which mean more revenues for them. On the other hand, landlords and property management firms can equip the property with smart devices and technology and convert it into a smart home to fetch higher rents and lower service charges. Property management firms also leverage humidity sensors in various applications such as – heating systems, air conditioners, and ventilation systems to control humidity levels by measuring moisture and air temperature, and reporting the relative humidity (RH) in the air. Humidity sensors measure humidity through electrical capacitance and allow property managers in ensuring that a constant temperature is maintained throughout the building.

With the rise in technology awareness, millennials have become more tech-savvy and prefer to live in properties with advanced smart home features and don’t mind paying extra for innovative functionalities. Smart home features improve the resident’s experience and satisfaction and they frequently renew their leases which further improves the occupancy rate of the community Thus, smart homes are a beguiling option for property management firms and landlords to attract the young generation. In the future, we will witness a substantial rise in the number of real estate stakeholders embracing smart home technologies which is indeed a ‘glad-tiding’ for the sector. 

Trends that Will Drive Sustainable Construction in Coming Years

Rising carbon emission levels and climate change have become key concerns for the world to address. The West is facing a serious brunt of it. Many towns and counties in the UK, Portugal, Canada, and the US were in the headlines recently for facing devastation due to heat waves. The UK and Canada recorded their highest temperature ever, going past 40 degrees Celsius

According to the article published by NASA Earth Observatory titled – Effects of Changing the Carbon Cyclerising carbon dioxide concentrations and increasing greenhouse gasses have caused the planet to heat up. Due to this, the average global temperatures have risen 0.8 degrees Celsius (1.4 degrees Fahrenheit) since 1880. The built environment has been one of the biggest culprits behind rising temperature levels globally. Buildings account for nearly 40% of all greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs), according to Architecture 2030. Furthermore, other activities related to the construction of buildings such as transportation are adding ‘fuel to the fire’. 

99% of the Buildings Causes Harm to the Environment

The report by the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) reveals that at present, there are only 500 net-zero commercial buildings and 2,000 net-zero homes around the globe (which is under 1% of all buildings worldwide). This means that over 99% of the buildings are causing harm to the environment, creating an immediate urge to construct sustainable buildings in the coming years. By building green, the real estate sector can reduce the impact of buildings on climate change while also building resilience in our homes and communities.

Why Sustainable Construction is Important for the UAE?

Sustainable construction is the foundation of a holistic built environment. It leads residents towards an improved and healthy lifestyle and also minimizes the adverse impact of construction on the environment. By building green, we can reduce our buildings’ impact on contributing to climate change while also building resilience in our homes and communities. Sustainable construction practices are immensely important for the UAE as the region derives 5.5-7% of its GDP from the built environment. Dubai accounts for the highest GDP from real estate among all emirates. According to the 2021 annual report released by the Dubai Land Department titled – Dubai Real Estate Sector Performance,the contribution of the real estate sector has reached up to 14%. However, this monumental growth is coming at a heavy price. 

The real estate sector accounts for most of the carbon emissions. Furthermore, residents of the buildings use air-conditioning, refrigerators, gas, and other electronic appliances which further increase the carbon emissions. Currently, the UAE is one of the top 30 carbon emitters globally on a per capita basis and stands at the 28th Spot with 23.37  CO2 Emissions per capita according to Worldometer. This creates a need to embrace sustainable construction to protect the environment and reduce resource depletion. To minimize carbon emissions, the UAE government is encouraging sustainable and greener construction and has launched the 2050 Net-Zero strategic initiative (a national drive to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2050) and become the first nation in the Middle East to achieve this milestone. Amid rising awareness about sustainability and government push to minimize carbon emissions, these are the top 5 trends in the UAE that will drive sustainable construction in the coming years.

1. Surge in the Usage of Greener Materials

In the last few years, there has been a massive increase in the usage of greener and more innovative materials such as – graphene during the construction process. Graphene has become a preferred choice of developers due to its strengths in supporting green construction materials. The research suggests that graphene is 200 times stronger than steel and 1,000 times lighter than paper. Furthermore, it is also very flexible and conductive thermally and electrically. Incorporating graphene in the construction process results in a high yield of concrete without any defects. Graphene’s usage on building sites ensures sustainable and robust construction of the building while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. UAEs prominent renewable energy company, Masdar has joined hands with the University of Manchester’s flagship facility, The Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) to support graphene commercialization. The company has also made considerable investments in an international innovation centre dedicated to graphene.

2. Implementation of Emerging Technologies

The implementation of emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) has played a key role in leading the real estate sector towards sustainable construction. With the help of IoT, construction engineers can collect all important information about the condition of the materials, building parts, and equipment with real-time information pertaining to sustainability which can be harnessed with the implementation of AI and Modeling to evaluate, visualize, compare, and predict scenarios to make wiser decisions. The research suggests that the implementation of IoT makes buildings responsive, and intelligent, improvises their performance, minimizes defects, monitors their performance, and makes timely adjustments based on the dynamic environmental conditions. This in turn makes the building more efficient, minimizes their carbon emissions, and leads them towards sustainability. 

3. Data Analytics

Data analytics is gaining traction as the real estate sector is moving towards becoming more sustainable. It allows developers to monitor systems and forecast the problems well in advance and take timely actions to prevent downtime, plan for future simulations and explore & capitalize on a plethora of opportunities. The Digital Twin concept is an integral aspect of the process. It empowers real estate companies by consolidating the data pertaining to the building or the site. This way Digital Twin technology allows developers to improve the sustainability of the building, improve the efficiency of its assets, maximize its efficiency and reduce its carbon emissions. Another crucial data analytics tool in this journey of moving the real estate sector towards sustainability is Building Information Modeling (BIM). Its role is also crucial in minimizing wasteful construction throughout the project lifecycle and ensuring sustainable maintenance and operations.

4. Modular Construction

Modular construction has gone through a list of technological improvements and upgrades to stand tall on the clients’ expectations regarding sustainability and drive investment. Some of the key factors which make modular construction a preferred choice for construction are its technological improvement & upgrades, usage of sustainable building materials, cost-effectiveness, efficiency, and faster turnaround time. Modular construction is also very environmentally-friendly as it minimizes the wastage of resources which leads to lower carbon emissions. It leads to the development of high-performing and versatile buildings. 

5. Smart Retrofitting

Smart Retrofitting is one of the wisest and most cost-effective solutions to overcome sustainability concerns arising due colossal rise in the number of new developments in Dubai. Conducting deep renovations is far better than conducting superficial renovations due to its cost and environmental benefits. Superficial renovations release CO2 emissions and repel national governments from meeting their climate targets. Smart technology can further minimize the emissions from retrofitting. The research conducted by Lateral reveals that emissions from retrofitting office buildings can be minimized and reduced up to 70% by tapping into smart technology.

Smart Retrofitting is proving to be a boon for the built environment in constructing smart buildings. It will empower the nations in protecting the environment. Smart Retrofitting can play an instrumental role in empowering Dubai and the UAE in accomplishing their UAE Energy Strategy 2050. It will also assist the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy in reducing the city’s energy demand by 30% by 2030 and in meeting its energy conservation goals. 

Key Challenges Faced by the Commercial Real estate Investors

Dubai’s commercial real estate has been thriving for the last few years and the current year has begun with a blissful start. According to the Dubai Commercial Property Market Report for Q1, 2022, the first quarter of the current year has been one of the best quarters in the last several years for Commercial real estate. The sector experienced a 107% increase in sales value for Q1 2022 compared to Q1 2021. Office and retail sales remain at the forefront of the growth, with offices experiencing a 31% increase and retail a 104% increase for units sold over Q1 2021. The total sales value also continues to rise, as offices have seen a 71% increase and retail units a 49% increase over Q1 2021. 

However, despite this monumental success achieved by Commercial real estate (CRE) in years, there is still a vast list of challenges faced by investors while investing. 

Top Challenges Faced by Commercial Real estate Investors

Here are the top  Challenges faced by commercial real estate investors in Dubai

1. Lack of Institutional-grade Opportunities

In the last few years, there has been a substantial rise in the number of global alternative investment firms interested in investing in Dubai’s commercial real estate; however, they are limited by the lack of institutional-grade opportunities and clarity on regulations. There is an urge to develop more quality stocks that can generate mature investments in the form of institutional investments, Real estate Investment Trusts (REITs), and pension funds.

2. Lack of Prime Investment Opportunities

To leverage the advantage of new & existing investments in the office spaces as well as retail locations, CRE investors expect key segments like logistics hubs to target Warehousing 2.0 concepts. Investors also expect multi-generational assets to emerge as a prime investment opportunity. 

3. Securing Grade A Stock to Attract Affluent Buyers

Due to Dubai’s exponential growth in the last decade, there has been a huge proliferation in the demand from the number of corporations who want to set up their headquarters in the city rather than just a branch office.  However, the commercial real estate is of very limited quality office stock which is making it very difficult for CRE investors to secure Grade A and Prime stock for the affluent domestic & international tenants. 

4. Complex Financing and loan-terms

The CRE investors expect better quality stock available at a low cost. They also expect the cost to be regulated by the government to make it more attractive for the investors. However, the key challenge is that developers are facing a tough time in delivering institutional-grade properties due to complex financing & loan terms, and capitalisation rates. A vast majority of loan terms are around the 10-year mark.

5. Limited Support from the Financial Institutions

It has been observed that financial institutions are more inclined to asset-based lending with residential projects compared to commercial real estate. This is very evident from the vast difference between residential & commercial real estate transaction numbers. There is an urge for the banks & financial institutions to have more trust in commercial real estate. With the revolutionary policies adopted by the government such as – Masterplan 2040, Golden visa, legal reforms, etc. there will be a substantial surge in the population of Dubai in the coming years, which will create demand for shopping malls, offices, hotels, etc. Better transparency and regulations will make it more comfortable for the banks to lend money to institutional investors and offer interest-only loans.

6. Attracting Pension Funds

Real estate investments are the way to diversify asset portfolios and minimize the risk for pension funds. According to the Asset Allocation Insights 2021 report by Mercer, pension funds are the second largest category of institutional investors after sovereign wealth funds in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. To counter the market slowdown amid Covid-19, GCC pension funds made investments in areas such as equities, listed infrastructure, and real estate. However, like global pension funds, regional pension funds also want to stay away from taking the development risk. They are more inclined toward assigning their allocation to products with higher yields. There is a very minimal number of assets that are ready to attract such funds, or even available for sale.

7. REITs not Available for Sale

Even in the case of Real estate Investment Trusts (REITs), the story remains the same as pension funds. There is plenty of stock available however it is not always available for sale. Dubai must develop a self-sustaining ecosystem which facilitates easy mergers & acquisitions with institutional investors. This will empower asset investors as well as commercial real estate developers in building commercial real estate which caters to the requirements of future investors such as government entities.

What Creates a ‘Sense of Belongingness’ at Kaizen’s Workplace?

One of the most silent features of a successful organization is its ability to motivate its employees to perform better. As rightly said by Dave Ulrich, “good performance accountability is about having a positive conversation between manager and employee. A manager is a coach and communicator, not command and controller.” The triumph of an organization largely depends on how its employees perform. Employees who are fulfilled and productive always prove to be instrumental assets in steering an organization toward success. I believe that these values are embedded in the culture of Kaizen AMS. Being an industry leader, Kaizen AMS truly understands the significance of employee morale in meeting its purpose of ‘Creating Memorable Experiences and Communities’.

As they say, ‘first impression is always the last impression’. My first day at Kaizen has been one of the most memorable days of my life. Four years ago, in Aug 2018, when I joined Kaizen AMS as Property Handover Manager at its headquarters I was overwhelmed by the courtesy and respect shown to me by the Kaizeners. I got all the necessary support from my co-workers required to streamline my induction process. There felt a sense of belongingness at the workplace.  My team members and the leadership empowered me in rising over all the challenges involved in my role by offering me support and timely training to motivate me in exemplifying the term Kaizen which means ‘continuous improvement‘. 

I joined Kaizen AMS as an experienced professional with over 11 years of UAE experience. However, I can confidently say that my last 4 years with Kaizen AMS have been exceptional. The knowledge and the experience I got at Kaizen are truly exceptional. A vast amount of this goes to Kaizen’s incredible mission of ‘transforming properties into smart, sustainable & engaging communities that are impactful to one’s well-being, happiness, and returns.’ Kaizen taught me to always prioritize customer’s concerns over anything else and strive to create an unforgettable experience for them. Kaizen’s top leadership (which includes – Fadi Nwilati, Alex Voytov, Sara Nwilati, and Tariq Arisheh) spends a couple of hours every week imparting their valuable learnings to the employees which allows them to improve their leadership skills, managing their teams and work effectively and improve their overall performance. Undoubtedly, Kaizen’s most valuable investment is its people and it makes sure the Return on Investment (ROI) of this investment improves every day through continuous learning and improvement in their roles. Here I will quote an example of how Kaizen assisted me in my journey of continuous improvement. In 2020, Mr. Fadi Nwilati and I were discussing the business expansion plans. I informed Fadi about my challenges with some of the new responsibilities assigned to me to which he immediately approved a budget so that I can pursue relevant courses to overcome my shortcomings.  I was elated and overwhelmed by this gesture shown to me by the top leader in the company. Honestly, it meant a lot to me and made me a loyal ‘Kaizener’.  Care is a give-and-take relationship. When employers care about their employees, employees also make a ‘last-ditch effort’ to live up to the expectation and give their best performance.  

‘Creating passionate Kaizeners’ has always been the core philosophy of Kaizen AMS to drive performance. The leadership at Kaizen firmly emphasizes on making every job role very creative so that employees feel passionate about their work and perform at their optimum level. The triumph of an organization relies on its employee’s performance. Even after completing 4 years at Kaizen, I feel equally passionate about my work and ensure I thrive in every responsibility assigned to me. I strongly believe that an organization can achieve its goals, mission and vision easily when its employees feel passionate, empowered, motivated, and engaged. This is where Kaizen AMS has an upper edge over its rivals. Kaizen’s leadership has been instrumental in instilling these traits in its employees which is the major reason behind Kaizen’s success as the most successful Community Management firm today.