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Properties Are Booming In ‘Sanction Free’ Dubai

Emirati property magnate Hussain Sajwani is very excited after a record start to the year for Dubai’s property market.

The experienced real estate developer told CNBC, “Dubai is doing very well. The way Dubai handled Covid was a key factor in booming the market now.”

Dubai experienced $35 billion worth of property market transactions last year. The highest recorded since the global financial crisis. This is according to real estate firm Savills. A separate report from CBRE showed that total transaction volumes are tracking at the highest level ever recorded for the first two months of this year.

Sajwani said the United Arab Emirates has long been a popular destination for Russian wealth and tourism. It would benefit as Russians seek refuge in the UAE as a safe place for their wealth amid the ongoing war with Ukraine.

Sajwani said “I’m sure a lot of Russians are trying to fix their problems and their issues, but Dubai will benefit ultimately from any crisis”. It comes after the UAE, as the nation was deepening ties with Russia, decided not to match sanctions imposed by Western nations on Russia for the nation’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russians were among the top purchasers of real estate before the war started. This is according to a recent Reuters report. The report also said that Russians were buying property in Dubai and they were even using crypto as a way of getting their money into the nation.

Experts said, the nation’s property market has also allegedly been a common channel for money laundering.

The UAE was put on a financial crime watchdog’s “gray list” earlier this month because the Gulf country isn’t sufficiently stemming illegal financial activities. Concerns over money laundering and illicit financial flows came up in the Financial Action Task Force. This put the UAE on a monitoring list with Turkey, Jordan and Pakistan.

Sajwani said the Iran nuclear deal would also be beneficial for Dubai. He said, “If the Iranian-American peace treaty, nuclear treaty, happens and takes place, it will be a big benefit for Dubai. It will see much more stability and peace in the region.”

Dubai’s property market reversed years of price declines last year because the city expelled lockdowns, ramped up vaccinations and brought new policies to draw tourists as the pandemic was shut down in the rest of the world.

The long-awaited Dubai Expo 2020, which was delayed for a year due to the pandemic, also helped pull in interest as the multi-billion-dollar project aims to become a new commercial complex after the event ends in April. Whether Expo will become the new extraordinary city within a city as its developers have planned, is yet to be observed.

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