Dubai Property Sector continues to consolidate

Further mergers and consolidations are bringing clarity to the Dubai property sector as developers look to restructure debts and the government reorganizes developers under it’s umbrella.

At it’s high RERA, the Real Estate Regulatory Authority, recorded 447 approved developers, however this number is now being scaled back as it developers look to best manage assets and resources and deliver on projects, such as middle income housing which have greater momentum amidst the current economic climate.

Emaar, the largest developer in the Middle East, and now close to completion of the worlds tallest tower, Burj Dubai, stated last week that it is in talks to acquire the property interests of Dubai Holdings. This would bring three large entities – Sama Dubai, Tatweer and Dubai Properties – under the Emaar brand, creating the largest property developer in the MENA region.

“Consolidating these three companies with Emaar is a natural progression in the evolution of the Dubai real estate landscape, providing benefits to all stakeholders,” said Mohammed al Gergawi, the chairman of Dubai Holding.

Dubai World, also last week said that it was in the process of consolidating Leisurecorp, Dubai Maritime City and Dubai Multi Commodities Centre under the Nakheel brand.

“The move aims at consolidating activities of the same nature to better accommodate current market conditions and optimise resources and expertise,” a Dubai World spokeswoman said.

Also still on the cards, is the continued discussion of a merger between Deyaar Development and Union Properties.

“Consolidation is gathering momentum, driven by structural, market and regulatory factors,” said Dirk Buchta, the Middle East managing director of the management consultancy firm AT Kearney, in a report this month. The firm is said to be advising Deyaar and Union Properties on merger options.

From it’s high of 447 registered property developers, it will certainly be interesting to see where we end up. However, one thing is for certain, these mergers are for the good of the Dubai property sector in the short, medium and long term and will help deliver stability for both these companies and their clients and investors.

So, the only question is, who’s next?

Plenty of opportunities still in the Dubai property market

While the market might be quiet on the whole, I am still seeing plenty of positive signs. Yes, prices might be down and many future mega projects may be on hold, but the projects underway are still moving forward and transactions are still taking place. A quick glance in any direction shows that while the pace is slowing, the cranes are still moving and the construction is still forging ahead at a pace no other city in the world can match.


It is easy to be drawn in to all the “doom and gloom” being thrown about concerning the outlook for the Dubai property market, however from my vantage point, dealing with a large number of people in various aspects of the local real estate market, it is clear that there are still opportunities there for those who work hard and leverage their strengths.


Daily I am hearing of new sales, from investors snapping up bargain basement villa’s on The Palm, to Marina and Springs renters transitioning to owner occupiers as the lower prices open new opportunities for many residents.


While the Loan To Value (LTV) ratio being offered by mortgage lenders might still be low, there are still many investors and residents with cash savings looking to take advantage of a weak property market. As other avenue’s of investment continue to look unstable or offer poor returns the long term stability offered by property investment is once again luring those with cash reserve’s and Dubai is still firmly rooted at the top of the property investment tree.


The key over the coming months will be staying in constant touch with clients and prospects to keep a feel for their needs and an eye out for the ripe opportunities.

Savvy Real Estate Brokers are helping existing tenants become property owners

A new niche in the market has become very clear to me over the past month. While there is a very clear and obvious trend amongst brokers to concentrate on the leasing market, there is also an underlying growth in the number of local owner occupiers.


On the whole consumer optimism in Dubai is still high. This is the finding of the latest surveys and backed by statistics on spending by the credit card companies, plus my own sole of the shoes experience. A quick stroll through any Dubai shopping mall will show you that the local populace is still out spending in droves. Combine this with the significant drop in prices and many current renters are looking to make the leap and become property owners as their leases expire. This sentiment has be echoed at many a recent bbq or social event.


To tap into this lucrative opportunity, the savvy real estate brokers are mining their leasing databases to offer bargain properties to tenants nearing the end of their leases. Brightfox’s automated business processes give users of our Workflow Manager a distinct advantage in this area by tracking every lease expiry and allowing brokers to profile the tenants to understand what property features and pricepoints make an attractive investment opportunity which would see them move from tenant to owner.


Just as importantly, it is not to late to take advantage of this phenomenon, as those taking up leases now will also still be in the position to take advantage of the lower prices still on offer when their leases expire 12 months from now.

Brightfox to host inaugural Customer Focus Session in Dubai

On the 28th of February, Brightfox Middle East will be hosting it’s first Customer Focus Session, at which an expected group of 50 valued Brightfox clients, prospects, vendors and partners will participate.


This group of industry experts will engage in topics of discussion covering effective sales and marketing practices, the use of CRM for hunting and farming, e-marketing channels including sms, email, web and portals, automated business processes and future proofing their technology investments.


A workshop held during the event will enable all participants at the Customer Focus Session play an active role in the future development of Brightfox products as part of an ongoing 360 degree feedback system to unsure that foxEnterprise and foxAdvantage continue to be the leading software applications available in the market.


This event will ensure that Brightfox’s UAE based customers continue to lead the way in the Gulf property market.

The bubble has burst, but CRM is a shining light

It’s interesting to be heavily involved here, watching the changes unfolding on the Dubai property landscape. And no I am not talking about the Palms, The World and the other mega projects. The big change on the property landscape here is going on ‘inside’ the developers and real estate brokerages.

The bubble may have burst on the world and UAE property markets, however there are still sales to be made. There is more stock for sale on the market now that at any time in Dubai’s history and there are savvy buyers out there just searching for the right opportunity at the right price.

The big change that we are seeing in the market today is the adaptation of the sales and marketing processes in the leading property firms across the Emirates. Gone are the days of taking orders, the market leaders now understand the need for systemization within their sales and marketing departments to ensure ongoing revenue and survival through these tough times.

We are now seeing a sharp uptake in the implementation of CRM, Sales and Marketing systems across the UAE and broader Gulf region as companies adapt their sales strategies.

Detailed client profiling or “Buyer Matching” as offered by industry benchmark systems such as foxEnterprise give a sustained competitive advantage.

Automated business processes or workflows are now also routinely being implemented as businesses seek never to lose another prospective client.

These tools combined with the power of targeted email and sms marketing campaigns and the increasing effectiveness of property portals such as, and Dubizzle are ensuring that the real estate market in Dubai is still alive and kicking.

If the current trends are anything to go by, then I can only anticipate that the level of uptake of internal CRM and stock management systems, targeted and bulk e-marketing systems and the use of online marketing through websites and portals should go a long way towards seeing many of the existing players in the local property market not only come through this difficult period, but emerge on the other high as much more efficient and competitive real sales and marketing houses.