Damac boss sees ‘difficult year’ ahead for Dubai property market

Damac Properties sees Dubai’s real estate slump lasting another two years, revising previous projections of a recovery before the city’s much touted World Expo 2020.

“Next year is going to be another difficult year,” chairman Hussain Sajwani said at a World Economic Forum event in Dubai on Monday. “I would hope by end of 2020, or 2021, we start coming out of this slowdown.”

The developer’s chief financial officer in May said he expected a rebound in Dubai’s real estate market as oil prices climbed and ahead of the World Expo 2020, coveted for its potential to transform the emirate’s economy.

Dubai has seen predictions of a property rebound miss the mark again and again over the last three years. Optimism in 2017 has given way to quiet resignation that the slump may persist for two to three years.

Property prices and rents have declined as supply outpaced demand.

“The ability of the rental market to absorb a high volume of new stock will likely be tested over the next three years,” real estate broker Savills said in April.

Damac’s shares have declined 38 percent this year compared with a 17 percent drop in the Dubai benchmark stock index. Rival Emaar Properties PJSC’s shares are down 24 percent and those of Abu Dhabi-based Aldar Properties PJSC have declined 22 percent.



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