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Saudi Arabia's warehouse real estate sector and the effect of COVID-19

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This paper examines the key drivers and factors influencing the evolution of Saudi Arabia’s warehousing industry. Colliers conducted a survey in May 2020 to anonymously gather and provide real data to capture market sentiment on the COVID-19 impact and the potential future of the Kingdom’s storage solution sector. We expect the warehousing sector to embrace structural revisions as a response to rapidly changing demand drivers and technological advances. This paper will additionally capture the demand-supply dynamics and drivers in the cities of Riyadh, Jeddah and DAK (Dammam and Al Khobar). This paper will briefly touch on logistics and supply chain disruptions while in-depth details on logistics implications will follow on a future publication.

 

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The Age of Glocalisation

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Article published Feb 2020 - updated June 2020

What are your thoughts on architecture within the UAE region and how does it compare to the rest of the world? 

I think in many ways the development of architecture in the UAE shares characteristics with our home market. Over the past forty years, the growth of the Chinese economy has been one of the major factors that has driven Chinese architecture.

Likewise, over the past forty or so years, the UAE region has witnessed huge GDP growth. Although there are differences in the economic models – the Chinese model being fueled by manufacturing, the Emirati model being fueled by mineral wealth – there are however similarities both in terms of the social and economic change that the respective booms have brought, and in terms of the recent drive towards diversified service economies in both nations. There is also common ground in that both regions are led by proud leader that want to contribute to the well-being of their people. 

In both regions, this new wealth has been given public expression in architecture – whether one thinks of the Beijing Olympic Stadium or the skyscrapers of Hong Kong and Shanghai, or the Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, or the Louvre Abu Dhabi – these are new global icons that represent each regions wishes to express their culture, their technological prowess and their confidence in the future. The Burj, in particular is seen as a beacon that anchors the people of the UAE to their homeland

LWK+PARTNERS believe there are important lessons to be shared, and that’s one of the reasons we have established our presence in the MENA region and why we are participating in this year’s Cityscape; we want to share our expertise in quickly and efficiently creating high density cities, and at the same time bring some of the UAE’s experience in creating beautiful, inspiring cities back to China. 

 

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Would you say the UAE has embraced glocalisation within its architecture sector, why or why not?

Glocalisation is an interesting concept – the idea of creating products for global distribution which are then slightly adjusted to accommodate the needs of a specific local market. Examples of which we have all witnessed in the automotive industry and fast food franchises– actually I think we’ve been doing this in Hong Kong for over 150 years! 

At heart glocalisation is a form of innovation which adapts a tested product or technology to particular circumstances. Of course there are advantages in adapting an existing model in that it lessens risk. But simply copying international precedents results in cities & buildings that lack a strong identity, and this cookie-cutter approach can alienate users. Simply looking at the glittering skyline of Dubai – and as an architect it thrills me every time I see it – it’s obvious that one is looking at a confident, modern metropolis. But when you spend time at street level, you discover a place that is actually very different from Hong Kong, London, or New York, because it has retained its own culture and sense of self.

Dubai is much more than simply a temple of commerce – it represents a city that has carefully studied and selectively adopted some of the better examples of urban planning and architecture from around the world, and successfully married these with a culture that is confidently local. That Dubai atmosphere – and I feel it elsewhere in the UAE – is both international and local and hence glocal

This receptiveness to international good practice which is then massaged to suit the needs of the region is what made Dubai the obvious choice as LWK+PARTNERS’ first studio outside our home region, and we’re very grateful to the UAE for the welcome we have received. 


How has the global architecture industry evolved over the two decades? Are we seeing a new architect emerge today who is more in favour of glocalisation

I think knowledge is diffusing much more than it did in previous decades, due to the digital age, when it was possible to say there were maybe two or three “design capitals” in the world. For example, in the 1980s and ‘90s when Hong Kong was experiencing its big boom, the design culture was dominated by British and American firms, but in fact local architects gained ground very quickly because they were able to apply international quality in a local context that they understood very well. 

When LWK+PARTNERS acquired our Local Design institute in mainland China in 2012, it was seen as an unorthodox step because Shenzhen was perceived as having less of a knowledge base than Hong Kong. That has changed very rapidly, and we have seen new centres of knowledge sprout up all over our region. 

It makes sense then with a more diverse profession that architects customize their design approach to their local environment, and that designers feel a greater connection to the place where they live and work and that they respond to that rather than simply transplanting a design from another climate or culture.

Similarly, when LWK+PARTNERS set up our China and MENA Studios, we knew that our leadership team had to be deeply embedded in the local context & have top notch international credentials – who could be on the ground and understand what the local market wants and needs. This approach is well expressed by HSBC’s “the worlds local bank” marketing campaign. We are very fortunate that our senior team in MENA are so well attuned to the market, and I think we are seeing that reflected in the projects we are winning. 


What are the key architecture trends that we’re seeing emerge in Asia and across the globe?

Asia has been going through a process of wealth acquisition over the past 40 or 50 years, with almost every economy in the region growing very significantly. So in these emerging economies, we have seen a rush to build, as developers and governments have been seeking simply to keep up with demand. We can say that the past 40 years in Asia has been about achieving “width”, about satisfying demand.

Now I believe we are seeing a trend towards “depth” – urbanized populations that have in many cases had overseas education or working experience are becoming ever more sophisticated. We are seeing increased demand for leisure and cultural facilities that correlates with higher disposable income; demand for airports and resorts that correlates with more free time; and demand for schools and universities that is linked with increased ambition and social mobility. 

It’s all about quality, creating experiences that inspire people to visit, to enjoy, to share with their friends and families. Now a great building or space can get global exposure overnight and inspire people to visit cities they have never thought about going. We see this trend in one of our flagship interiors projects at K11 Musea in Hong Kong – where built-up expectation fueled a real social media boom over its opening period, which is great for the city and also of course great for our client.

We are enjoying sharing some of these lessons with the MENA market, particularly in some of the new city-scale developments planned in Saudi Arabia, and in testing their fit within this unique cultural milieu. 


What do you think are some of the major challenges the global architecture world is facing at the moment and what is being done to address them? 

There are generational challenges that as architects we are having to face that we have never faced before – these include increasing population, rapid urbanization, and taking account of the environmental impact of our work. The challenge is to do more with less, both in order to mitigate our impact on the natural environment and to build more quickly and more economically. 

China has already made big strides to make its cities more sustainable and more livable; the 2014 Urbanisation plan which is breeding concepts like transport orientated developments are already well known but are really being refined in Asia now. In the MENA region too, we see an increased focus on public transport that is seeking to make mass transit a high-quality, memorable experience. 

Some of our projects have led us to focus on facilities management, and using as-built BIM information and sensor arrays to conduct real time monitoring and analysis. This is creating volumes of data that allow us to understand built assets in different ways, and to understand the downstream impact of our design work.

We think government has a part to play in directing and regulating the built environment, but ultimately the market is going to generate solutions. These may be more complex than we can currently imagine, and we look to increased use of technology – going beyond BIM features such as design optimisation and clash detection, and into deep learning to actually innovate solutions that can be empirically proven to be best in class. We live in exciting times and are striving to push the edge of the digitalization of architecture  


Who would you list as the 21st century’s most influential architects?

Can I say that LWK+PARTNERS are becoming influential? I think I can, because we are in the first wave of designers going abroad and representing China exporting design to the world. We have already witnessed this trend in other industries, and I believe we will see more of it as the century develops. 

Of course there are many famous names I could mention, and many are exhibiting here at Cityscape, who influence the performance and aesthetics of the built environment. But our industry is so wide that we receive influence from all sides – whether it’s the craft movement pushing us towards more vernacular forms, or technical developments such as 3D printing or prefinished volumetric construction, or even future technologies like autonomous vehicles or drone transportation – these will all affect how people interact with buildings, and they will change the form of our cities.
I wonder whether we will see the role of the architect change in the 21st century – as deep learning and artificial intelligence develop, I believe end users will be able to get involved early in the design process, even of complex developments, and be able to personalize the built environment at all scales. 


 

Covid-19 Economy Impact

2020 Saudi Arabia Property Market

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Cavendish Maxwell, a leading property consultancy and chartered surveying firm in the Middle East, released its Saudi Arabia Property Market Report for 2020 comprising key property data and trends for the country’s real estate sector. The industry report was compiled by the firm's in-house strategic consulting and research team and covers key data and overviews into the residential, office, retail, entertainment, hospitality and industrial sectors

Commenting on the report, Aditi Gouri, Associate Partner, Strategic Consulting and Research at Cavendish Maxwell, said:
“In the first half of 2020, Saudi Arabia has had to reckon with the twin challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and weak crude oil prices. The restrictions and travel bans have naturally affected sectors such as tourism, hospitality, retail and entertainment which are crucial to the kingdom’s diversification strategy. Whilst other sectors including real estate are also bracing for an impact, the government has announced a slew of stimulus measures to cushion the economy. However, the full effect of the various developments are yet to be fully ascertained, as is the effect of policy updates including the increase in VAT and suspension of the cost of living allowance, among others.”

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Key market insights

Saudi Arabia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at current prices in 2019 was SAR 2,973.6 billion, slightly higher by 0.8% from 2018. According to the International Monetary Fund, Saudi Arabia’s economy is forecast to contract 2.3% in 2020 but bounce back in 2021, growing 2.9%.

In recent years, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows to Saudi Arabia followed a downward trend due to political factors and lower oil prices. However, inflows have steadily recovered owing to economic diversification efforts which have seen new projects launched outside the oil and gas sector. In 2019, FDI stood at SAR 17.1 million, rising 7.4% from SAR 15.9 million in the same period in 2018.

After softening over the past few years, residential property prices in Saudi Arabia had started to show signs of recovery. In Q1 2020, real estate prices increased by 1.2% on average compared to the same quarter a year ago, largely driven by residential property prices which rose 2.1%. However, restrictions imposed towards the end of March have impacted economic activity and the recovery is likely to face headwinds until clarity emerges on the trajectory of the pandemic.

In Q1 2020 and when compared to residential real estate, the commercial sector recorded declines, falling 0.5% from the same quarter a year ago. The government has recently eased investment laws and encouraged private industries to ramp up operations in the kingdom However, many local and international companies are now reviewing their real estate requirements and expansion plans in the region in light of the impact of the pandemic, especially on the office sector and working preferences.

A mere six months after Saudi Arabia began offering e-visas and visas on arrival to citizens of 49 countries, inbound and outbound travel in the country stands suspended. Uncertainty surrounds the annual Haj pilgrimage in July/August which typically attracts over 2.5 million pilgrims. According to Saudi Arabia’s tourism minister, the sector could witness a decline of up to 45% this year alone. The government has transformed hotels into quarantine centres to curb the spread of the virus, raising hope of some revenue generation for the hospitality industry.

Entertainment and retail are the other sectors that have been hardest hit by the restrictions from the pandemic. Since mid-March, Saudi Arabia has suspended events and concerts and closed cinema halls. Whilst physical retail struggles more than ever as people stay home, some online businesses in the kingdom have reported exponential growth in order volumes and values. The trend is concerning for brick-and-mortar establishments but bodes well for the kingdom’s broader goal to increase the proportion of online payments to 70% by 2030, from the 2020 target of 28%.

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Read the full report here

Covid-19 Economy Impact

2020 Saudi Arabia Property Market Report

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This Cavendish Maxwell report explores the various themes of the 2020 KSA property market from a macroeconomic perspective. Amongst the factors discussed are the Impacts of COVID-19 and the effects of the oil price drop on the Kingdom. The document also provides an overview of upcoming supply across various real estate asset classes and segments in Saudi Arabia for interested investors. Read the full report to find out the performance of the Kingdom’s property market and what the upcoming months hold for the nation.

Download the full report to know more.

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Covid-19 Economy Impact

Real estate investors: Where to invest post COVID-19?

Trade

Commodities-based investments are likely to be a preferred asset class in the post-COVID-19 market, and regional investors will be looking inward for opportunities, according to a senior forex strategist.

 

While the world moves away from globalization, commodities such as food and industrial metals are the asset classes that GCC investors will be looking at in the next few months, said John Hardy, Head of FX Strategy at Saxo Bank. During a virtual press conference, he said that a weaker US dollar is needed to support a reflationary recovery in global commodity prices and support economic recovery across the GCC region.

 

The US Federal Reserve’s promise to continue quantitative easing at the current pace indicates that lower US interest rates may continue in the long term but market turbulence in the short- to medium-term could not be ruled out, he said.

 

“The direction of the US dollar is critical for financial markets across the world, but particularly for oil and for GCC countries with the USD at the centre of gravity for the region. A weaker US dollar is needed to support the regional recovery, and we believe that eventually it will weaken, but this could take some time,” said Hardy. “In the meantime, there could be significant market turbulence until we can firmly state that we are on the other side of the COVID-19 crisis,” he added.

 

GCC economies have been jointly shocked by the economic impacts of COVID-19 and the plunge in oil prices, and the GCC states are facing one of the largest economic challenges in their histories. With the Institute of International Finance (IIF) reporting recently that non-oil GDP is set to contract by 3.8 percent in 2020 due to virus-containment measures, the fall in oil prices and lower public spending, a recovery in commodities prices will be a benefit to the region.

 

A second wave of COVID-19, resulting in more deaths in Mexico, India and southern US state Texas, might affect save-the-economy measures adversely in some major economies across the world, stated a presentation during the virtual press conference.

 

This article is from Zawya.

 

Phase One of Sharjah Industrial Zone work 'nearing completion'

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Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI), has announced that work within the emirate's 10th industrial zone was progressing as per schedule with 15 per cent of the infrastructure development activities already completed. 

It also accommodates about a quarter of the industrial labour nationwide, in addition to the great diversity witnessed by the industrial sector, where the products of the emirate cover all the needs of consumers, and they are all accredited by international bodies and conform to international specifications and standards.

The project is held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the UAE Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and in collaboration with the Sharjah Department of Town Planning and Survey, Sharjah Roads and Transport Authority (SRTA) and Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA).

The Dh88-million ($24 million) project was launched last February with the aim of reconstructing the whole area, providing the best services to the people, promoting Sharjah’s competitiveness and developing its economic environment besides enhancing its investment attractiveness and sustainable development. It is expected to be completed ahead of the deadline.

The technical committee said the reconstruction process was being carried out in three phases throughout 18 months, pointing out the first phase, which includes rainwater, water, gas, and electricity networks, is nearly completed. The second phase is focusing on the road pavement, including the construction of internal roads and parking lots with entrances and exits for existing facilities in the area, in addition to installing a modern water network, upgrading the communications network, and developing an integrated security system that includes a surveillance cameras network covering the entire area.

SCCI Chairman Abdullah Sultan Al Owais said the project implementation process was in full swing despite the restrictive measures of the National Sterilization Program that have slightly affected the speed of implementation. The construction companies have been keen that excavation and reconstruction works will not affect the interests of the existing facilities, through the provision of appropriate entrances and traffic diversions, pursuant to the SCCI’s and partners’ instructions, he stated.

“This project reflects the solid partnership between public and private authorities to scale up the economic sectors in Sharjah and to enhance its cultural and economic development process,” he added.

Al Owais underlined that the project was a foundation for future projects covering the entire industrial and commercial sectors in Sharjah to enhance its competitiveness and attractiveness. This comes as part of the SCCI’s key role to promote and enhance the role of the industrial sector, as this would help reinforce the position of the northern emirate as one of the global destinations for industries and a gateway to industrial supply across the Middle East.

This project, in accordance with the directives of Dr Sheikh Sultan, is adopting the innovative concept in Sharjah’s industrial sector which is the largest economic sectors. This sector accounts for 17% of the emirate’s GDP and attracts the attention of a large segment of society, as a result of its importance, positive contributions, and economic dimensions, stated Al Muhairi, also the chairman of Authority of Initiatives Implementation and Infrastructure Development (AIIID).

Accordingly, the tenth industrial zone in Sharjah was chosen as a trailblazing project to upgrade its infrastructure facilities and we hope to achieve the work before September 2021, he added. “The numerous positive aspects of this projects motivate us to repeat the experience in the other industrial areas,” he added.

This article is from TradeArabia.

To know more about the market in Sharjah, listen to this podcast: Developer Spotlight: Arada

With COVID-19 upending the global and local real estate industry, we recently caught up with Ahmed Alkhoshaibi, CEO of Sharjah-based developer Arada to find out about the impact of the global pandemic on market and on the company.

 https://www.cityscape-intelligence.com/global-insight/developer-spotlight-arada

Covid-19 Economy Impact

Workplace Trends: Today and in a post COVID-19 world

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It is no surprise that the restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a change in workplace trends and norms. Working with the “New Normal” means adapting and taking the workplace out of the traditional office setup and into the home office, coffee shop, or any other venue imaginable. The development and expansion of the knowledge economy have played a major role in adapting to the new normal of the work environment in Dubai, attracting a pool of investors and organizations who are eager to set up shop in the city. The incorporation of flexibility and tech is an inevitable trend that has emerged out of the pandemic, but so have seven other overarching workplace trends mentioned in this report. Read more about it in this CBRE report.

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Culture and heritage tourism – a significant driver of global tourism

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UAE – June 14, 2020 In the Arabian Peninsula, this form of tourism is relatively new. It has only been in the recent years that governments and tourism authorities have put increasing focus on promoting the sector and growing market awareness around opportunities.

Understanding the requirement for conservation and development of cultural heritage sites and marketing them has become an important strategic plan for Middle East governments. A well-developed and maintained heritage site ensures more tourists to a city, with the need for accommodation, F&B etc. This together creates a demand for hotel rooms, vacation homes, bread and breakfasts. Hence, the demand for more real estate.

The regeneration and promotion of heritage sites bring benefits at a wide real estate level to the areas or cities were the sites are located. The proximity of real estate assets to cultural landmarks tends to have a positive impact on real estate values as they make the areas more desirable, for instance in terms of views, prestige, etc. This is noticeable in Dubai for instance where major landmarks such as Burj Khalifa command real estate premiums

Impact on Tourism

  • International exposure and promotion of the Arab World’s heritage
  • Diversion of outbound tourism into domestic tourism
  • Increased recognition and appreciation of heritage and culture with local populations
  • Diversification of current tourism offering aiming to increase visitor numbers, length of stay and tourism spend
  • Edge against seasonality of other types of tourism
  • Investment boost and economic impact across several sectors

 

Implications for the Hospitality industry

  • Induced demand for hospitality accommodation translating into higher occupancy rates for existing hotels
  • Rate premiums for hotels in vicinity of culture and heritage sites or generally during cultural events
  • Creation of investment opportunities in existing and upcoming destinations
  • Improved profitability through better amortization of fixed costs
  • Increase spend on F&B, retail and entertainment both inside and outside of the hotels
  • Increased employment opportunities for local populations.

 

The development of this tourism pillar in the Arabian Peninsula will be especially beneficial to the hospitality industry which is directly linked to tourism. Investment opportunities are being created for developers in new destinations, the performance of hotels in proximity to heritage sites is expected to remain strong, and further employment opportunities for locals are to be generated as this sector develops. It is for these reasons and for the provision of a more diversified tourism offering that we expect a continued and growing focus on the cultural and heritage tourism sector across the region.

Read the full report here

How the Middle East is driving cultural and heritage tourism?

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In a bid to boost the influx of tourists from around the world, and to deter outbound tourism from the Middle East and redirect it into domestic tourism, the region’s governments are now focusing on the development of one-stop cultural destinations and the preservation and promotion of the Arab World’s heritage sites.

This is in direct response to the rise in experiential travel trends — more and more tourists are traveling specifically to experience the culture and heritage of a country than simply for leisure. And, even if not the main purpose of a visit, cultural activities tend to be deeply embedded in any trip’s itinerary.

Over the last few years, cultural and heritage tourism in the Middle East and North Africa has gained traction, and the economic impact of cultural tourism has been substantial — this has further scaled up the investments in culture tourism and world heritage sites. For instance, under the umbrella of its strategic framework for economic diversification, Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia plans to double the number of its UNESCO sites in the next decade.

A ready example of the rise of heritage tourism in Saudi Arabia is its first UNESCO site, Al Ula. Formed in 2017, the Royal Commission for Al Ula (RCU) was charged with upgrading the site into a world-class tourism destination with an expected influx of over two million visitors per year by 2035. Even before its ground-breaking, the destination has hosted high-profile live performances, modern art displays and events such as the Winter at Tantora festival.

Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Cultural District is fast graduating into the UAE’s cultural hub. Its main attractions upon completion will be three culture and heritage museums: the Louvre Abu Dhabi museum, the Zayed National Museum, and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.

This shift to cultural tourism in the Middle East will benefit the region from a socio-economic as well as real estate perspective. It will drive investment opportunities in the Middle East, generate increased employment, and fuel the hospitality industry in the Middle East, while the proximity of real estate assets to cultural landmarks will drive up their value and create a premium real estate in the GCC.

In this report, CBRE Insights examines the shift to culture and heritage tourism in Middle East countries and the impact of this development of cultural tourism and the rise in Arabian heritage tourism.

 

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Covid-19 Economy Impact

Top 5 trends that will transform UAE's real estate sector in post COVID-19 era

Trends

  • Cites lower-density properties with integrated safety, sanitation and automation principles to become in demand as people adapt to the new normal
  • Virtual reality and touchless technology to raise traction in the property sector

Dubai: Providing an analysis on the real estate sector as the UAE adjusts to the new normal, Lootah Real Estate Development (Lootah), one of the region’s most prominent real estate developers, outlined the top 5 trends that will shape up the local property market in the era post the COVID-19 pandemic.

In its assessment of short-and medium-term changes that will arise in the aftermath of the pandemic, Lootah said that amongst the biggest uae real estate trends to turn up is the focus on building developments that enhance the quality of life through the application of integrated safety, sanitation and automation principles.

  1. Focus on safety, sanitation, and automation

Thanks to Abu Dhabi and Dubai being hailed as the top two most liveable cities, respectively in the Arab world, according to the latest Global Liveability Index issued by The Economist Intelligence Unit last March 2020, this foremost trend will shore up the local real property sector’s path to fast-track recovery, said CEO Saleh Abdullah Lootah.

“We are heading towards a new direction in terms of market demand, which will zero in on the core principle of health and safety in the face of the new normal. The UAE’s top rank position in the liveability index will pay off in many sectors, particularly in the real estate – helping us mount a successful comeback,” Lootah said, adding that this rebound will be harnessed by the UAE’s remarkable global feat as the safest nation in the world.

This, he said, will pave the way for the rise of the next generation of property designs that will automate the principles of safety and sanitation.

  1. Preference for lower-density properties

There will be a high demand for lower-density properties and locations, as most potential investors, owners, and tenants alike would opt for more liveable spaces in view of adapting to the new normal. The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the higher operational risk of contagion in high-density properties. The higher the density of occupants is, the higher the risk of infecting others.

“The industry will be rethinking the design of the space in order to maintain new distancing standards,” he said.

In addition, other emerging real estate and property trends that will enjoy a share of new demand include optimisation of enhanced property standards, mixed-use developments, as well as digitalisation.

  1. Enhanced property standards

Since the market preference is expected to shift towards new standards, property developers will see the need to evaluate building stipulations and provide better infrastructure such as thorough retrofitting. In addition, building layouts will see a major revamp by allocating extra spaces and contingent designs that solidify various aspects of safety to add more value to potential investors and tenants.

“In the new normal, people will still have the mindset to observe physical distancing as a means to ensure safety against any viruses or diseases. This will be the guiding principle of many investors in choosing a property,” Lootah explained.

  1. Mixed-use, community development

As people are now more cautious about health and safety standards as a result of the pandemic, mixed-use developments, or those that blend commercial, residential, and industrial activities into one location, will turn out as one of the most sought-after properties in the new normal. Increased number of developers will aim to construct residential developments that are closer to or include health and lifestyle centres, retail stores and supermarkets, and learning institutions.

Lootah said that this type of development will introduce the idea of a “community within a property” as more tenants are expected to refrain from doing unnecessary travel for a while to avoid crowded places.

  1. Digital adaptation

Even prior to the dawn of COVID-19, the concept of virtual reality has already been gaining so much traction, enabling potential property buyers to experience the property without physical visit.

 “The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the need for the private sector, including the real estate, to align with the UAE’s vision of digital transformation. The sector will hold fast to it, drastically transforming business interactions. Through the adoption of artificial intelligence and smart technology, like what we did in our customer relationship management (CRM) platform and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, developers can ensure that they are always within the reach of their clients,” explained Lootah.