Real Estate Market Watch 2023: Record Breaking Growth in Dubai, Abu Dhabi – Dubai Chronicle

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Increased transactions, greater returns, spike in ownership, off-plan investments, new projects on the rise; 2023 wraps up with big wins for Dubai and Abu Dhabi’s property sector

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commercials real estate properties.

Property Finder, the leading property portal in the MENA region, has reported substantial progress in Dubai and Abu Dhabi’s real estate sectors for 2023. Significant achievements in 2023 include Abu Dhabi’s off-plan sales witnessing a substantial increase, capturing a larger share of total transactions compared to the previous year, while Dubai’s off-plan market set a noteworthy record with a remarkable surge, signifying the highest-ever annual performance for 2023.  Some more top wins significantly contributing to successful year included:

Increased transactions, stronger foreign confidence:


  • Recent data from the Dubai Statistics Center reports Dubai’s real estate and construction sectors saw a respective 3.6% and 1.9% growth in the first half of 2023, contributing to nearly 14.4% of the city’s total GDP for the year.
  • In 2023, sales transactions set a new annual record with a value of AED 411.74 billion, marking a 56% increase from 2022. The robust economic growth and flourishing tourism industry contributed to heightened housing demand.
  • Registered sales transactions in 2023 surged to 133,134, marking a significant uptick from the 96,459 transactions recorded in 2022—an impressive increase of 38%. This achievement represents the highest performance for the year on record, establishing a new benchmark for unparalleled commercial growth.

Abu Dhabi:

  • According to data from the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT), the number of transactions for a year in Abu Dhabi achieved record highs with 13,298 transactions compared to 7,957 in 2022, reflecting a substantial increase of 75%.
  • Residential transactions accounted for 97% of the total volume and approximately 85% of the overall value.
  • Transaction values amounted to AED 44 billion, marking a remarkable 120% increase from AED 19.9 billion in the previous year.

Boost in off-plan investments, emerging areas in demand:


  • In Dubai, off-plan sales set a remarkable record in 2023, surging to 68,783 transactions from 43,151 in 2022, marking an impressive 59.4% increase and establishing the highest-ever annual performance for the off-plan market.
  • 70.4% of off-plan transactions in Dubai concentrated in the top 10 areas, with the leading area contributing 14.4%, the second at 11%, and the third at over 7.8%.

Abu Dhabi:

  • In Abu Dhabi, 10,151 off-plan sales transactions were recorded, compared to 5,095 in 2022, representing 76% of the total transactions, as opposed to 67% in 2022.
  • A significant year-on-year surge by 99% in terms of volume and 174% increase for the same period in terms of value was recorded for Abu Dhabi.
  • The off-plan sales transaction value in Abu Dhabi reached AED 35,570 billion compared to AED 12,989 billion.

Ready/existing properties, steady returns:


  • Existing sales achieved a milestone in Dubai in 2023, surging to 64,351 transactions from 53,308 in 2022, marking the highest annual performance on record with a remarkable year-on-year increase of 20.72%.
  • Across 178 areas in 2023, existing/ready transactions were distributed, constituting 51.2% of the total transactions, showcasing the widespread engagement and robust performance of this segment in the real estate market.

Abu Dhabi:

  • 3,147 transactions for ready properties in Abu Dhabi compared to 2,507 in 2022, representing around 24% of the total transactions vs 33% in 2022; witnessing a notable growth of 26% from 2022.

Loyalty spikes for preferred neighborhoods, more listings for property seekers:


  • Dubai Marina, Downtown Dubai, Jumeirah Village Circle, Business Bay, Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) and Palm Jumeirah emerged top choices for those who want to own/rent an apartment.
  • Dubai Hills Estate, Palm Jumeirah, Arabian Ranches, Damac Hills, Mohammed Bin Rashed, Al Barsha, Jumeirah and Damac Hills 2 were preferred areas for villa ownership and rentals.

Abu Dhabi:

  • Al Reem Island, Yas Island, Al Raha Beach, Khalifa City, Corniche Road, Saadiyat Island and Masdar City remained preferred choices for those who want to own or rent an apartment in Abu Dhabi for investment or residence purposes in 2023.         
  • As for affordable and luxurious villas or townhouses, home buyers’ and tenants’ top picks for 2023 were Yas Island, Saadiyat Island, Al Reef, Al Reem Island and Khalifa City.

Reflecting on a year of sustained progress, Cherif Sleiman, Chief Revenue Officer, Property Finder said, “2023 has been no less than exceptional for our sector. We saw new trends emerge, diversified consumer segments, increased scope for businesses in real estate and a strong demand met by supply that is multifaceted and future equipped. Not just that, technology and innovation in search channels enabled property seekers to belong better within their areas of choice, for some – even before they arrived in the nation. Ready to host many more searches in 2024, at Property Finder, we remain committed to enhancing and empowering property seekers with all the information they need to make informed decisions and get people living the life they deserve. We look forward to enabling many more possibilities through proptech in 2024.”

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