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The end of 2013 marks five years since the UAE entered a most difficult financial phase triggered by Dubai?s real estate slump. Five years is a reasonable timeframe, making it pertinent to ask if it is time to pronounce the crisis over. There is no official word yet, but the consensus seems to be we are almost there… but not quite.
The property market has come a long way since prices slumped by 60 per cent or more as the bubble of mindless speculation began to burst in 2008. Prices are not back to those dizzy levels, but have been climbing at a steady pace.
Dubai has, in fact, been named as one of the fastest growing property markets globally for 2013, with prices and rents touching the highest levels in five years. The awarding of Expo 2020 has provided further impetus, raising expectation about the likely course of the market and the economy in general.
The market rebound, coupled with the overall economic upturn, has been linked to a significant pick-up in the stock market, with Dubai emerging as one of the best performing globally this year. By end November, the Dubai stock index was up 82 per cent. Abu Dhabi gained 46 per cent during the same period.
Growth estimates for the overall economy have been revised upwards, with most suggesting more than 4 per cent, a significant improvement over the last two years.