Dubai’s real estate sector is the most ‘transparent’ in MENA, says JLL’s latest index

The real estate markets of Dubai and Abu Dhabi have further strengthened their global standing, being recognised as the top global improvers in 2022 by a leading international real estate consultancy.

Dubai also entered the ‘transparent’ tier for the first time, underlining its position as the most transparent property market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, according to JLL’s latest Global Real Estate Transparency Index (GRETI).

The emirate gained three ranks in the index to 31st position globally and is the only property market in MENA to feature in the ‘transparent’ tier.

Dubai’s gains in the transparency ranking are led by new regulations around market lending practices, beneficial ownership tracking and sustainability reporting.

Enhanced digital services and data provision such as service charge management, automated valuations, and transactions databases through the Dubai REST platform also helped the Dubai real estate market to improve its rankings.

The gain in ranking also builds on the new initiatives announced by the Dubai Government with private companies such as transaction-based sales indices and a building wellbeing certification.

“Today, investors from around the world are increasingly looking at Dubai’s real estate to invest, and we, at Dubai Land Department, are committed to enhancing transparency within the sector,” said Sultan Butti bin Mejren, Director General of Dubai Land Department.

“With the global recovery of the economy, we recognised the need to focus on improving market transparency to make better decisions that will support both developers and investors alike,” he added.

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Sultan Butti bin Mejren, Director General of Dubai Land Department

The Abu Dhabi real estate market, ranked 45th globally this year on JLL’s Index, has gained one rank and maintained its position in the ‘semi-transparent’ tier.

The improvements reflect the expansion of digital services through the Dari platform including sales and lease management and development and transaction databases.

The Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) also published its first code of ethics covering real estate professions, and the property market has benefitted from increased data provision by private providers in new sectors, the report states.

Thierry Delvaux, chief executive officer at JLL, Middle East, Africa and Turkey said its latest global transparency Index comes at a time of significant change across nearly every aspect of the global real estate market.

“This year, Dubai and Abu Dhabi have been recognised as top global improvers, benefitting from a concerted government focus on improving market transparency,” he said.

Thierry Delvaux, chief executive officer at JLL, Middle East, Africa and Turkey

Saudi Arabia maintained its position in the top 50 of the global rankings, reinforcing its position at a regional level.

The kingdom scored particularly well in the category of ‘listed vehicles’ corporate governance transparency.

This is due to a combination of the REIT regulatory framework introduced in 2016 and its listed vehicles having good-quality financial accounts, data disclosure and corporate governance practices.

KSA also scored well on its investment performance transparency for the listed market.

The Tadawul Real Estate Development Index and several of its REITs are constituents in the FTSE EPRA NAREIT Global REITs Index.

Produced jointly by JLL and LaSalle Investment Management, GRETI has been charting the evolution of real estate transparency across the globe since 1999.

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