[Dubai, UAE, September 7, 2015] – Dubai’s real estate market is undergoing a healthy correction which is confirming its maturity, says Hesham Al Qassim, CEO of wasl Asset Management Group.
Speaking during a keynote address at the Cityscape Global conference, which took place yesterday at the Conrad Hotel, Dubai, Al Qassim stated his belief that the current situation bodes well for the future of the city’s property sector, with continued stability likely over the coming years.
Al Qassim used the conference, which precedes the September 8-10 Cityscape Global exhibition, as a platform to highlight the conditions that he says are giving him optimism for the future. He stated that the property market was being sustained by the strength of the UAE economy, with the current correction being experienced likely to last until the end of 2016. He also used the occasion to call for new developments such as affordable housing, which he says is needed and will add further stability to the market.
“The correction that is being witnessed in the real estate market has come at the right time and its impact is being absorbed. In 2017 I think we will witness another hike and see growth again as we lead up to 2020. I predict that the real estate market will reach a new level and will move upwards in the right manner. It is the perfect time to invest, especially with the EXPO 2020 ahead of us,” said Al Qassim.
“I think we have to be smart when it comes to property development. We need to properly study the market and introduce products according to specific target audience needs. I believe there is a high demand for and need to build affordable housing to accommodate low and medium income individuals who will make their homes in the region for the long term. This is something that is especially needed in the Dubai market,” he added.
During his presentation, Al Qassim detailed the instrumental role that wasl Asset Management Group is playing in the continued growth of Dubai, revealing that wasl properties - the property management and development subsidiary of wasl Asset Management Group - owns and manages over 30,000 units across Dubai. He stated that the company has 24 residential projects currently under development comprising a total of 10,400 units, all of which will be completed between now and 2020. He expressed his belief that the new developments would continue wasl’s reputation for exceptional quality in the market place, with the company’s entry into the freehold sector adding value to the industry.
“Our main vertical, real estate development and property management, is provided under wasl properties, one of the top property management companies in Dubai. Today we have 99% of our inventory leased out and we have very high retention rates due to customer loyalty. Our 92% customer satisfaction rate is proof that our tenants are extremely happy and that our after sales services are doing an exceptional job,” said Al Qassim.
“We recently entered the freehold property market in order to add value and bring the wasl expertise to this important sector. We have announced four major projects this year, out of which three are freehold, with a total value of AED 40 billion,” he added.
In addition to highlighting wasl’s extensive industry interests, which currently comprise 27 industrial zones consisting of 5,200 plots, Al Qassim used the Cityscape platform to share details of the company’s burgeoning hospitality portfolio, which is progressively expanding from its present 13 hotels that house approximately 5,000 rooms.
“Following the win of the Expo 2020 bid, we announced that we will be building an extra 15 hotels from now until 2020, two of which are 5-star and the rest mid-range. We are eager to fill the gap in the market especially in the hospitality sector and we aim by 2020 to have more than 10,000 rooms in our portfolio. wasl plays the role of the Dubai government’s investment arm and caters to the growth and future of the city. Our aim is to identify the needs and gaps in Dubai and work towards providing the necessary projects that fulfil those needs,” he concluded.