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Why Dubai property market is enticing Kenyans

Mohammed Parvez Sheikh, Business Development Manager, Al Burooj Real Estate was in Nairobi recently

Milliam Murigi @@millymur1

Tell us about Al Burooj Real Estate.

Al Burooj Real Estate is a real estate company based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). We have been in business since 2006 and have evolved into one of the fastest growing and most innovative real estate companies in the UAE.

We specialise in structuring deals for investors who want to invest in Dubai not acting as brokers, but as consultants. We have a tie up with all the major developers in Dubai.

Why should one invest in Dubai?

Investing in Dubai comes with so many advantages such as freehold property for all expatriates. All developers and developments are monitored by Lands department and Rera, which are bodies of the Dubai government.

Rera is the regulatory arm of the Land department, where the department sets legislations to regulate the relationship between all contracting parties and to organise the exchange process of properties).

In Dubai there is ease of investment, tax-free returns and everything is centralised, so no double sales of the same property. There is also an escrow account for all projects and Visa for family on buying property worth US $ 273,000 (Sh27.8 million) and above.

What is the future of Dubai housing sector?

The real estate sector is likely to remain one of the significant critical drivers of growth and commercial and residential project delivery spiked in 2017.

In the short term, there will be increase of residential units considering that the country is set to host Dubai Expo 2020. This single event will bring together more than 1.25 million visitors with 70 per cent constituting of foreigners who will require accommodation.

Kenyan real estate sector is full of fraud. What do you think can be done to zero-rate this?

All real estate transactions should be centralised and overlooked by the government.

What motivated your company to consider the Kenyan market?

Kenya has a lot of potential and investors are looking for opportunities to invest in overseas markets. Unfortunately, they do not have the information or are misinformed. Most of them might buy properties while on holiday to Dubai and end up making the wrong investment at times.

There are a lot of property developers and brokers coming from Dubai to sell properties, but they are not concerned whether the investor makes money or not. We as Al Burooj Real Estate want to fill that gap of professionalism and ethics by giving the right advice to clients.

And how is the uptake so far?

Kenya is responding positively. For the last five years we have seen an upward trend because Kenyans are now aware of different projects in Dubai and they have built trust.

There is political stability, no inflation and security in Dubai compared to Kenya. Also Dubai is one of the most preferred destinations and people are opting to have their holiday homes there. Moreover, high rental incomes of between eight to 15 per cent being the greatest contributor.

What lessons can Kenyans learn from Dubai to make the housing sector a success?

The government needs to get involved and make everything streamlined so that buyers feel safe of their investment. Make it easy and simple for anyone wanting to buy a property and this can be done if all properties are on freehold, but not leasehold.

Are there opportunities in real estate, which are yet to be tapped?

Yes, there are lots of investment opportunities in Dubai, which are yet to be tapped because of the wrong information people have. Once people have clarity on this, they will be more open to investing in Dubai.

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