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Expo 2020’s impact on the property market in the UAE

Looking back at previous Expo host countries it is clear that Expo, more often than not, boosts the economy of the host country in a variety of ways, both pre and post-event. One of the most prominent ways is through growth in the host country’s real estate market.

Looking back at previous Expo host countries it is clear that Expo, more often than not, boosts the economy of the host country in a variety of ways, both pre and post-event. One of the most prominent ways is through growth in the host country’s real estate market.

Since 2013 when the UAE won the bid to host Expo 2020 all eyes have been on the development of Dubai’s infrastructure to accommodate the event. From the Expo site itself to tourist attractions, hotels, and residential buildings, Dubai has seen a rapid increase in development projects over the last several years. The construction is set to continue even after the event itself is over. The 7bn dollar investment will continue to be used to build the Expo site into ‘District 2020’, a city in itself, that will have both corporate and residential facilities. This is due to open 6 months after the Expo event closes.

So, what impact is Expo having on the real estate market now?

Over the last five years, Dubai has been on a growing spree. Due to the increase in the number of properties coupled with the Covid-19 pandemic, the rise in real estate prices has slowed. The UAE is unique as it is one of the only Expo hosts in a newly developed country. Most previous Expo host countries, except Shanghai, have been ‘older’ developed countries. The UAE, in comparison to past Expo hosts, therefore, has more to develop and so this trend is not unexpected.

Over the last six months, however, we have seen more growth in the market as we get closer to the event. As noted in Arabian business, “Sales transactions in June 2021 were 44.33% higher in terms of volume and 33.2 percent in value compared to May 2021.”

There is a huge opportunity for investors looking to capitalize on the current lower market prices with the expected capital appreciation during and post-event. With the inventory of available properties growing, it’s a buyers market in Dubai where sellers have to offer competitive pricing in order to sell.

While the rise of property prices has slowed in comparison to past events, the bulk of the growth is expected to be seen in the aftermath of the event due to the expected influx of visitors and investors.

What will the real estate market look like after Expo 2020?

The ‘Expo effect’ is the 10 year period after the event finishes. It’s used to describe the continued positive impact that Expo normally has on the host country’s economy after the event ends. Of course, this includes the continued growth of the real estate market.

Milan and Shanghai, both previous Expo hosts, saw an increase in property prices after the event despite a slowdown in the economy globally. Dubai is expected to follow this trend. The UAE’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, with 92.4% of its population fully vaccinated, companies back working in person, children back in schools, and travel fully open to all countries have all made the UAE an even more attractive option for businesses and individuals looking for a stable and safe country to move to. As well as this, over the last year, visa regulations have eased, especially for freelance workers and those looking to retire in the country. The Expo gives the UAE an opportunity to showcase not only its ability to conduct a world-class event but also to show tourists and businesses why they should invest in the UAE.

The UAE has had more challenges than normal as the world continues to battle the Covid-19 pandemic, but the UAE, and its real estate market, have proven resilient and is set for more growth.

Looking to invest?

If you’re looking to buy a property in the UAE, speak to our in-house team of mortgage experts to see what options are available to you.


Written by Huspy Team

Published on 3 May 2023

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