Bloomberg News

U.A.E. Property Prices, Rents May Drop Further 20%, Arqaam Says

October 19, 2011

Oct. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Property prices and rents in the United Arab Emirates may drop a further 20 percent this year and next because of excess supply, Arqaam Capital said.

“There is a further leg down to the U.A.E. property market before residential prices and rents recover,” analyst Mohammad Kamal wrote in a report dated yesterday. “We see a further 15 percent to 20 percent in downside to prices and rents in financial year 2011 and 2012.”

Dubai’s property market had one of the world’s biggest reversals following the global credit crisis three years ago, with home prices slumping 64 percent since they peaked in mid- 2008, Deutsche Bank AG estimates. Abu Dhabi will continue to have excess of most types of properties, leading to a further decline in rental and sale prices, Jones Lang LaSalle said in a research report on Oct. 16.

“Genuine revival triggers will only appear in a broad macroeconomic recovery, via job creation, a rise in discretionary spending, continued regulatory evolution, resumed mortgage lending, and growth in tourist flows,” Kamal said.

Arqaam started coverage of Emaar Properties PJSC, the developer of the world’s biggest tower in Dubai, with a “buy” recommendation and a price estimate of 4 dirhams. Aldar Properties PJSC, Abu Dhabi’s biggest developer, was initiated with “sell” and an estimate of 1 dirham, while Sorouh Real Estate Co. was started with “hold” and an estimate of 1.10 dirhams.

“Emaar Properties has been unduly penalized, due to skepticism over the viability of international operations, and lingering doubts over the ability of the business to scale up hotel and retail recurring revenues to drive growth and cash flow generation,” according to the report.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at

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