New developments and initiatives are making it easier for expats to live and invest in the UAE. Seven to fourteen-hour flights to London and Boston could be a thing of the past by 2020, while property developers are shifting their focus to cater to the middle-income population. Upcoming tax relief initiatives for NRI investors are expected to boost investments from this sector.
Meanwhile, Dubai continues to push forward its vision to become a city of the future with the announcement of a new mega-project that will add yet another iconic building to the UAE skyline. Find out more below.
Dubai to London in around 3 Hours with New Supersonic Jet
A new supersonic jet that can fly from Dubai to London in just over three hours has moved a step closer to launching. The prototype airliner was first revealed by Colorado-based Overture in 2017, but now a Dh367 million deal has been signed for the next phase of the project.
It means that the 55-seat Boom Supersonic XB-1 airliner will finally go into development, with a half-size prototype taking to the skies later this year.
It is hoped that the jets will begin flying commercially in 2020, with tickets costing approximately the same as current business class fares.
Virgin Atlantic and Japan Airlines have already placed orders, with more firms set to follow.
Although routes have not yet been confirmed, the jet would theoretically be able to travel from Dubai to London in just three-and-a-half hours, or from Dubai to Boston in seven hours.
At the moment, it takes more than 14 hours to fly to Boston on a traditional airliner.
The three-engine planes will reach speeds of more than 2,334 kilometres per hour and will be half the size of the famous Concorde.
Flying up at 60,000 feet, those on board will experience less turbulence, ideal for nervy flyers.
Energy efficiency is greatly improved too, while advanced aerodynamics, carbon fibre composites and turbofan jet engines make it possible to nearly halve journey times around the world.
From TimeOut, Dubai
The Key to the UAE Property Market: Affordability
Affordable housing is set to gain traction in the UAE as property developers shift their focus to this segment by targeting the middle-income population in a bid to double their share in total real estate projects by 2022, experts say.
The latest data shows that the UAE is the second biggest market for affordable housing in the GCC as it requires 98,000 units by 2022 to cater to the needs of the middle-income group, those earning between Dh15,000 to Dh30,000 per month.
However, a gap in the market still exists for households earning less than Dh10,000 monthly, offering a huge opportunity to developers to invest in the affordable segment in line with a new housing policy announced by the UAE government to provide better options to residents.
Industry experts said about 63,000 units are likely to be delivered in Dubai this year ahead of Expo 2020, approximately only 12,000 of which will be classified affordable. However, this segment will pick up momentum in the next three years as developers are expanding their development portfolio to cater to the huge demand from middle-income groups.
According to the latest report by Property Finder Group, there is an increasing number of projects dedicated to middle-income classes. However, in the home-ownership market, less than 20% of middle-income projects are affordable to households earning less than Dh15,000 per month.
From Khaleej Times, Dubai
Mega Project Near Burj Al Arab Unveiled: Burj Jumeira
A new mega project is set to rise in Dubai, and it will be located close to the iconic Burj Al Arab.
Dubai Holding unveiled the details of its latest real estate venture, the Burj Jumeira, after it was inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
It will be located in the Al Sufouh district, which is also home to popular landmarks such as the Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai Knowledge Village and Dubai Internet City, and its first phase is scheduled for completion in 2023.
According to the state-backed property developer, the skyscraper will be the centrepiece of a wider development called Downtown Jumeirah.
During the launch of the project, the Dubai ruler described the tower and Downtown Jumeirah as a continuation of Dubai’s vision for becoming a city of the future, distinguished by its intelligent design and cohesive infrastructure network.
The main tower’s design is inspired by the harmonious ripples of the country’s desert sand dunes, as well as its flowing oases.
“The facade will be covered with digital displays that can be utilised for various occasions and celebrations,” Dubai Holding said.
The centrepiece will stand 550 metres tall and will have multiple observation decks, to offer 360-degree views of Dubai’s landscape.
The Burj Jumeira’s summit is the crown, which can host a variety of different events. It will have a sky lounge and interconnected sky restaurant.
The base of the tower is designed in the outline of Sheikh Mohammad’s fingerprint and is planned to accommodate various social, cultural and artistic events and activities. It will also feature water fountains, a terraced outdoor amphitheatre, and is designed to host interactive lighting and fireworks displays.
From Gulf News, Dubai
Apartments for Rent in Al Sufouh
Indian Budget Changes to Spur Gulf NRI Investment in Residential Market
NRI (non-resident Indian) investments in India’s residential property segment are expected to see a big jump in the coming months in the wake of a slew of tax exemptions and relief for the sector announced in India’s interim budget for the coming fiscal year.
The interim budget, presented recently in India’s parliament, announced a tax waiver on house rents up to US $3,343 (Rs. 240,000) from the previous limit of $2,507 (Rs. 180,000), an extension of rollover of capital gains tax on the sale of houses from one to two houses, and exemption of notional rent on second self-occupied homes.
“The budget announcements make investments in residential housing attractive to NRIs again and we expect a significant increase in the number of NRIs, especially from the Gulf region, buying residential properties in India in the coming months,” Shajai Jacob, CEO – GCC, Anarock Property Consultants, told Arabian Business.
The tax reliefs and capital gain tax roll over (up to $279,000) on the sale of two houses will give the much-needed boost to the secondary market and we expect a big jump in NRI activities in this segment – both in buying new properties and selling their current holdings, going forward, Jacob said.
Real estate industry analysts said the latest budget proposal on exempting notional rent on a second self-occupied home could influence positively on NRIs deciding for investing in a second home in India.
From Arabian Business, Dubai
This article was originally published in Prestige Magazine, Issue 39.