As a very very
small investor in the Dubai real estate market, I am very concerned about the falling
real estate prices in the emirate. Canceled and delayed projects is one thing, but the potential large outflow of expat population who lost their jobs with the credit crisis is very worrying - and whats worse is that we are still to see that effect
: Most people who lost their jobs get 6 months pay, and probably won't move out of the city until their children's school year ends in the summer. So come July in 2009, a large community of expat families will be fleeing back to their homelands, and emptying various residences in the emirate
. Supply will be larger than demand, and prices will plummet down further.
That being said I do believe a city like Dubai has hope... but it all depends on the government decisions and visions for the emirate. Dubai has the potential to be the Florida of the European retirement community. It has great all year warm weather that no European country has, it has great health care and medical infrastructure that is equipped to treat elderly patients, and the social/ cultural structure that would attract the retirement age group ; golf tournaments, polo matches, tennis, museums, spas, and art galleries.
So does the Ministry of Planning in dubai have this kind of plan in mind to stabilise the now frighteningly plummeting real estate market? I don't know, but I don't see why not. Being a potential host for the elderly european retirement community will only be positive for the emirate: they are consumers, they don't earn money, they are known to be active in the cultural and arts scene which will only add value to the cultural segment of Dubai, they increase demand for medical care which will attract improved and qualified professionals into the medicine field, and they will bring in more tourism when their families and grandchildren from Europe come to visit them, magnifying the luxury image of Dubai as a vacation spot.
Ironically, that is how Florida established itself as a luxury, artsy and hip destination afterall.