The Future of Dubai’s Real Estate Market: Analyzing Trends, Risks, and Opportunities

As Dubai’s real estate market continues to capture global attention, questions emerge about its sustainability and growth trajectory. Is the market in a bubble? Will the growth continue? What risks and opportunities lie ahead? In an attempt to answer these questions, this article draws upon extensive data from to examine the value, volume, and median price per square foot for residential apartments in Dubai from 2009 to 2023.

Key Trends

Sales Value: Off-Plan vs. Ready Properties

Off-Plan Properties

  • Sales value increased from AED 47 billion in 2009 to AED 83 billion in 2023, marking a 76% increase over 13 years, or an average yearly increase of 5.8%.

Ready Properties

  • Sales value escalated dramatically from AED 4.4 billion to AED 42 billion, indicating an 854% increase over 13 years, or a staggering 65% average annual increase.


  1. Sustainable Ready Market: The 854% growth in ready properties over 13 years reflects a realistic trend, as these properties are often resold multiple times.
  2. Healthy End-User Demand: There has been a moderate yet positive growth rate of 0.6% in the number of sales transactions for ready properties over the past 13 years.
  3. Off-Plan Market Dynamics: The slower yearly growth rate in off-plan sales can be attributed to a lack of new launches between 2010 and 2012 and a softer market from 2015 until 2020. However, a robust increase in off-plan projects has been observed since 2021.

Sales Volume

Off-Plan Properties

  • Sales volume went from 35,800 in 2009 to 36,600 in 2023, surpassing the previous peak set in 2009.

Ready Properties

  • Sales volume rose from 17,300 in 2009 to 25,700 in 2023, indicating an 8.4% growth over 13 years or a 0.6% average yearly increase.


  1. Robust Off-Plan Demand: Despite surpassing 2009 levels, demand remains strong, influenced by market dynamics and regulatory frameworks that were not in place in 2009.
  2. Diverse Developer Participation: Off-plan sales have increased, but the share of transactions is now spread across a greater number of developers and projects.
  3. Sustainable Growth in Ready Market Sales: A steady uptick in sales volume indicates a mature market.
  4. Future Demand: As long as demand for ready properties exists, off-plan projects will continue to attract buyers.

Risks and Opportunities

Potential Threats

  • Supply Surge: A rapid influx of off-plan projects could intensify competition among developers, leading to longer payment plans or decreased prices.
  • Investor Expectations: Those who own under-construction properties anticipate high profits upon completion, hinging on original purchase prices and continuous market growth.

Market Price Discrepancy

  • There is an emerging gap between developer prices and resale market prices for both off-plan and ready properties.

Median Price Per Square Foot

  • For off-plan properties, the price rose from AED 1,004/sqft in 2012 to AED 1,825/sqft in 2023 (81% increase, 7.4% per year).
  • For ready properties, the price increased from AED 858/sqft in 2012 to AED 1,136/sqft in 2023 (32% increase, 2.9% per year).


  • Luxury Market Influence: The spike in off-plan prices can be attributed to the proliferation of luxury projects.
  • Healthy Price Trends: Given the external conditions, an annual increase of 7.4% for off-plan and 2.9% for ready properties seems reasonable.


DXBinteract data also suggests that the ratio of Secondary Sales of Offplan units dropped from 34% (2022) to 15% in 2023, which shows that:

  1. Many owners of properties under construction have resold during 2022 as their entry prices (their original prices) were lower, hence, they cashed out their profit.
  2. With the supply of new off-plan projects rising, again the dominant marketing of primary sales by real estate developers have also caused a slowdown in the resale market for properties under construction (off-plan).
  3. Investors shifted their attention to buying from developers rather than in secondary market, which also contributed to the raise of primary market transactions.

While the Dubai real estate market shows signs of robust growth and sustainability, potential risks stemming from oversupply and investor expectations must not be overlooked. The data suggests a predominantly healthy market, driven by end-user demand, but continuous monitoring and prudent decision-making will be key to navigating the future landscape.

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