Ramadan 2023 Set a New Trend for Dubai Real Estate

Mark Castley, CEO of LuxuryProperty.com, recently wrote a piece for Gulf News highlighting how busy Ramadan 2023 was compared to the same period in previous years. Below is a modified version of the article, edited by The Newsroom.

In the bustling metropolis of Dubai, Ramadan has traditionally been a time of respite. This period of reflection and contemplation affects every aspect of the city, including the real estate market. Transaction volume typically declines, property viewings decrease (particularly among Muslim clients), and there is a general sense that the market is holding its breath, preparing to surge again after the Holy Month. However, 2023 has seen a departure from this trend, marking the busiest Ramadan in Dubai's real estate history.

Looking back five years, the first 20 days of Ramadan saw only 509 transactions. In stark contrast, the same period this year witnessed 2,222 transactions – a remarkable 336% increase. Furthermore, there has been a 51.4% surge in transactions compared to the same period last year.

Several factors contribute to this deviation from the norm during Ramadan in 2023. One primary cause is the shifting demographic of property buyers. Historically, the market has been dominated by Asian buyers, particularly from South Asia – including India, Pakistan, and GCC countries such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. A large proportion of these buyers would observe Ramadan, resulting in reduced activity during this time. However, recent years have seen an increase in European investors, with India being the only Asian nation among the top five buying nationalities in 2022. With fewer European buyers observing Ramadan, real estate purchases continue without interruption.

Over the years, Ramadan in Dubai has transformed. The once dormant city during the Holy Month now remains active, continuously striving to establish itself as a global hub welcoming individuals from all corners of the world. Aside from reduced working hours, the city's operations continue unabated during Ramadan.

As a result, most industries, including real estate, treat Ramadan as business as usual. This shift is reminiscent of the change in the summer months. Pre-pandemic, summers were characterized by tranquility, as many escaped the stifling heat of Dubai, causing the real estate market to stagnate until September. Since 2020, however, the summer months have become as bustling as any other season.

Although there are potential downsides to this shift, such as the loss of a pre-Ramadan rush motivating real estate agents to work harder to close deals, the change also presents numerous opportunities. Real estate professionals can now continue their work during Ramadan, maintaining a steady workflow and income.

As Dubai increasingly becomes a sought-after destination for individuals worldwide, a thriving Ramadan period highlights the positive sentiment within the real estate market. This activity serves as a promising indicator for what the remainder of the year may hold. With an evolving demographic of buyers and a city that refuses to slow down, even during the Holy Month, Dubai's real estate market continues to demonstrate resilience and adaptability.