Dubai La Palmera

Dubai, the truly global real estate market

Jeff Hornbergerby Jeff Hornberger

According to NAR’s last survey of foreign buyers, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) did not make the list of top 10 investors in U.S. real estate. So why does this country matter to NAR members looking to grow their global business? The UAE is home to an emirate or “city-state” called Dubai, a booming and modern metropolis that is quickly becoming a hub for global capital, especially real estate.

While between 6-8% of US residential real estate sales are to foreign buyers, nearly 85% of real estate transactions in Dubai are to foreign buyers, or non-UAE nationals, according to Mahmoud Hesham El Burai, Director General of the Dubai Land Department, NAR’s partner group in Dubai.  Its international buyers hail in double digit numbers from countries such as the UK, Russia, and India, countries that do appear in the list of top ten buyers of US property.

Dubai La PalmeraWhy do foreigners buy in Dubai?
It is a safe, clean, tax-friendly, and truly global city where many different nationalities can feel at home. Its housing stock is fairly new, with gleaming high-rises (including the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa), man-made islands that jut out into the Persian Gulf shaped like palm trees and a world map, land structures that have added over 1,000 miles of coastline to Dubai. Its real estate market is highly regulated and prices and appreciation are strong after a market crash similar to the U.S. Its currency is pegged to the U.S. Dollar. Dubai’s airport, one of the world’s busiest, puts it within eight hours flying time of two-thirds of the world’s population. Think of Dubai as positioned in the middle of a modern day “Silk Road” linking Asia, Europe and Africa. Its privileged location has become a safe haven of sorts, especially during the Arab Spring, with 80% of foreign buyers buying in cash.

So what does all of this mean for NAR members?

·         Your foreign buyer may also be looking at Dubai as a place to invest

·         By partnering with a Dubai real estate professional, you can share client lists and referrals

·         Dubai can be a hub for you to attract buyers to your local market. For example, if targeting India or Russia seems daunting and complicated, you may want to tap into these communities in Dubai; chances are they bought in cash and may be looking to the U.S. as well to diversify their international real estate portfolio.

Best of all, the National Association of REALTORS® has a partner group in Dubai called the Dubai Real Estate Institute, a grouping of professionals who subscribe to a code of ethics compatible with NARs and meet strict criteria to practice real estate there. Within this group you will find fellow CIPSs, CRSs, ABRs, and International REALTOR® members all who understand the REALTOR® name and REALTOR® brand, and are eager to share their credentials and establish business connections. Consider Dubai as a target market to attract not only buyers from the Middle East but in other key markets as well.

Jeff Hornberger is NAR’s Director of Global Alliances and oversees its 80 partnerships in 60 countries around the globe. Jeff can be reached at

  1. I am honored to serve as the NAR Presidential Liaison to the United Arab Emirates and help our NAR Members with their real estate interests in the UAE. The Houston Association of REALTORS is the NAR Ambassador Association to the UAE and we are presently expanding Houston, and Texas-wide cooperation with the UAE and the Dubai Real Estate Institute.

  2. Great report. Thank you, Jeffrey.

  3. Umar Saeed

    Dubai is one of the wonderful parts of the world due to its ultramodern constructions and geographical location. Now rents and prices of property are on rise due to the world expo 2020. It is really good time for investors to invest in real estate sector of Dubai and earn huge profits in growing market. Thanks


    How do we expand our business relationship to offer our services to the buyers in UAE I am a a broker and love to do it ,,any ideas ?


  5. Leena

    Hello all,
    I have been brought up here in Dubai (1975 onwards), step by step, stone by stone, I have seen this city rise to the highest points. From school buses with no A/cs, to just one dark dusty road between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, I have seen it all.
    I didnt invest in my home country because I have never lived there, have always lived in Dubai. So I got my home in Dubai. Hassle free, great value and a young market, this city is safe, clean and whatever people want to live a decent life. If any of you know what me to assess any particular property for you here to give you feedback, please do let me know on 971504786783 or write in on

  6. After iconic developments like the Burj Khalifa , Palm and others, the reputation of Dubai’s property sector has elevated on the Global scale.

  7. Great Report!!!

  8. Thanks for he nice blog..Scope of business is increasing in Dubai in huge amount. The main reason is that it is safe, clean, tax-friendly, and truly global city where many different nationalities can feel at home.


    Thanks for all your replies. I very much appreciate the effort and help .I would love to assist the clients from UAE who are interested in real estate in UNITED STATES
    please contact me for any assistance ,I have been to DUBAI and had the privilege of going to the property show of 2015 in Dubai world trade center ,there was so much,
    we can offer to each other ,this world is becoming so global ,assistance is very close .
    Please don’t hesitate to call or e mail me at


  10. The city has transformed to a high-tech cosmopolitan over the years with more projects underway.

  11. Thanks for the informaion about dubai the truly global real estate market.

  12. Great read! We all know that Dubai is at the heart of one of the biggest trends in property – the rise of a truly global market in real estate. With a highly active and booming real estate market, property trade is becoming a key focus in Dubai.