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Dubai vs Abu Dhabi: Which real estate market outperformed the other in Q2 2024?

The existing market scaled in Abu Dhabi with a YoY volume increase of approximately 41%, while growth in off-plan options saw a YoY spike of around 80% in Dubai, revealed a new report released by Property Finder

Dubai vs Abu Dhabi: Which real estate market outperformed the other in Q2 2024?

The real estate market in Dubai has shown remarkable resilience and appeal, with a significant increase in sales transactions during Q2 2024. Data from the Dubai Land Department reveals a record-breaking 43,522 transactions, representing a 45% surge compared to the same period last year. This strong growth emphasises the vibrant nature of Dubai’s property sector, especially in the off-plan market, which nearly matched its peak in 2009. In contrast, Abu Dhabi’s real estate market experienced a decline, highlighting contrasting trends in the UAE’s property landscape. Read on as we highlight the key takeaways for both cities.

Dubai real estate market

According to data from the Dubai Land Department (DLD), there was a significant surge in total sales transactions in Dubai during Q2 2024. The number of transactions recorded was the highest ever for the quarter, with 43,522 transactions compared to 30,056 transactions in Q2 2023, reflecting a substantial increase of 45%.

Off-plan transactions

In Q2 2024, Dubai’s off-plan market came close to its peak in 2009, with 26,268 transactions compared to 26,629 back then, showing just a 1% difference, stated ‘Market Watch Digest’ report for Q2 2024 by Property Finder.

Additionally, the off-plan sector saw a significant growth of 80% compared to the previous year, with 14,596 transactions recorded. This accounted for 60.4% of the total transaction volume, marking the first time off-plan transactions contributed to more than 60% of the total, up from 51% in Q2 2023. Off-plan value transactions reached a record high of AED 53,214 billion, surpassing the previous peak by 12%. Consequently, off-plan transactions made up 57% of the total transaction value, reflecting a 54% increase compared to the previous year.

Ready properties

The existing/ready market saw a significant increase in transactions in Q2 2024, with almost 17,254 transactions recorded, representing 40% of the total transactions, compared to around 15,460 transactions in Q2 2019. This marks an 11.6% volume growth from the previous year.

The transaction value in Q2 2024 reached AED 71.190 billion, contributing to 57% of existing sales transaction value, a decrease from 62% in Q2 2023. Nonetheless, the existing/ready transaction value still saw a notable increase of 27% compared to Q2 2023, reaching AED 56.096 billion.

Abu Dhabi real estate market

In Q2 2024, Abu Dhabi’s market saw a decrease in total sales transactions, with only 2,489 transactions compared to 3,028 in Q2 2023, representing a decrease of 17.8%. The total value of sales transactions also dropped significantly, reaching AED 6.7 billion in Q2 2024 compared to AED 8.3 billion in Q2 2023, a decrease of 19%.

Off-plan transactions

The off-plan market saw a significant decline in transactions, with only 1,323 compared to 2,201 in Q2 2023. This represents 53% of total transactions, down from 73% in the previous year, a 40% decrease in volume.

Despite the drop in transactions, the off-plan sales transaction value reached AED 2.87 billion, contributing to 43% of the total sales value. This is a 49% decrease from Q2 2023, when off-plan sales accounted for AED 5.6 billion, or 67% of total sales.

Ready properties

In Q2 2024, the existing/ready market saw a significant increase in both the number of transactions and total sales value compared to Q2 2023. There were 1,166 transactions, accounting for 47% of the total, marking a 41% growth from the previous year’s 827 transactions.

The transaction value also rose to AED 3.84 billion, making up 57% of the total sales value, compared to only 33% in Q2 2023. This represented a 42% increase from the AED 2.7 billion in existing/ready transaction value in Q2 2023.

Projects to look forward to

Based on the latest analysis from Property Finder, there is a wide range of options for potential buyers interested in investing in upcoming or early-stage projects. Recent data highlights popular areas for investment, such as Dubai Marina, Downtown Dubai, Jumeirah Village Circle, Business Bay, and Palm Jumeirah.

“Our quarterly findings spotlight the diversity of options available to home seekers in the UAE, with attractive investment opportunities catering to a breadth of buyers, irrespective of affluence, locality preference, maturity within the market and required facilities. We see this across the demand for more ready properties in Abu Dhabi, as well as longer-term off-plan investments in Dubai. These trends can be attributed in part to the efforts of regulators such as the DLD, who remain committed to working with private players to ensure market transparency,” concludes Cherif Sleiman, Chief Revenue Officer, Property Finder.