Winterspeak asks:


The primary complaint seems to be that rents in Dubai are too high -- which is not unusual. What is unusual is the top demand -- to force property owners to prove occupancy within 12 months of ownership/property completion. Essentially, this argues that owners are keeping their properties empty to drive rents higher. This may be possible if Dubai property ownership was a monopoly, where the owner could restrict supply to increase price (and therefore overall profit) but I think it is quite impossible these days to have the words "Dubai" and "restrict supply" in the same sentence -- the entire city is one enormous construction site.

Does anyone know why rents in Dubai are going up so fast during a period of massive residential construction?



At a guess, the answer is that doubling oil prices have pushed up many incomes in the businesses that cater to the oil industry, which in Dubai is nearly all of them, so that even skyrocketing supply is not keeping up with demand. I'd also expect that the flow of oil money has encouraged people in other parts of the Middle East to seek apartments in Dubai (as well as New York and London and Paris, which is one of the reasons real estate markets are so robust in those cities). This may be why, earlier in his post, he cites a renter's group demanding that landlords prove their apartments are occupied--if I were a middle income renter priced out of the market, I'd be kind of irked at absentee tenants maintaining pieds-a-terre.

All this will undoubtedly iron itself out eventually, one assumes, since as Winterspeak points ou Dubai is basically one massive construction site. But the temporary dislocations can still be painful when you've been dislocated from your house.

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