Lootah CEO reveals top property trends to watch out for in 2020
Lootah CEO Saleh Abdullah Lootah discusses the emerging trends in the real estate market in Dubai, and talks about how to keep pace with a rapidly changing sector.
Lootah Real Estate Development (Lootah), one of the region’s most prominent real estate developers in the UAE and regarded as one of the pioneer entities in the real estate sector highlights top emerging trends that have become prominent in the real estate industry of the UAE.
According to Dubai Land Department’s Annual Report on Real Estate Sector Performance 2019, the gross domestic product (GDP) contribution of real estate reached 13.6 per cent in 2018 compared to 6.9 per cent in 2017, with a value of AED 398 billion and AED 390 billion, respectively, and with a growth rate of 1.9 per cent in 2018.
Given the way the sectors perform, Lootah emphasises on emerging trends that need to be observed–technological transformation (with the introduction of artificial intelligence AI and virtual reality), community lifestyle, and influx of e-commerce.
The company has mastered the art of capitalising on the needs of the market, launching projects that keep up with this rapidly changing sector. Lootah CEO, Saleh Abdullah Lootah, believes that knowing how to be distinct among the rest is the key to succeed in real estate. He said, “Addressing these trends is vital for the industry because it allows us to look beyond the current scenarios. They also help in creating a sustainable development, as well as in supporting the UAE’s 2020 strategy towards the next 50 years—which prepares sectors across the country to the post-oil era and builds a knowledge-based economy that centers on innovation, science, and modern technologies.”
Technology in the real estate has made a real impact not only in terms of construction, but also in the property buying process. The concept of virtual reality is gaining attention where buyers can experience and make a purchase without even physically visiting the property. Dubai is on the roadmap of smart transformation. According to the World Competitiveness Center of the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) index issued in October 2019, Dubai topped the MENA region in the “Smart Cities Index 2019”, ahead of major cities such as Paris, Rome, Brussels, Tokyo, and Beijing.
“As technology is developing, it is changing the way we do business too. Lootah has been very active in raising the competencies by adapting artificial intelligence and technology in creating smart cities. We have been actively involved in improving our IT infrastructure, and it is evident in our newly launched CRM platform and ERP systems. We want to make sure we are within the reach of our customers,” he said.
Earlier this year, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced the plan to rationalise smart strategies that will in turn enhance and add more value to this industry in the emirate. “One way to enhance the progress of real estate is to integrate lifestyle services with it,” says Lootah. This is clearly demonstrated by the company with the establishment of Souq Extra in 2008.
“Souq Extra engages with local communities through combining contemporary retail planning with lifestyle developments. This project delivers customised real estate services—an ideal example of a lifestyle integration,” he said.
With the success of Souq Extra, the CEO added that Lootah is looking into expanding it to Saudi Arabia and Egypt in the future.
Another potential trend that is getting adapted quickly is sustainable constructions such as green projects that are encouraging sustainability.
According to Lootah, real estate firms have become more creative in their business strategies, especially now that the current market poses new challenges for many developers. Companies are looking forward to venturing into new areas of the market to evolve with the times.
One such sector that is gaining massive popularity in the region is e-commerce. Witnessing the influx of online business in the UAE, Senaeyat, the first lease-to-own industrial warehouse development project in Dubai, was launched by Lootah to cater to the growing e-commerce need. Senaeyat provides lease-to-own industrial warehouses to help businesses grow as well as save money. Through its lease-to-own turnkey and strategically located properties, rental expense becomes a property asset that appreciates over time.
“This development shows how Lootah capitalises on gaps in the market, identifying what potential clients need and creating a strategy to efficiently cater to it. This is yet another reason the company remains a big power player in the industry,” he said.