Unutilized urban land is new growth driver for Dubai real estate


The Dubai real estate market is witnessing a rising trend, namely the development of parcels of unutilized land within densely populated urban locations. This indicates a new-found maturity in terms of the realty market according to experts. Infill development offers huge opportunities and also comes tied to immense social responsibility as well. According to experts, the major population hotspots in Dubai have already outstripped a vital threshold with urban zones becoming hugely developed with few patches of vacant land remaining for development.

Developers are continuing expansion with new projects away from the coast (inland) and there has been a revival of real estate projects within areas, which are more developed including Downtown, Dubai Marina and JLT (Jumeirah Lake Towers). Infill development can be defined as a procedure where under-used or vacant land parcels in current urban locations are developed. The urban locations in question are already developed to a large extent. This gives huge options for investors and developers alike, enabling them to tap into established micro markets, which already come with sizeable demand and customer bases, proper infrastructural facilities and well-established connectivity, social infrastructure, employment hotspots and transportation networks.

According to experts, Dubai offers immense scope for this type of development but developers should be able to find suitable opportunities and execute them responsibly for creating projects that are complementary to the location. It is sometimes easier to start projects in areas which are still developing rather than adding a new project to a framework that is highly developed according to several experts. Developers have to take into account several aspects of the surrounding area including traffic networks, architecture, view corridors, pedestrian passageways and views from their own projects and other developments. There are sometimes projects built with a particular island perception where anything existing outside the project’s boundaries is not taken into account as per experts.

The Jumeirah Lake District (JLT)is a major example of a zone that has huge infill based opportunities for developers since it already has a popular food and beverages circuit, a well-established customer base and excellent connectivity to the other parts of the city through two tram and metro stations and major roadways. This has already attracted leading developers in terms of infill development opportunities. The geographical positioning of the DMCC (master builder) JLT district near the JBR and Dubai Marina, with easier access to the Business Bay, Dubai World Central, DIFC, Downtown Dubai and Dubai World Trade Centre has drawn huge attention from tenants and investors alike. The Dubai International Airport is also well connected to the area.