REITs - The Emerging Real Estate Investment Trends in UAE 1

The real estate industry follows a new strategy: Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), and investors are keen to understand more about it as per the meeting held with the regional investors and stakeholders. We usually hear many questions and confusion regarding whether REITs will be accepted in the UAE market and will bring higher revenue and income soon or not. In the following article, we will answer these questions at best, the market view and thinking.


The UAE investors, especially in Dubai, have realized the importance of REit benefits and included them in the portfolio based on their preferences. The GCC market is not mature like other markets, and our vase is low, but the Reits benefits have got excellent understanding and acceptance in the region.

There is great interest and demand for the real estate mutual fund investment by keeping in mind the barometer reading of the REITs public listed companies number. The number of the products is quite limited till now, but the growth can be seen from the positive investor’s outlook.

The Reits is still emerging, but its compliance has tailored made fund portfolios for the investors, especially the locals, as per their needs. It is obvious in the asset’s new mix by adding funds to the required portfolios.

The regional Reits is expanding and adding new healthcare and education sectors, restricted to the residential and office plans. Thus investors, whether local or international, have options of choosing from great product diversity.

We can realize the importance of the step taken by ENBD Reit in buying a Dubai remains community new school worth Dh55 million. The student housing capacity was also acquired with the funds for Dh129 m in May 2017.

The emirate REITs, the first REITs of UAE, are done with the three schools’ deals in the last years. The latest proof is the British Columbia Canadian School, a leaseback and sale contract located in the Dubai Investments Park.

Due to the rising demand for schools in the UAE, the educational sector serves as great news for REITs. More than 1000 schools are opening up in the upcoming five years in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Jeddah, Cairo, and Riyadh, and the private sector will supply 350 of them.

The untapped market is health care due to the high investment capital associated with the medical instruments or the hospital’s construction by buying the property. The Reits can expect great returns and profits in the UAE health sector with a growth rate of 60% in 2021 and the UAE plan of 2021 vision to make healthcare a world-class standard; click here to get the detail.

Moreover, the fund manager can identify high asset classes less impacted by the market, and REITs can diversify and expand. This is an untapped opportunity, and REITs can cash on that. A recent example is five holdings, Reit hospitality wo,rth Dh 2.1 billion, which is huge and new in the UAE.

We can expect a positive outlook in the future as the UAE real estate industry is growing and becoming mature with time. The Reit has been accepted in the region by the investors for providing returns with less risk. It will develop further with the Dubai expo 2020, local benefits, and UAE’s strategic location.