The performance of property in the UAE was mixed during 2012, according to new research. While Dubai's housing market is recovering quickly, its neighbour Abu Dhabi isn't faring as well, the Global Property Guide reported.'s all-residential property price index revealed an 18.89 per cent surge in Dubai (18.26 per cent in real terms) during the year to November and a 6.5 per cent drop in Abu Dhabi.

While Dubai's resurgence after three years of falling house prices will come as little surprise to many, with the country recognised as a regional financial and transport and logistics hub, the inability of the UAE capital to match it for growth is somewhat shocking. The Executive Council has recently announced a major spending programme, ploughing money into capital projects in distinct market sectors. What's more, Abu Dhabi is becoming increasingly cost competitive, improving urban infrastructure and quality of life through better accommodation and amenities. However, the country is currently suffering from unemployment.

According to Jones Lang LaSalle, this is causing problems for the real estate sector in the short term, with demand suppressed and unable to keep pace with supply. Major projects are also on their way to reaching completion, which will drive up vacancy rates even further. However, the future is still bright for the country and experts are confident that it will achieve recovery in the medium term. Domestic capital will be the overriding force in the market, while wealth reserves will help Abu Dhabi continue to deliver major projects.

Nevertheless, Alan Robertson, chief executive officer of Jones Lang LaSalle Middle East and North Africa, claims more needs to be done to encourage take-up of new property if the country hopes to match the performance of Dubai. "Until we see more take-up of available space, rents will continue to suffer," he said. "However, as with Dubai, there are examples of where good quality space that is meeting expectations, has attracted quality occupiers and where rents have stabilised."



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