Brokers say that Qataris located in the UAE are selling property portfolios worth millions of dirhams at steep discounts as they rush to liquidate their assets and leave.
“It is an extremely difficult time for many of our Qatari clients,” said Mario Volpi, chief sales officer at Kensington Exclusive Properties. “We had one guy who managed to sell everything – some town houses in JVC, a plot of land in Dubailand, some commercial units in the Marina and a full building.
“He managed to sell the lot in just a couple of days at probably around 20 per cent below market price, but we have at least two other clients who are trying to sell and can’t,” Mr Volpi said.
On June 5, amid an escalating political dispute, Qatari citizens currently located in the UAE were given 14 days to leave the UAE, while the government said that Qatari citizens outside the UAE would not be allowed to enter or transit through the country.
Nick Grassick, the managing director of Dubai-based broker PH Real Estate, said: “We are currently working with a number of Qatari sellers and landlords. As a result of the current situation, some of our clients have either reduced their asking prices or have agreed to a recommended marketing strategy which is more attractive to tenants or buyers.”
“We have seen a lot of Qataris selling up,” another Dubai- based broker said. “Those with smaller units which can be sold fast have managed to sell at between 5 and 10 per cent below market prices. But of course the bigger assets are not that liquid.”
“One Qatari investor sent out a list of 13 properties and managed to sell seven of them the same day,” he added. “One property was sold at 10-15 per cent below par in two hours.”
However, the number of Qataris who own property in Dubai is not a significant proportion of the market.
According to the Dubai Land Department, in 2015 Qataris invested Dh2.797 billion in Dubai property through 799 transactions, comprising 2 per cent of the total Dh135bn transacted that year. Last year nationals from Qatar and Kuwait combined invested nearly Dh2bn in Dubai property – 0.78 per cent of the total transacted, with Qataris accounting for 1,006 transactions.