The decision to relocate our operations to Dubai, UAE, during the pandemic was a bold move, but it has proven to be a game-changer for us
Dr Lal Bhatia / Expert View
The Covid-19 pandemic disrupted global markets, and real estate was no exception. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the Hilshaw Group, a multi-family office with an existing fund size of $500 million, saw an opportunity in the UAE’s real estate market and allocated $175 million towards it.
The decision to relocate our operations to Dubai, UAE, during the pandemic was a bold move, but it has proven to be a game-changer for us. The essential factors that led to our decision to relocate to Dubai during the Covid-19 pandemic and provide some fascinating statistics to back up our choice included:
Resilient Real Estate Market
The UAE’s real estate market showed great resilience during the pandemic, and Dubai, in particular, demonstrated a sense of robustness. According to Property Finder, the total value of real estate transactions in Dubai in 2020 was Dh72.5 billion, indicating a surprisingly stable market. Such buoyancy in the face of a pandemic was a significant factor in our decision to allocate $175 million towards the UAE’s real estate market.”
The UAE government implemented several initiatives to support the real estate sector during the pandemic, including the Dubai Land Department’s “Together” initiative. This initiative offered several incentives to developers and investors, including a 50% reduction in Dubai Land Department fees for a limited time. This support from the government gave us the confidence to invest in the UAE’s real estate market during trying times.
The UAE’s strategic location at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa was another crucial factor in our decision to move. Dubai’s excellent connectivity via air, sea, and land made it an ideal location for our business, with access to key markets and customers. This strategic location also gave us the confidence that our investments in the UAE’s real estate market would have long-term value.
The UAE’s success in diversifying its economy beyond oil and gas was another attractive factor for our investments. Non-oil sectors contribute 70% to the UAE’s GDP, offering greater stability and resilience in the face of oil price fluctuations. This diversification has made the UAE’s economy more robust and adaptable, even in the midst of a global crisis. This economic diversification gave us the confidence that our investments in the UAE’s real estate market would be secure and stable.
The Reinvented Hilshaw Group
The Hilshaw Group’s reinvention was another crucial factor in our decision to relocate to Dubai during the pandemic. By re-strategizing critical process elements and delivering value-driven intelligence, we strengthened our investment to help generate more value. Our new approach to investing, coupled with the UAE’s attractive real estate market, has allowed us to pivot and adapt to the challenges posed by the pandemic effectively.
The Hilshaw Group’s decision to allocate $175 million towards the UAE’s real estate market and relocate to Dubai during the Covid-19 pandemic was based on careful consideration of several essential factors. Dubai’s resilient real estate market, government initiatives, strategic location, economic diversification, and the reinvented Hilshaw Group made it an ideal location for our investments during a global crisis. With its continued commitment to innovation, development, and progress, Dubai is poised to maintain its status as a global business leader for years to come, making it an attractive option for investors seeking to pandemic-proof their investments.
Dr Lal Bhatia is chairman of Hilshaw Group.