The virus has not left Dubai unscathed. Towards the end of March, the first Corona cases were officially made public and the first measures were introduced. Shortly afterwards, on 4 April 2020, a national lockdown was imposed. Similar to Europe, all non-essential shops and businesses were closed.
All private movements (on foot or by car) had to be requested via a newly set up control app, such as the weekly grocery shopping. Everything works via mobile number within 3 minutes max. In principle, however, all requests were approved. The police were present on the streets and proactively checked the permits.
Just in time for the beginning of Ramadan on April 24, the measures were relaxed, about 3 weeks after the total curfew, respectively the lockdown was lifted. Now all shops (shopping malls, shops, restaurants, etc.) are more or less open again under compliance with the hygiene measures.
Of course, the authorities praise themselves with success stories about the flattening or even stopping of the epidemic thanks to immediate activism... the United Arab Emirates are lucky here. Thanks to the very young population, there are hardly any deaths to lament.
Emirates Airlines has still suspended passenger traffic. Accordingly, tourism and the associated hotel industry are suffering badly. Here, a relaxation will probably take place in a global context - the sooner the better for all...
The planned World Expo 2020 is expected to be postponed by a year to October 2021. In addition, Dubai is expected to reopen to tourists in July.
The real estate market is also suffering. In the last 3 weeks it came to a near standstill. Despite this, we were able to successfully complete an apartment transfer. The transfer was completed entirely online, meaning neither buyer nor seller were physically present for the transfer of ownership. Digital competence combined with flexibility - certainly something that distinguishes Dubai as a city. Construction was still going on at the sites over the last 3 weeks, albeit with fewer construction workers. This means delays should be kept in check and projects delivered as 'promised'.
It is impossible to make a prediction regarding the future/development of the real estate market in Dubai at the moment. On a positive note, we have never seen so many apartments 'occupied' as during the lockdown. Effects on the rent or property prices we can make after the summer holidays, after it becomes clear how the job situation in Dubai develops.
The real estate developers on the other hand have reopened their sales centers and started sales activities - for the time being online, by e-mail and by phone. We are convinced that Dubai will overcome this crisis - in any case, we still believe in the future of Dubai.