Property beats gold as the most popular investment asset class for UAE residents

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London tops the list for property investments outside of the UAE. Photo-Trey Ratcliff/Flickr


  • 53% of UAE residents have property within their investment portfolios, compared to 43% holding traditional ‘safe haven’ asset gold
  • More confidence in overseas property markets amongst UAE residents, with 41% owning property outside the UAE compared to just 12% with properties in the UAE
  • London tops the list for property investments outside of the UAE with 21%, New York and Sydney at 13%, and Melbourne and Manchester at 8%.
  • Confidence starting to change in the local market, with 57% of survey respondents considering Dubai as the next location for property investment, of which 69% of which are Emirati, 59% Arab Expat, 55% Asian, and 34% Westerner

IP Global, via independent research company YouGov, have surveyed a thousand UAE residents to determine the property investment sentiment across the UAE and can reveal that property is now a more popular investment asset class than gold amongst UAE residents.  Property makes up 53% of UAE residents’ investment portfolios, compared with 43% holding traditional ‘safe haven’ asset gold.  The next popular asset classes were both commodities, bonds and stocks as well as fixed/time deposits, with these being found in the investment portfolios of 29% of respondents.

Paul Preston, Director and Head of IP Global in the Middle East commented As gold is typically considered a ‘safe haven’ asset when currency markets are volatile, this likely indicates that UAE residents currently have sufficient confidence in the currency markets to invest in property and to diversify their investment portfolios.”

Of those UAE residents who have invested in property, 41% have invested in properties overseas, compared with just 12% owning property in the UAE, suggesting that confidence is greater in the overseas property market at present.  However, this could be set to change with 57% of those questioned naming Dubai as their next preferred property investment destination, compared with just 21% who consider London, a city often dubbed “the property safe haven of the world”, as the location of their next property purchase.

Paul Preston explained “More and more people are starting to see property investment as one of the highest performing asset classes within their investment portfolios.  There is definitely an increasing confidence in the Dubai property market presently, although with property prices already starting to cool and Dubai typically being more cyclical than other global markets, we’re seeing sustained interest in overseas property markets from investors at Cityscape Global 2014 in Dubai”.  

He added “We’re not just seeing interest in the traditionally popular Prime London areas either, with investors at Cityscape eyeing up properties in less well-known Outer London areas with higher rental yield potential.  We’re also seeing more interest than ever before in markets outside of the UK, such as New York, Miami and Chicago in the US and Melbourne and Brisbane in Australia”. 

Paul Preston’s findings correlate with investor sentiment in the survey, with New York being the next popular investment location after London for 13% of UAE residents and followed by 8% of respondents choosing Melbourne and Miami.

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