FIFA World Cup: Impact On the Dubai Property Market

12th December 2022market

The FIFA world cup has once again taken the world by storm, drawing millions of fans from all over the world into the tiny middle east country of Qatar.

Though Qatar is set to score big from the World Cup event, Dubai is also benefitting massively from the influx of football fans. This tiny peninsular emirate is a top global destination for tourists, and its proximity to Qatar makes it the preferred destination for football attendees.

But how will the FIFA World Cup affect Dubai’s property market?

According to hotel data firm STR, Qatar has 45,000 hotel rooms, while Dubai has 140,000.

Due to the overwhelming bookings in Qatar and the limited accommodation available, many fans are booking hotels in nearby metropolitan areas, including Dubai, which is just an hour and ten minutes away from Qatar. This has resulted in a spike in short-term rentals and property demand that has the potential to last long-term. We’ll explore these impacts in detail.

Short-Term Rental Comeback

The limited accommodation in Qatar has impacted Dubai’s real estate market in big ways, with short-term let options gaining traction by the day.

Some landlords are reportedly converting spaces traditionally offered as long-term leases to short-term rentals just for the World Cup. Similar to Dubai Expo 2020, property owners can expect higher occupancy rates and earnings through short-term rentals.

The short-term rental boom has also seen a spike in rental prices, with prime Dubai areas like JBR, Palm Jumeirah, and Dubai Marina seeing increases of up to 40%.

A Spike in Real Estate Sales and FDI

Dubai is one of the wealthiest and most business-friendly cities in the Middle East. It’s also a safe business haven with a resilient economy and strong growth, making it easy to attract quality foreign direct investment (FDI).

Note that most of the World Cup visitors are high-net individuals and mid-market buyers. According to the Dubai Sports Council, this wealthy emirate is set to see an estimated 1 million visitors during the World Cup.

Besides enjoying the tournaments, these individuals are also looking to invest in Dubai real estate. Shabna Ibrahim, a property consultant with A1 Properties, reckons that after matches, these individuals will spend 2 or 3 extra days in hotels or rentals, which will allow them to consider Dubai as a good investment destination.

The Dubai real estate market has seen an increase in property sales since the beginning of the year. From the first to the third quarter, villa purchases have doubled, and apartment sales have shot up. This trend is expected to gain momentum in the short term, fueled by the FIFA World Cup, which will give fans and investors more exposure to Dubai’s property market.

In a Nutshell

With an influx of World Cup travelers, Dubai is set to be one of the biggest beneficiaries as its an obvious choice to reside for many soccer fans.

The FIFA World Cup has led to the rise of short-term rentals and corresponding rental prices in most of the prime areas. A significant portion of World Cup visitors, particularly high-net-worth individuals, will acquire real estate assets for personal use or investment purposes. As such, property sales are expected to rise throughout the World Cup period.

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