The real estate sector in Dubai has led the economic growth of the Emirate for the last decades, and effectively enhanced the position on the Emirates worldwide and positively contributed to the economic growth of the Emirate, so that Dubai has become one of the most attractive investment destination all over the world.
The real estate sector in Dubai has achieved a remarkable progress in the global competitiveness indicators. In the Ease of Doing Business Report 2019, the United Arab Emirates has achieved an outstanding performance and advanced 10 positions in a list of 190 countries around the world, reaching 11th place in the world, compared to the 21st place in the world in 2018. This improvement in the ranking of the United Arab Emirates represented by Dubai as the largest business city was a result of improving in a number of sectors on top of which is the real estate sector represented in "Registering a property" indicator, which made a progress in three places and ranked the seventh place in the world in 2019 compared to the 10th place in 2018.
The real estate sector significantly contributed to the GDP growth; and the improvement in economic growth rates in the emirate was accompanied by an improvement in the real estate sector performance and we can clearly see this through the contribution of the real estate activities in the GDP which reached 7.2% in 2018 compared to 6.9% in 2017 and 6.8% In 2016, while the construction sector contribution in GDP reached 6.4% in 2018 compared to 6.2% in 2017 and 6.2% in 2016.
As for the real estate sector performance, the value of the real estate transactions reached AED 223 billion in 2018, with a total number of transactions reached almost 53,000 in 2018. The real estate transactions for residential properties were the largest percentage in terms of the real estate transaction number with 61% of the total number of the real estate transactions during 2018, and in terms of distribution of the value of the transactions according to the use of the property, the commercial properties were the largest proportion in terms of transaction value, although the largest percentage of the number of the transactions were on residential properties, which shows the difference in the value of both commercial and residential properties in Dubai. The real estate transactions on commercial properties represented almost 68% of the total transaction value in 2018, while the real estate transactions on residential properties represented 11% of the transactions value in 2018.
Additionally, the value of the real estate investments reached AED 80 billion in 2018 with a number of investments reached more than 41,000 made by more than 31,000 real estate investors from all over the world. The Emirate of Dubai witnessed a remarkable improvement in the value of the direct foreign investments. According to Dubai FDI, direct foreign investments reached AED 28.2 billion during the first nine months of 2018 compared to AED 27.3 billion total direct foreign investment for the whole of 2017 and AED 21.8 billion during the first nine months of 2017, with a growth rate of 29% as per Dubai FDI Monitor report.