Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dubai grows as falling rents attract migrants

Ramola Talwar Bada

Source: Dubai Statistics Centre
DUBAI // The population of Dubai rose 7.5 per cent in the first quarter of the year as lower rents and living costs drew migrants from neighbouring emirates to the city.

The emirate’s total population rose to 1,803,000 from 1,676,000 in the same period of last year, figures released yesterday by the Dubai Statistics Centre show.

Dubai’s transient population, or those commuting to the emirate for work, rose by more than 1 million people to 2.87 million, the statistics centre said.

Analysts believe lower rents and the availability of accommodation has fuelled the growth. House prices and rents have been cut in half since peaking in late 2008.

Dubai property prices may fall by a further 15 per cent, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a report last month. “Rents are cheaper and people are upgrading their lifestyle,” said Mishaal al Gergawi, an Emirati social commentator.

“This is a conservative figure. It could be much more.”

The shifting demographics were demonstrated in the numbers moving from Ajman to Sharjah, and in those moving from Sharjah to Deira. Deira resident were then moving to Bur Dubai and later settling on Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Road, Mr al Gergawi said.

The new data showed the so-called “active population” was boosted by labourers, white-collar workers and visitors coming to the emirate seeking work. It was unclear whether labourers or white-collar workers made up the biggest chunk of the 1 million rise in the transient population.
The National - Abudabi

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