Positive outlook for UAE's real estate market
Knight Frank has released its report into the UAE's real estate sector, with a positive outlook over the long-term despite a slow start to 2016. The report states that the government’s commitment to infrastructure spending and development projects will assist stronger growth forecasts, with the UAE’s safe haven status making it a favourable destination to live in, invest and visit.
With the industrial and logistics sectors being a main pillar of Dubai’s non-oil economy, the sluggish performance of global trade markets is likely to reflect on the performance of the industrial sector in the short-to-medium term. Consequently, rents are expected to remain stable as occupier demand softens. In Abu Dhabi, while demand has slowed significantly on the back of the decline in oil prices, the limited supply of quality industrial space is expected to keep the market stable.
In the long-term, the UAE’s commitment to diversifying its economy through continued investment in developing the sectors’ supporting infrastructure, such as Jebel Ali Port, and enhancing legislation is likely to boost the industry further.
The retail property market in Dubai & Abu Dhabi is expected to see slower growth levels over the second half of the year, as economic uncertainty and unfavourable currency exchange rates continue to impact both tourist and domestic spending. Knight Frank expects to witness another growth cycle for the retail market associated with growth in the hospitality and tourism industry.
Given Dubai’s position as one of the top five global cities that matter to private high net worth individuals, based on Knight Frank’s global Wealth Report, it expects the emirate to continue attracting investments both regionally and globally. However the outlook for the emirate in general and the real estate sector in particular depends on a number of global and regional fundamentals.
Read the June 2016 issue of Business Review Middle East magazine
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.