Digital ways try to go mainstream in Dubai’s real estate
Digital may just be starting to go mainstream in Dubai’s real estate marketplace. Whether buying an Azizi-built apartment at Meydan using Bitcoins on a 3 per cent down payment or invest in Dubai through a “blockchain-based” real estate investment trust, digital payment is being offered as a viable option in what has been a cash-obsessed industry.
For the Azizi project in Meydan, the marketing literature from Diamond City Real Estate says investors can use Bitcoins to make a booking at 3 per cent of the property’s value. A studio unit is being advertised from Dh550,000, with a “limited offer” of a 4 per cent discount. The units are scheduled for handover in the fourth quarter of 2018, and 50 per cent needs to be paid on completion.
Now, another entity, Evareium, is launching a $90 million, Dubai-focused real estate investment fund, where institutional investors can use digital currency to get in and for which they will be issued with digital tokens. Up to 150 million tokens are available, of which 10 million are reserved for distribution to promoters, supporters and associates. The tokens hold a “beneficial right” to the net proceeds distributed from the fund, with each token having the same weighting.
What the fund intends to do is pick up mid-market furnished apartments in Dubai, which stand a better chance of generating stable returns in a still depressed market. The fund will also commit to industrial units, another category that has continued to turn in a relatively stable performance in the last two years.