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Valentina Pasquali

Construction and real estate editor

Valentina Pasquali came to Dubai from Washington DC where she covered US real estate for Law360, a LexisNexis news website. She has written about global business, banking regulation, international affairs, US politics, and more for publications including Foreign Policy, the Washington Post and

Valentina Pasquali
DXB airport

The future of DXB: airport could be turned into a city

The $35 billion plan to turn Al Maktoum International into the busiest airport in the world has everyone talking about the remaking of Dubai South. Perhaps a bigger challenge is the redevelopment of the city’s main airport – Dubai International, or DXB. DXB is near some of the city’s most densely populated neighbourhoods and the […]

The total value of Qatari mortgage transactions has risen by 110 percent in two years. New regulations came into force in 2023

Qatar’s mortgage market buoyed by law reforms

Qatar’s mortgage market has been given a lift by a package of regulatory reforms, industry experts told AGBI after transactions rose sharply despite high interest rates. In the first quarter of 2024, the value of Qatari mortgage transactions was nearly 90 percent higher than in the previous three months, according to ValuStrat research. It was […]

Hotel franchising is a well established model in the West and is becoming more popular in the Gulf Video length: 07:12

Hotel franchising model takes off in the Gulf

Global hospitality brands are aggressively expanding across the Gulf, stepping up competition and giving disgruntled owners unprecedented freedom to choose how and by whom their hotels should be run. Some hotel owners are opting for franchising agreements and third-party management arrangements. “Operators have become more flexible when offering their brands under a franchise than they […]

Gulf construction client builder

Gulf construction sector rethinks contract terms as costs rise

The Gulf’s construction industry is rethinking the developer-contractor relationship, and procurement and supply chain management, to stay ahead of rising prices of materials and transport bottlenecks as a result of geopolitical volatility. “We are in a part of the world that is very conducive to finding alternatives,” Imad Itani, head of innovation at the Dubai […]

A condo terrace in Five's Dubai hospitality and residential project, Jumeirah Village

Dubai hotel developer pins success on green credentials

As protests against mass tourism sweep across Europe, the head of a Dubai-based developer with business in Ibiza said he is confident his company’s sustainability credentials can address such concerns. Kabir Mulchandani, founder and chairman of Five Holdings, believes that mounting apprehension around increasing visitor flows to the world’s most sought-after destinations is rooted in […]

People at a real estate fair in Cannes, France view a model of a proposed development in Oman

Overseas real estate talent takes on Omani bureaucracy

Oman’s bid to develop its expanse of beaches, mountains and deserts means it needs to attract overseas real-estate expertise, but recent government restrictions are hindering its ambitions. In May Club Med said it would build its first Middle Eastern resort in Musandam. Abu Dhabi developer Eagle Hills is nearing the opening of its Mandarin Oriental-flagged […]

fractional property ownership Dubai Video length: 06:12

Dubai fractional ownership is promising, but untested

Fractional ownership of property in Dubai promises to widen access to real estate investment in the emirate’s surging market. But the lack of a proven secondary market raises questions about just how much liquidity this asset class can count on in a potential crisis, experts say. Buying even small portions of one or more units […]

Offices need to offer flexibility, with a variety of spaces to allow for both collaboration and private conversations

Flexibility and amenities key to UAE office sector’s future

As workers globally grow resistant to spending all week at their desks, even the UAE’s strong-performing office sector must rethink its offering to meet shifting demand, industry professionals have told AGBI. “Since the pandemic, people have realised that the workplace has changed for ever. We are not going back to working in the office 80 […]

The UAE has bucked the trend of working-from-home that emerged in the pandemic

UAE offices in demand – in contrast to the West

Offices in the UAE are outperforming Western equivalents, with a steady influx of foreign businesses and local developers’ preference for residential projects. “The need for more Grade A office space is becoming increasingly urgent,” Behnam Bargh, managing director at real estate agency CRC, told AGBI. “Addressing this issue will be crucial for maintaining the country’s […]

Visitors admire the House of the Blackheads in Riga, which Eagle Properties hope will be 'the new centre of Europe'

Abu Dhabi developer spots opportunity in Latvia

Abu Dhabi developer Eagle Hills Properties announced a €3 billion ($3.25 billion) investment in the Latvian capital city of Riga, as the UAE continues its investment drive into Europe. Eagle Hills’ Riga Waterfront, which was unveiled on Thursday, will ultimately encompass 8,000 luxury homes for 30,000 residents on a redeveloped site along 5 kilometres at […]

A private house, on Palm Jumeirah, which was bought to rent as a holiday apartment. Demand is outstripping supply in the area

Dubai’s rich switch from home buyers to investors

Wealthy foreigners are increasingly eyeing luxury Dubai homes as investments, driven by a dearth of available real estate at the high end of the market. This is a shift from last year, when affluent buyers primarily saw purchases of homes in the emirate as main residences, or vacation or retirement homes, Knight Frank said in […]

more than 420,000sq m of new Grade A office space is expected to become available before the end of the year 2WXWXWP Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - Mar 25 2024,King Abdullah Financial District , KAFD business towers

Foreign companies push up cost of Riyadh’s scarce office space

Rental rates in Riyadh’s office sector rose by up to 36 percent in the first quarter of this year as a result of increased demand from foreign companies and occupancy rates approaching 100 percent. Three quarters of all enquiries for office space directed to the real estate company Savills in the first three months of […]

Airport, Adult, Female The Middle East served 422 million air passengers in 2023 and is expected to serve 466 million in 2024

Airport chiefs size up ways to meet GCC airspace demand

The annual number of air travellers to and from the Middle East is projected to pass the half-billion mark next year, meaning aviation authorities need to both expand and streamline use of available airspace, senior GCC airport chiefs have told AGBI. Oman is in talks with a neighbouring Gulf state to unlock a new air […]

Amit Arora the new CEO of Arada, says 'we are seeing a diverse group of investors and residents that want to buy in our communities'

Overseas buyers dominate in Sharjah’s reformed real estate

Overseas buyers in Arada’s two mega-developments in Sharjah have vastly outnumbered locals in the year-and-a-half since the emirate expanded full real estate ownership rights to non-GCC nationals. From when Aljada, Sharjah’s biggest mixed-use project, launched in 2017 until the land reform of late October 2022, Emirati nationals bought more than 63 percent of the value […]

Investors at the Dubai Financial Market. Drake & Scull was suspended from trading in 2018

Drake & Scull losses narrow before return to trading

Dubai contractor Drake & Scull International has trimmed its losses in the first quarter of this year as it nears the end of a drawn-out capital restructuring process. The Dubai-based utilities and infrastructure engineering company said in a press release accompanying disclosures to the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) that revenue jumped 55 percent year on […]

A Diwali celebration held during Expo 2020 in Dubai. GCC officials want to work together to prevent event clashes

Tourism chiefs call for GCC-wide events calendar

Gulf Cooperation Council nations should co-ordinate their event schedules to avoid overlaps and entice tourists to make multiple stops in the region, officials have said at the Arabian Travel Market conference. The six GCC governments – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE – are exploring ways to co-operate on tourism, including a […]

SJP's chief investment officer Justin Onuekwusi, second from right, at the event in Dubai. Other speakers included, from left, Ben Powell of the BlackRock Investment Institute, Angelina Lai of SJP Asia and Middle East, and Robert Willock of the Economist Intelligence Unit

Wealth manager seeks Gulf growth despite setbacks in UK

St James’s Place, the UK’s largest wealth manager, plans to target local customers to expand its one-year-old Gulf operation as it seeks to brush off reputational setbacks in its home market. In February SJP disclosed that it had set aside more than $500 million for potential client refunds after an increase in complaints about its […]

A FlyDubai Boeing 737 Max. The airline's CEO says Boeing is 'fantastic' but he has sent inspectors to the manufacturer's facilities

Boeing’s ‘negative issues’ are top concern for FlyDubai CEO

Escalating regional tensions and recent floods in Dubai have “not especially” affected FlyDubai’s operations, but the low-cost airline’s chief executive said he was closely monitoring US plane maker Boeing’s response to a string of safety scandals.  “We are definitely very concerned about the delays and all the negative issues that are in the pipeline or […]

An artist's impression of Al Maktoum. It will have to handle 700,000 passengers a day to meet its goals

Luggage, airspace and size: challenges for Dubai’s new airport

Sizing, air traffic control and passenger handling are among the challenges Dubai will face in building the world’s largest airport within the next 10 years, industry experts tell AGBI.  Authorities announced last month plans to expand Al Maktoum International into a facility that will handle 150 million passengers annually within a decade, and eventually 260 […]

Dubai The World Villas

Demand for beach plots sells 80% of The World villas in days

An ultra-luxe villa community planned for Dubai’s The World Islands is more than 80 percent sold only days after first being announced, thanks to the dearth of available beachfront plots in the city. The boutique developer Amali Properties, co-founded by siblings Ali and Amira Sajwani of Damac Properties, said last week that the community will […]