Dubai, once a humble fishing village surrounded by endless miles of desert wilderness has advanced to something rather different. Had a fisherman, all those years ago been shown a glimpse of the present, pulsating and opulent metropolis, he would likely collapse backwards off his boat with a shriek.

Dubai is back, having weathered the recent memories of the 2008 property crash which ultimately led to a $20 billion bailout by the emirate’s oil-rich neighbour Abu Dhabi. This painful episode still casts a psychological shadow, but there is a sense that lessons have been learnt and the risk of contagion from any future downturn appears lower.

Whether this is true and whatever the future economic winds bring, there is no doubting Dubai’s current spirit of optimism. When we at JMChase Property Advisors and Buying Agents decided to return to Dubai, having not been there since before COVID, my colleague Emma Hanks and I were the team selected to go.  We were constantly impressed by the confidence of those we met. There is a local feeling that Dubai is peerless as a place to live and do business. Clearly its benevolent tax regime continues to make it very attractive to expats, combined with less red tape for entrepreneurs and businesses to operate more effectively which leads to a charged ‘can do’ attitude. This commercial environment, combined with its central location and time zone makes it a global powerhouse.

We met entrepreneurs, financiers, business owners and a polo guru among others, and most had no plans to return to the UK any time soon.  The key exceptions being those returning for schooling and family responsibilities. We left this extraordinary place with some freshly signed clients looking to buy houses in both London and the country.  Our expectation is for this to be a continued trend having developed new and fortified relationships that will stand us in good stead for the future, as well as giving us the welcome excuse to return.