Commercial property sales in Dubai more than doubled in 2008 compared to the previous year despite the global market witnessing a sharp decline in activity, new data has revealed.
According to research by Real Capital Analytics (RCA), Dubai's commercial property jumped 148 per cent to $3.12 billion (Dh11.45bn) last year.
In second place was St Petersburg in Russia with an increase of 60 per cent to $1.98bn.
Only 76 markets worldwide had more than $1bn in sales volume last year, down from 135 markets in 2007. Sales for the top 10 markets declined 62 per cent in aggregate.
Two of the three new arrivals, Beijing and Hong Kong, which each moved up seven places to number four and eight, were from Asia Pacific. Two other Asia-Pacific markets, Tokyo and Singapore, each moved up three spots to number three and six. Emea's Stockholm made the biggest move, vaulting an impressive 18 markets to number 10.
There were only five other markets with volume of more than $1bn, none of which are in the top tier of world capitals. Eight of the biggest gainers were in emerging markets, including five in Asia.
The US, which had no big gainers, had three major losers, led by condo-saturated Las Vegas at number six, which had a downdraft of 87 per cent. Three markets, topped by Hanover, Germany, had a volume decline of more than 90 per cent; the remaining losses were clustered between 89 per cent and 85 per cent.
Number two and four were Chinese cities, and Sydney, reflecting Australia's 2008 setback, was in fifth place, the report said.
With the typical spate of year-end deals, some would have expected the rate of decline in commercial property sales volume to slow in the final quarter of 2008. But the drop accelerated in the developing world, with activity plummeting as the year drew to a close.