CRTKL reveals the key factors shaping the MENA residential market in 2023


Homes are becoming smarter, healthier and more sustainable through technology, enriching people’s lives across the region

Dubai, UAE: CRTKL, a global cultural agency specializing in architecture, planning and design, has published a report forecasting the future of the built environment, and the key factors that will shape the residential market in 2023.

According to the report, the future of living is changing with the typology of homes expanding, blending and redefining itself alongside changing habits. Transformed homes in the Middle East are becoming smarter, healthier and a more impactful partner for residents, helping to enrich and improve many shifting variables. 

Obada Adra, Office Director at CRTKL commented: “The residential market across the region is evolving, with residents demanding smarter choices to make life both easier and healthier. Increased digitalization throughout the home is enabling greater choice and supporting subscription living, resulting in more convenient lives. As residential spaces increasingly wear more than one hat, the need now is for homes to become partners to dynamic changes in habits and support important environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) goals. At CRTKL, we are designing homes that fit seamlessly into daily lives and have a strong sense of social responsibility.”

A recent YouGov survey showed 82 percent of Abu Dhabi homeowners would reinvest in the property market if they sold their current unit in return for a good premium, with the most cited needs listed as requirements to upgrade (61 percent) and a need to relocate (31 percent). Designed by CRTKL, Mamsha Al Saadiyat and Central Park at City Walk are attracting this investment with increased value and demand as buyer expectations evolve with new concepts.

According to the report, three new concepts are driving residential development:

Health and wellness:

In 2023, digital connectivity and capacities of home spaces will continue to expand. The Home of Things is a trend that’s rising and includes embedded sensors, processing abilities, software and other technologies that connect and exchange data with devices and systems. These changes will make work, chores, time with friends, and health and wellness more accessible than ever, while collecting important biometric data. 

For instance, Central Park at City Walk emphasizes green space in the heart of Dubai, with the leafy park boasting a wide variety of active lifestyle amenities aiming to boost wellness. An inspiring solution for a healthy, residential community lifestyle, CRTKL is providing more open green space for every resident, for every family more opportunities for outdoor play, and for every hybrid worker more amenities to support new ways of working in a car-free, pedestrian-friendly residence.

The goal of this digital shift is to make residents healthier, happier, and more connected, while providing data and flexibility to make the right choices about how to live.

Subscription Living:

With online sales and package deliveries steadily rising, many city centers are turning to street navigating robots to meet these needs. In the future, the region could see specific corridors designed for bots to navigate buildings independently with structures also needing to incorporate landing docks and specialized mailrooms for deliveries. These additions will help to ease the stress put on the curb, which has become a cluttered space overburdened by deliveries, parking, and drop-offs, while meeting resident expectations about package safety and storage.

An instance of this is the Saadiyat Grove, where CRTKL is designing multiple layers of circulation and creating a seamless deliveries network to ease the burden on the curbs and ensure a total separation between the resident’s movements and their required deliveries. Located in Abu Dhabi, the well-connected, sustainable mixed-use community has more areas for residents to enjoy, without compromising the functionality of the building.

The Need for ESG

With the UAE hosting the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) this year, ESG metrics are increasingly a standard for residents and investors. According to Deloitte, the real estate industry must create opportunities through social impact investing, such as multi-tenant shared spaces and the transformation of underutilized buildings into thriving social venues. In the UAE’s ‘Year of Sustainability’, a sustainable real estate market goes beyond the energy efficiency of a finished building and will include low-carbon construction processes to meet ambitious regional governmental targets to meet net-zero.

About CRTKL:

CRTKL a global architecture, planning and design practice, began over seven decades ago and has evolved into a cultural agency to advance positive outcomes in our local and global communities. Through a human-centric design approach our team addresses the imperatives of resiliency, wellbeing and technology and their influence in the built environment.