The value of real estate transactions in Dubai rose 33 percent to $9.26 billion in the first five months of the year, according to statistics from the Dubai Land Department.

According to the data, the value of residential and commercial apartments’ deals reached $4.63 billion, while land purchase transactions stood at $3.81 billion.

Deals for villas reached $816.77 million.

According to the Dubai Land Department, the figures are largely a result of government policies to encourage investment and boost the attractiveness of Dubai’s real estate sector.

These changes have included a permanent residency system for some expats, offering residency to foreign retirees, a 10-year residence visa for investors and 100 percent foreign ownership for companies in the UAE.

Dubai is estimated to grow 2.1 percent in 2019 and 3.8 percent in 2020 driven by the Expo 2020, with direct benefits to the tourism, telecommunications, business, financial services, transportation, real estate and retail sectors.