Cars drive nearby the Sun and Sky towers in Reem Island in Abu Dhabi February 16, 2014. (REUTERS/Stringer)
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For years, Abu Dhabi's real estate market has paled next to its more dynamic, glamorous rival in neighboring Dubai.Real estate prices in Dubai jumped over 20 percent last year, analysts estimate, as the emirate rebounded from a crash in 2008-2010 that slashed prices by more than 50 percent from their peaks.Prime residential sale prices in Abu Dhabi jumped 25 percent and rentals climbed 17 percent in 2013, real estate advisory firm Jones Lang LaSalle estimated.Abu Dhabi and Dubai have similar populations of just over 2 million, but Dubai has traditionally had a much more active and open real estate market.Last November, Abu Dhabi scrapped a 5 percent cap on annual rent increases.Last month, Abu Dhabi Municipality announced that residential units in those zones would be registered under Abu Dhabi's freehold law, with property ownership deeds issued to investors.Abu Dhabi is in a strong growth phase, with the economy officially forecast to grow 6.7 percent this year after 7.4 percent in 2013 .
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