The Indians dethrone the British as the largest investors in Dubai's real estate market

The Indians dethrone the British as the largest investors in Dubai’s real estate market

Indians are currently the largest group of real estate investors in Dubai, and they have a big say in how the local real estate market develops.

Indians topped the nationalities list in the June and September quarters, up from No. 2 in the first quarter when Britishers led the field, when it came to purchasing new homes for end-user demand or investors seeking higher yields and eligibility for the Golden Visa, according to the Betterhomes Residential Market Report. Indians have consistently been among the top five homebuyers in Dubai. However, the old order has collapsed due to factors such as Russia’s increasing wealth and geographic isolation.

“Whether driven by end-user demand or investors seeking higher yields, Indians have been instrumental in new home purchases,” said Richard Waind, CEO of Betterhomes, a Dubai-based property consultanting firm. “Russians dropped out of the top three buyers for the first time in 18 months, with the declining ruble weighing on affordability.”

“However, this was more than offset by demand from Indian and British nationals, many using property investment as a path to the Golden Visa,” Waind said.

Investors and their families are allowed to reside in Dubai for a maximum of five years, with the possibility to extend that period, with the Golden Visa. One of the prerequisites is owning a residential property valued at two million dirhams, or roughly Rs 4.5 crore.

Experts say that a diverse group of buyers from all over the world who are searching for profitable investment opportunities, tax efficiency, and a safe haven are still drawn to Dubai. Russians became the third-largest real estate buyers in the third quarter of 2023, surpassing British and Indian nationals, for the first time since the second quarter of 2022.

Turkey fell out of the top 10 due to its economic problems, but Middle East and North Africa (MENA) buyers are still widespread, with Egypt, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Jordan being the top acquirers.

According to the Dubai Land Department, there were 28,249 real estate transactions in the third quarter, up 23% from the same time last year and 4% from the second quarter. This was primarily caused by a 34% rise in sales of townhouses and villas, while sales of apartments fell by 4%, suggesting a preference for these kinds of properties.

“Dubai continues to attract expats from across the globe, with the population growing by almost 100,000 in the year to July,” Waind said. “With the UAE expected to attract 4,500 millionaires in 2023, rapid growth persists in the luxury segment.”

The growing demand is reflected in the rising cost of real estate and rentals. Diverse approximations suggest that the value of Dubai’s premium real estate shot up by nearly 50% in the year that concluded in June, maintaining its top spot for an eighth consecutive quarter and signifying a 225% increase since the pandemic low in the third quarter of 2020.

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