Indians become the largest real estate investors in Dubai, dethroning British investors

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Indians are now the biggest real estate investors in Dubai, and they have a significant influence on the direction of the real estate industry in the area.

According to the Betterhomes Residential Market Report, when it came to buying new homes for end-user demand or investors looking for higher yields and eligibility for the Golden Visa, Indians topped the nationalities list in the June and September quarters, up from No. 2 in the first quarter when Britishers led the field. Indians have routinely ranked in the top five Dubai homebuyers. But factors like Russia’s geopolitical isolation and growing wealth have toppled the previous order.

“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 consulting 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.

With the Golden Visa, investors and their families can live in Dubai for up to five years, with the option to extend that time. Having a residential property valued at two million dirhams (about Rs 4.5 crore) is one of the requirements.

According to experts, Dubai continues to draw a wide range of buyers from around the world who are looking for a safe haven, tax efficiency, and profitable investment opportunities. In the third quarter of 2023, Russians moved up to the fifth position for the first time since the second quarter of 2022, behind British and Indian nationals as the two most prominent real estate buyers.

Due to the country’s economic difficulties, Turkey dropped out of the top 10, but buyers from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are still common, with Egypt, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Jordan continuing to grow as acquirers.

The real estate market saw 28,249 transactions in the third quarter, up 4% from the second and 23% from the same period last year, according to the Dubai Land Department. This was mostly due to a 34% increase in villa and townhouse sales, while apartment sales decreased by 4%, indicating a preference for these types of homes.

“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 rising cost of real estate and rentals is a result of the growing demand. Various estimates indicate that Dubai’s premium real estate prices increased by almost 50% in the year ending in June, keeping it at the top for an eighth consecutive quarter and representing a 225% rise since the pandemic low in the third quarter of 2020.

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