World Economy

Top Foreign Property Investors in Dubai

Top Foreign Property Investors in DubaiTop Foreign Property Investors in Dubai

Indians have emerged the top foreign property investors in Dubai, spending over Rs 30,000 crore ($4.7 billion) last year alone. This is more than a quarter of the total of around Rs 100,000 crore of ‘non-Arab’ property investments recorded in 2014, according to the Dubai land department.

In the first half of this year, Indians were again the most prolific foreign investors, with 3,017 transactions worth over Rs 13,000 crore. The department said 123 different nationalities spent over Rs 42,400 crore in the same period, PTI reported.

This week, leading Dubai-based developers will descend on the city to entice Indians to invest in the Emirate’s real estate. The property exhibition in Mumbai, India, comes at a time when Dubai’s property market is still shaky—prices fell by 12.2% during the past year, the largest drop in the world, according to real estate consultancy Knight Frank.

Russians, who were one of the biggest property investors in Dubai, left after the 2008 global financial crisis, said sources. The biggest names in the construction industry in Dubai are now vying to entice Indian buyers to invest in apartments and villas at prices they claim are much cheaper than Mumbai.

But a Knight Frank official said over the past year, there was a fall in the proportion of Indian real estate investment in Dubai. “In the first half of 2015, Indians accounted for 15% of the total spent on property—versus 25% in H1 2014. This can largely be attributed to the strength of the US dollar (to which the UAE dirham is pegged), making property investment in the Emirate a more expensive endeavor for the nationality,” he said.

Dubai land department data shows foreigners accounted for 78% of total real estate investment in the first half of 2015. Of these, Indians, British and Pakistanis were the most, constituting 15%, 9% and 6%, respectively, of the total value invested in real estate between January and June of this year.

Ali Rashid Ahmed Lootah, chairman of Nakheel, the Dubai-based master developer said, “In the last few years, the Dubai market has attained depth and maturity in the wake of rules and regulations put in place by authorities. We have learnt our lessons from the post-2009 property debacle.

The market is expected to be steady going forward.” Indians comprise 11% of the construction giant’s customer base.