Lure of Golden visa or investment returns? Indians become largest real estate investors in Dubai; dethrone British – Times of India

Indians have emerged as the largest investors in Dubai’s real estate market. According to the Betterhomes Residential Market Report quoted by ET, Indians have surpassed other nationalities to claim the top spot in the second and third quarters of this year. Earlier in the year, British investors held the lead position. This shift in rankings can be attributed to Indian buyers seeking better returns on investment and eligibility for the Golden Visa.
Indians have consistently been among the top five homebuyers in Dubai, but recent factors such as rising wealth and Russia’s geopolitical situation have reshuffled the order.
Richard Waind, CEO of Betterhomes, a property consulting firm in Dubai, stated that Indians have played a significant role in new home purchases, driven by both end-user demand and investors seeking higher returns. Russians, on the other hand, have dropped out of the top three buyers for the first time in 18 months due to the declining value of the ruble, Waind noted.
Waind further added that the decline in Russian buyers has been compensated by the demand from Indian and British nationals, many of whom are utilizing property investments to secure the coveted Golden Visa.
The Golden Visa offers investors and their families a five-year residency in Dubai, which can be extended to ten years. One of the criteria for obtaining this visa is owning a residential property worth 2 million dirhams (approximately Rs 4.5 crore).

Experts have noted that Dubai continues to attract buyers from diverse backgrounds, as people seek a safe haven, tax efficiency, and positive investment returns. In the third quarter of 2023, Indian and British nationals remained the most prominent real estate buyers, while Russians slipped to the fifth position for the first time since the second quarter of 2022. Buyers from the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region, particularly Egypt, Lebanon, the UAE, and Jordan, continue to show significant interest in Dubai’s real estate market.

Indians investing in Dubai real estate

According to the Dubai Land Department, the real estate market witnessed 28,249 transactions in the third quarter, representing a 4% increase from the previous quarter and a 23% increase compared to the same period last year. The surge in transactions was driven by a 34% growth in villa and townhouse deals, while apartment transactions experienced a slight decline of 4%, indicating a preference for such residences.
Waind highlighted the continuous growth in Dubai’s expat population, which increased by nearly 100,000 people in the year leading up to July. He also mentioned that the UAE is expected to attract 4,500 millionaires in 2023, indicating persistent growth in the luxury real estate segment.
The high demand for properties in Dubai has led to a substantial increase in prices and rentals. Various estimates suggest that luxury home prices in Dubai have surged by almost 50% in the year to June. This marks the eighth consecutive quarter where Dubai has maintained its top ranking in terms of luxury home prices, representing a remarkable 225% increase since the low point during the pandemic in the third quarter of 2020.

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