Indian expatriates drive Dubai’s realty sector growth

By Gyanendra Kumar Keshri, IANS,

New Delhi : Indian expatriates are among the top investors in Dubai’s property market, which is expected to grow 10-12 percent this year, company officials and analysts say.

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“Expatriates, mainly from India, Russia and Saudi Arabia, are leading the growth. Indians are among the top five investors in Dubai’s property market,” Ziad El Chaar, managing director of Dubai-based Damac Properties, told IANS here.

He said Dubai’s real estate sector witnessed around 10 percent growth in 2012 and this was likely to further accelerate this year.

Dubai’s property market crashed in 2008-09 due to liquidity problems arising out of the global financial and economic crisis. The market witnessed negative or zero growth between 2008 and 2011.

“The liquidity situation has improved and the perception is also changing. People are now bullish on the real estate market. The good thing is that we are witnessing organic growth. Real investors are coming into the market,” Chaar said in a telephonic interview from Dubai.

According to data compiled by Saudi Arabia-based Samba Financial Group, prices of mid-range villas and apartments in Dubai increased by 20-30 percent in January year-on-year.

“Increasing evidence is emerging that the property market in the UAE, and Dubai in particular, has bottomed out and that a strong recovery is apparent in certain segments,” the Samba Financial Group said in its monthly bulletin.

Strong demand for recently launched projects indicate the recovery in the sector.

The first phase of Damac Properties’ $1 billion Damac Towers by Paramount project was sold out on launch day itself. The project, located close to Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, is expected to be ready by the end of 2015.

“This is the biggest real estate project in Dubai since the 2008 crisis. The response indicates a strong demand in the sector,” the Damac Properties MD said.

He said Indian expatriates, as well as residents, have booked a large number of properties in Damac projects. “Indians are among the top five investors in Damac as well as in other projects,” he said.

Chaar said Indian investors were buying properties in Dubai because of tax benefits, attractive prices and geographical proximity.

Dubai’s largest real estate developer, Emaar, recently claimed that its luxury project – The Address The BLVD – located in the downtown area, was sold out within 24 hours.

(Gyanendra Kumar Keshri can be contacted at [email protected])