Friday, 31 March, 2023

Indians spent Rs 35,500cr to own Dubai homes in 2022

Indians spent Rs 35,500cr to own Dubai homes in 2022

Affluent India has a new residential address: Business Bay, Dubai. Armed with deep pockets and aspirations for a luxury lifestyle, wealthy Indians – mostly businessmen and entrepreneurs – are flying in, in droves, to pick up homes in this swanky financial district, say local real estate players.

Downtown Dubai, a tourism hub that’s home to multiple malls and skyscrapers, including the Burj Khalifa, is another favourite. The 2022 real estate data confirms the trend. The Dubai market earned 16 billion dirhams, or Rs 35,500 crore, from sales to Indians last year – which is almost double of what it netted in 2021, around 9 billion dirhams, reports the Times of India.

A sizeable 40pc of homebuyers were from India, the majority being from Delhi-NCR, Ahmedabad, Surat, Hyderabad and Punjab. The remaining were Indians living in the UAE (40pc), and global Indians (20pc) based in different parts of the world.

CXOs’ Thumbs Up

“There is also a certain percentage of senior executives, with global roles, who are eyeing properties in Dubai because of its connectivity with the world,” says the CEO of a real estate consultancy firm with operations in Dubai.

He said many rich Indians are moving into highend rented apartments, ditching metro cities back home. The Dubai rental market that had witnessed a dip of 30pc during Covid-19 has now bounced back to 2015-16 levels, which was a peak period for the city’s realty. Vishal Goel, co-founder of JV Ventures, is one among them.

“Being based out of Dubai allows me to travel seamlessly between Hyderabad, Dubai and London for work,” says Goel. He notes that the fintech ecosystem offered by the Dubai International Financial Centre is another factor attracting several young Indian entrepreneurs to the city. “My wife, for instance, was able to set up her fintech venture that allows her to tap into most global markets with ease. It is something she couldn’t have done so effectively from India,” says Goel, whose venture fund focuses on social assets and life sciences. While the average cost of houses being bought by Indians ranges between 1. 6 and 1. 7 million dirhams (Rs 3. 6 crore to Rs 3. 8 crore), the monthly rents hover in the Rs 3 lakh to Rs 3. 5 lakh bracket.

Local realtors say that the average rental yield from properties in Dubai varies between 4pc and 5pc, similar to Mumbai. “That’s a selling point with many white-collar professionals,” says another prominent realtor. He lists out other attributes.

“Dubai is safe for those with deep pockets to park their money, and the city has world-class social infrastructure. Then there are multiple international schools and a growing Indian community. Together, these factors make Dubai a perfect place to relocate to, especially for those Indians looking for an upgrade in their quality of life. ”

Ashrat Chaudhury, director of strategy for Damac Properties, a leading real estate group in Dubai, agrees. He says this is one of the reasons Damac has been drawingbuyers even from smaller towns of India, especially Punjab. “Our business from Indians grew by 2. 5 times in 2022,” he says, adding, “What we sold through the year in 2019 is what we sell in a month now. ”

According to him, about 15pc to 20pc of Dubai’s total realty sales is driven by the Indian community, which is one of the top two homebuyers in the city. The other top buyers are the Russians. The British, Chinese and Pakistani nationals are the other prominent international homebuyers in Dubai.

The Golden Visa programme – expanded in 2022 to include more workers, skilled professionals, scientists and researchers – has given an additional thrust to the growth of Dubai’s realty, say industry analysts.

The programme is a longterm residence visa that allows foreign talent to live, work or study in the UAE while enjoying exclusive benefits. In fact, the increase in demand from international homebuyers has led to more launches of apartment and villa projects in the city.

“My children are happier here as schools with an Indian curriculum in Dubai are among the best globally. The city is extremely safe. Even if you leave a bag full of cash in a cab, the driver will track you and return it,” says entrepreneur Rahul Bhattad, who moved to Dubai from Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh. He says his aged parents, too, have warmed to the glitz and charm of the modern city.