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Indians top 2017 list of investors in Dubai real estate

By Saifur Rahman

Indian investors top the list of foreign nationals with Dh15.6 billion investment in Dubai’s real estate in 2017, according to Dubai Land Department. Although this is higher compared to Dh12 billion invested by Indian nationals in Dubai’s real estate in 2016, this is still lower compared to the peak figure of Dh20 billion invested by Indian nationals in 2015, Dubai Land Department statistics show.

Indians bought property worth Rs420 billion in Dubai from January 2016 to June 2017, making them yet again the top foreign property investors in the emirate, according to the Dubai Land Department.

“For years, Indians have consistently been the most prolific non-GCC buyers of Dubai real estate. From January 2016 to June 2017, they bought property worth more than Rs42,000 crores in the emirate,” said an earlier statement from Dubai Property Show.

A recent Knight Frank report says, from 2012-17, Indian residential property buyers have seen an overall return of 49.3 per cent, the highest in the world. Dubai is among the most affordable property destinations, and the strengthening of the rupee further nudged investors in this direction. In the last three years, Indian nationals have invested a total of Dh47.6 billion (US$12.97 billion).

 UAE nationals were the largest investor group in Dubai’s real estate sector with Dh25.30 billion (US$6.89 billion) in 2017. Dubai’s real estate market has attracted investors from around the world, including Gulf nationals, Arabs and foreigners, with a total of 39,480 investors making nearly 53,000 transactions worth more than Dh107 billion Dubai Land Department said in a report issued in January 2018.

According to the report, over 9,790 Gulf nationals made 14,381 transactions worth more than Dh37 billion. The Dubai real estate market attracted nearly 7,000 Arab investors who closed 8,644 real estate transactions worth over Dh14 billion. There was also a high level activity among foreign investors, with nearly 23,000 investors making approximately 30,000 transactions worth approximately Dh56 billion throughout 2017.

In a report issued by Dubai Land Department in August last year, the department said, “217 nationalities have invested a total of Dh151 billion in Dubai’s real estate market. This demonstrates the confidence that the world has in our real estate environment, which is characterised by a strong regulatory system that provides safety and security for all parties.”

Sultan Butti bin Mejren, Director General of Dubai Land Department, said, “We are pleased to have witnessed such a high level of interest from global citizens in Dubai, who have invested over Dh151 billion across 71,000 real estate transactions in just 18 months.”

However, in additional to investment in residential and commercial units, Indians, Pakistanis, Iranians and Arabs are also some of the largest private sector developers who are developing not only towers, but mixed-use, master-planned communities also.

Among the foreign-owned private property developers, Sobha, Danube Properties, Azizi Developments, Diamond Developers, Shaikhani Group, Schon Properties, among others are making headlines on new real estate projects.

Top Investor Groups

The UAE investors continue to lead the list of nationalities investing in the Dubai real estate market, where the value of their investments amounted to Dh25.30 billion. The second place was for Indian investors who invested Dh15.6 billion. The Saudis came in third place with investments exceeding Dh7 billion, followed by British and Pakistanis whose investments amounted to Dh6 and Dh5 billion, respectively. Other active investors include Chinese, Jordanians, Egyptians and Canadians.

Women Investors

The contribution of women to real estate investment is growing, with their trust in the Dubai real estate market reflected by 11,773 women entering the market and making a total of 14,316 transactions worth over Dh27 billion.

Brokers’ Earnings

Real estate brokers in Dubai earned up to Dh1.77 billion for their role in completing sales of land, buildings and residential units. The number of registered real estate brokers reached 6,195 in Dubai, Land Department said.

The brokers’ share of earling included Dh840 million from land sales, which came close to Dh42 billion. They also earned Dh133 million from sales of buildings, which exceeded Dh6.6 billion, and with commissions amounting to Dh794 million from sales of units worth Dh40 billion. In this regard, the value of broker commissions is calculated by calculating (2%) of the total actual sales. The number of real estate permits during the same period was 12,407, and the number of real estate offices reached 2,256.

Also published on Medium.