Dubai is one of the most attractive overseas property destinations in the world. But if you have an overseas property to sell in Dubai, you should know that you are better off targeting wealthy Indians rather than buyers from China, Russia or the UK. That’s because Indians are the biggest non-Arab buyers of properties in Dubai.
That should not be a surprise to anyone who has visited Dubai because 30 percent of Dubai’s population consists of Indians. A majority of the apartments in the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, are owned by Indians.
One of the biggest developers in Dubai is the Danube Group. The Danube Group has built 175 townhouses in a residential hub in Dubai called Al Furjan. These are large four bedroom homes that start at a price of AED 2.5 million. Most of the homes in this development have already been bought by Indians.
Rizwan Sajan, chairman of Danube Group says, "Many Indians consider Dubai as their second home. Property prices in Dubai are cheaper than the corresponding places in India or other international cities."
"70% of the investors in our first two projects are working Asian expatriates, especially from India and Pakistan, because they saw a good investment opportunity," Mr. Sajan adds.
There are a plenty of reasons for wealthy Indians to buy property in Dubai. An Indian businessman based in the UAE says it is very hard for wealthy people like him to buy property in India, especially in his home state of Kerala: "There are trade union problems, shortage of labour and even restrictions on using land. So instead of attracting trouble by investing in India, we find peace of mind and reasonable return of investments in the UAE.”
So Indians are by far the biggest investors in Dubai – investing up to AED 44 billion in Dubai real estate market over the last three years. This is not to say that Indian buyers are generally rich – many middle class Indians buy property in Dubai as well.
The reason for this is simple – most it is much cheaper to buy property than to rent one. Rents in Dubai are on the high side and range from AED 70,000 TO AED 110,000 a month for a one-bedroom or two-bedroom apartment. Buying a similar property costs just AED 1 million. So it does not make sense to rent a home in Dubai.
Also, properties in Dubai are actually far cheaper than comparable properties in Mumbai. A luxurious apartment that costs $1 million in Mumbai can be had for half of that amount in Dubai. Apartments in Dubai cost much less than comparable properties in London as well. So a lot of Indian developers have been building apartment complexes in Dubai exclusively targeted at Indians.
Indians prefer buying apartments to villas or townhouses. In a survey conducted by a Dubai-based newspaper, it was found that 60 percent of Indian expats wanted to buy an apartment in Dubai, and most of them – 82 percent, sad that they were interested in buying an apartment rather than a villa or a townhouse.
Indians appreciate the fact that Dubai is an oasis of peace in a region known for endless violence and religious fundamentalism. A lot of Indian expats have become fabulously rich from their investments in the Dubai property market.
But not all of the Indian buyers are particularly rich. In fact, most of the Indian buyers take home loans to finance their purchase. The most popular neighbourhoods in Dubai with Indians, according to the survey are Dubai Marina, Downtown Dubai and Jumeirah Lake Towers.