Indians pump Rs 42,000 cr into Dubai realty, get largest foreign investor tag

May be it is a coincidence with demonetisation, but the fact remains that Indians have invested a staggering Rs 42,000 crore in the Dubai real estate market in the last one-and-a-half years. The amount is 40 per cent higher than what it was in 2014, said Dubai Land Department.

“Indians are the largest foreign investors in Dubai real estate today. The quantum of Indian investment in Dubai has increased significantly. The intensity of interest has increased considerably over the past years,” said the Dubai Land Department in its latest data.

As per historical data, Indians can reap approximately 8–10 per cent tax-free returns by investing in the Dubai real estate market, said Shobhit Agarwal, managing director, capital markets, JLL India. “Dubai offers extremely attractive capital appreciation and definitely much better than what they can at present expect in many cities in India,’’ he said.

As per the current RBI norms, an Indian can remit as much as $250,000 per annum to Dubai (or any other country).

This effectively means that within just two years, an individual (just one year for a couple which clubs their remittances) $500,000 can be invested in Dubai – enough to buy a quality property there. Further, the distance between India and Dubai is short and the frequency of flights is abundant, Agarwal said.

He further said that transparency plays a pivotal role in real estate investments, especially when investing in a foreign country. To illustrate, foreign investments into Indian real estate surged immediately after the announcement of RERA. The Dubai real estate market has consistently been highly transparent in all aspects, making it very attractive for Indian investors, he said.

Compared to tier 1 Indian cities like Mumbai and Delhi, an investor needs to shell out far less for investing into the Dubai property market. As per recent reports, the average property price per square foot in the central parts of Dubai is approximately Rs 25,000, which is sizeably lower than what one would have to invest in Central Delhi or Mumbai. In other words, investors with less-than-spectacular budgets have the opportunity to invest in a highly lucrative market, Agarwal said.