KOLKATA: Dubai-based entrepreneur in the textile sector, Sonia Serai, purchased a three-bedroom apartment at Jumeirah Lake Towers for AED 2.2 million (Rs 3.7 crore) in December 2014. According to Serai, the recently acquired asset is earning her a rent of AED 157,000 (Rs 26.29 lakh) per annum. Serai has been living in Dubai for the past four years and she is not the only Indian who has invested in Dubai real estate.
Many of her Indian friends and colleagues there have followed suit. According to a Dubai Land Department (DLD) report in January 2015, foreign investments in Dubai's realty market by Indians amounted to AED 18.12 billion (Rs 3,035 crore) in the year gone by. Investments by Indians has surpassed those from other countries.
For example, total value of British investors' transactions in Dubai realty market added up to AED9.32 billion. This was followed by AED7.588 billion from Pakistan, AED 4.5 billion by Iran and Canada at AED3.157 billion.
"UAE has large diasporas of NRIs, in fact the largest expat population in the UAE is from India. Moreover, return on investments in properties here is at 20-23%, hence people (from India or anywhere else in the world) make investments to increase their financial assets," said Haider Ali Khan, CEO, Bayut.com, a realty portal headquartered in Dubai. Khan also mentioned that given the proximity of Dubai to India, the ability to fly in and see what you are buying, makes it a very attractive option forNRIs and Indians in Dubai.
"Dubai has always done well in rental yields so most people know that even if their job takes them to some other part of the world or back to India, the property's rent should be able to cover the mortgage or just give them a good rental income in case it is paid off," he added.
Dubai saw AED 109-billion worth of total investment in 2014 even after property transfer fee was doubled to 4% of the property value, while in 2013 was AED 114 billion, when property transfer fee was 2% of the property value.
The average ticket size of properties bought are between AED 2 million and AED 4 million (Rs 3.35 crore and Rs 6.69 crore). "Burj Downtown area, Dubai Marina, and Business Bay are the main areas where NRIs invest. New additions to the list are a few properties in Meydan, which is a new area close to Burj Downtown," said Kalpesh Sampat, director at SPF Realty, a brokerage company in Dubai.