India’s businessmen are moving to the UAE, driving demand for luxury properties in Dubai

Dubai’s residential real estate sector, especially the luxury segment, is seeing a surge in demand from Indian businessmen in the wake of the second Covid-19 wave in the Southeast Asian country. Tax issues in India have also led high-net-worth families to relocate to the Gulf, industry insiders and experts said.

Favourable policies offered by the UAE government including full foreign ownership of businesses, allowing remote registration of offshore companies and long-term residency visas are also influencing this trend.

“The new [UAE] visa laws have certainly contributed to the demand from Indian businessmen we are witnessing. This demand has got further impetus with the revamped company ownership laws. The UAE government has been extremely proactive in addressing the pain points of the market,” Shajai Jacob, chief executive officer – GCC of Anarock Property Consultants, told Arabian Business.

“Not only have these laws made Dubai more attractive for Indian industrialists and businessmen, but they have also added to the real estate demand,” said Jacob, who is also managing director and country head of ApnaComplex, a society and apartment management technology platform acquired by Anarock recently.

Jacob said these buyers – the cash-rich Indian businessmen – were more inclined towards the premium properties and have shown propensity for areas like Palm Jumeirah and downtown Dubai.

“Indians have also contributed in the buying activities in this end of the spectrum [recently],” he said.

Jacob said their firm was also seeing increased enquiries from high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) in India to own properties in Dubai.

“These demands have mostly come from business communities and entrepreneurs,” said the chief executive of Anarock which focuses on handling property investments by Indians in the UAE.

Financial sector experts said there were serious moves on the part of HNWIs and businessmen from India to move to countries that offer better healthcare infrastructure and security.

“While commercial considerations are on one side, the recent panic situation in India has exposed the soft underbelly of the country’s weak health infrastructure in handling the sudden surge in the infection levels,” R Guha, a Chennai-based independent financial consultant, told Arabian Business.

“This has impacted the rich and poor alike in terms of acute shortage of hospital facilities, poor availability of drugs, oxygen and has got everyone worried.

“Contrast with this, a country like the UAE seems to have handled the pandemic well with superior infrastructure and planning,” said Guha, who is also the former finance head of a multinational company.

Guha said seen in this background, UAE’s open-arm policy of attracting HNWIs and highly skilled people through long-term visas, allowing full foreign ownership of companies, along with the friendly tax laws, has boosted interest in relocating to the UAE.

Besides Indian businessmen, dozens of foreign investors in Dubai have taken advantage of the amended Commercial Companies Law, allowing them to establish and fully own onshore companies.

A wide range of sectors including general trade, jewellery, luxury goods, foods, metals and construction and paints have reportedly seen the rush for seeking full foreign ownership.

Historically, Dubai has been the most sought after overseas market for property investments for wealthy Indians, followed by London. Indian nationals topped the list of overseas investors in the real estate sector in Dubai in 2019, according to the Dubai Land Department.

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Author: Arabian Business

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