The first quarter of 2024 marked a significant shift in investment trends in Dubai’s residential real estate sector, with Indians once again emerging as the leading nationality investing in the city’s property market, surpassing long-standing leaders, the British, industry insiders and latest research said.

Beyond Indians, Dubai’s property market is also of late drawing interest from Americans, who, along with the dominant investor groups such as British and Russians, are leading a surge in demand – and also rise in property prices and rentals – particularly in the luxury segment.

The 5-year multiple visit visa facility is cited as the major reason for the surge in investments by Indians, along with other factors such as the rising end-user demand and attractive investment yields in Dubai’s housing sector.

“The 5-year multiple visit visa has opened doors to a boost in investment opportunities in Dubai, further attracting Indian investors in a big way,” Diwakar Raj, Managing Partner at Foremen Fiefdom, a leading real estate services company in Dubai, told Arabian Business.

“Dubai, of late, is also seen to be stirring the interest of American investors, pushing up demand for residential properties, especially in the high-end segment,’ he said.

Raj said the surge in investments by Indians and Americans, along with those from the UK and Russia, is leading to a near 50 percent jump in luxury home prices in the year, leading up to June.

Dubai’s property market continues to lure investors from worldwide

Dubai’s allure as a land of ambition and prosperity continues to captivate investors worldwide, with Indians emerging as the leading nationality investing in Dubai in the first quarter, surpassing long-standing leaders, the British, data from the recent Betterhomes Residential Market Report showed.

Industry insiders said Indian investors are drawn to Dubai for reasons such as the rising rental rates, a dynamic residential sales market, and the appeal of the villa market.

They said the spike in Indian investment could lead to a surge in demand for properties, particularly for investment or extended stays.

The spike in demand – also in prices – is expected especially in areas popular with Indian tourists, like those with familiar amenities and cultural offerings.

Established expat communities like Bur Dubai and Jumeirah Villages might also see a boost, as they are known for their large Indian populations and well-developed infrastructure, Raj said.

Indians, consistently ranking among the top five home buyers in the UAE, have long been a mainstay in Dubai’s real estate landscape, with several leading Bollywood stars, sports icons, besides businessmen owning marquee residential properties in the city.

Opening of Blue Metro Line to spur more demand

The Foremen Fiefdom senior executive said another significant driving force behind Indian investors in the city is the impact of Dubai’s new Metro Blue Line.

“The metro stations enhance accessibility, making areas more desirable for residents who value ease of commuting and reduced reliance on cars.

“This convenience factor translates to higher property value,” Raj said.

Senior executives at other city-based real estate consultancies said established areas like Bur Dubai, Dubai Marina, and Jumeirah Beach Residence – the areas on the Blue Line’s route –  can expect a rise in property values due to improved connectivity and increased demand.

The line also expands into previously less-connected areas, opening them up for development and potentially attracting investors, they said.

Raj said investment opportunities with the Blue Line include increased rental yields and potential commercial development near stations, presenting opportunities in both residential and commercial real estate.

“While predicting a precise surge in 2024 is challenging, the Blue Line’s launch is expected to generate significant interest, potentially leading to increased investment activity and potential price adjustments near stations in the short term,” he said.

Luxury real estate to see continued demand

Industry experts said the UAE reportedly attracting 4,500 new millionaires in 2023 indicates the luxury real estate market’s potential for continued growth.

The Foremen Fiefdom senior executive said market expectations for the first half of the year and beyond revolve around investments in ultra-luxury real estate.

“Investors are attracted by the potential for high returns on investment (ROI) and the overall effectiveness of their investments.

“Key considerations for investors include ease of resale, rental profitability, prime location, and long-term investment potential,” he said, adding that these luxury properties offer an exclusive and secluded living environment, appealing to clients who value privacy and serenity as much as the luxurious amenities their homes provide.