In the latest quarter, there has been a notable shift in the Dubai real estate landscape, with Indians emerging as the dominant investors, surpassing Britons, according to the insights provided by the Betterhomes Residential Market Report 2023. The dynamic nature of this market was evident as Indians claimed the top spot in both the June and September quarters, after securing the second position in the first quarter when Britons took the lead.
The Dubai property market witnessed a total of 28,249 transactions in the third quarter, marking a 4% increase from the second quarter and a substantial 23% rise compared to the same period in 2022. This surge was particularly fueled by a remarkable 34% growth in villa and townhouse transactions, while apartment transactions saw a modest 4% contraction.
The report underscores that Indians consistently hold their position in the top five homebuyers in Dubai. However, noteworthy changes in the pecking order have occurred due to various factors, including the rising wealth of certain demographics and the geopolitical isolation of Russia. According to the report, Indian and British nationals remain the two largest buyers of real estate in Dubai. In a significant development, Russians have moved out of the top three buyer nationalities for the first time since Q2 2022, possibly influenced by the continued decline in the ruble. Despite Turkey shifting out of the top 10, buyers from the MENA region continue to be prevalent, with growing interest from countries such as Egypt, Lebanon, UAE, and Jordan.
Richard Waind, the CEO of Betterhomes, pointed out that Dubai continues to be a magnet for expatriates worldwide, with the population growing by almost 100,000 in the year up to July. The decline in the ruble has impacted the purchasing power of Russian nationals, leading to their exit from the top three buyers. However, this decline was offset by an increased demand from Indian and British nationals, many of whom view property investment as a pathway to the coveted Golden Visa.
The Golden Visa in the UAE offers a long-term residence option along with exclusive benefits, including a six-month entry visa with multiple entries leading to residence issuance, a renewable residence visa for 5 or 10 years, no need for a sponsor, extended stay outside the UAE, sponsorship of family members (including spouses and children), and the ability to sponsor an unlimited number of domestic helpers. The permit even allows family members to stay in the UAE even if the primary Golden Visa holder passes away, provided they hold a residential property worth 2 million dirhams.
Shifting focus to the luxury real estate market, the report highlights its continued strength, with transactions over $4.83 million reaching record levels, marking a substantial 44% increase compared to Q2. Notably, the secondary market experienced a significant 66% growth. With expectations of attracting 4,500 new millionaires in 2023 and ongoing launches of high-end off-plan projects, such as Palm Jebel Ali, the report anticipates further growth in the luxury market in the near future.