More Canadians than Chinese buy Dubai property

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

hey invested about Dh924.08million in first six months this year

Parag Deulgaonkar

While the Chinese have found a place among the top buyers of buildings/villas in Dubai, surprisingly, it is the Canadians who are investing a lot in the emirate’s realty market.

Canadians purchased 68 plots for Dh285 million, 388 apartments for Dh608m and 20 buildings/villas for Dh31.08m in the first six months of 2011, according to data exclusively shared by Dubai Land Department with ‘Emirates24|7’.

Although the Chinese do not figure among the top 10 buyers of apartments and plots, they find place in the list of building/villa purchasers. They rank sixth having bought 25 buildings/villas for Dh49.12m.

Craig Plumb, Head of Research, Mena at Jones Lang LaSalle, says: “While not yet registering in the Top 10 list, there has been increased interest in the Dubai market reported from investors from both China and West Africa in recent months.

The number of Chinese nationals visiting Dubai has increased significantly during 2011 and this is likely to act as a pre-cursor to increased investment in the local real estate market.”

Jordanians have been quite aggressive buyers in the first six months, having purchased 22 buildings/villas for Dh47m. They have bought 261 apartments for Dh330m and 67 plots for Dh304m.

Other top buyers in this buildings/villas category are Indians (Dh338m), followed by Britons (Dh241m), Pakistanis (Dh186m), Iran (Dh161m), UAE (Dh78.68m), Jordan (Dh47m), Americans (Dh30m) and Iraqis (Dh27.32m).

Indians continue to top the list of apartment and villa/building buyers, having spent Dh5.278bn.

Dubai property has become more attractive to Indian nationals living within the GCC, as prices have fallen significantly from their peaks in 2008 and 2009, Plumb mentions.

“These buyers tend to be long term investors in the market and most will hold properties for their own occupation or for their families use, they are not, therefore, so driven by short term market factors.”

Other factors explaining the high levels of Indian investment in Dubai real estate include the growth of disposable incomes from the increasing middle class within India and the feeling that property prices in many Indian markets are currently high and could adjust downwards as the market reaches its peak.

“There has also recently been increased interest from Indian companies in buying units in Dubai to operate on time share or partial ownership basis,” he adds.

Saudis, who have been primarily active in Dubai realty market for years, somehow seem to have limited their investment into land and apartments. They bought 58 plots for Dh320m and 422 apartments for Dh742m.

Iranians invested a total of Dh2.934m in the real estate market, having  bought 101 buildings/villas, 1,517 apartments and 107 plots.

“There continues to be strong interest in Dubai real estate from GCC nationals and those from other Mena countries. There has been a major influx of visitors from the GCC into Dubai over the recent summer months, and many of these may have decided to purchase real estate given Dubai’s status as a ‘safe haven’ within what remains a volatile region.”

He emphasis: “This is also likely to explain the continued interest from Iraqi and Jordanian nationals. With concerns over Iran’s relationship with its regional neighbours once again emerging, it is possible that Dubai may see an increased interest from Iranian investors in the coming months.” 

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