By Mohanad Alwadiya
Expert Eye – Gulf News
A lot of Indian investors are expected to flock to the International Property Show which will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from April 11-13. Being the top Dubai property investor segment based on nationality, investing more than AED 20 billion in 2015, the Indian expat community has had a longstanding relationship with the emirate (and the rest of the UAE) in terms of business and real estate.
But why is Dubai property so popular with the Indian people? The reasons offered are not really surprising, and essentially summarize why investing in Dubai property has had significant appeal for, not just Indian investors, but for investors from every corner of the world.
Ease and efficiency
Compared to most countries in the world, investing in the real estate sector of Dubai is relatively easy. Enlist a reputable brokerage, select your desired property, negotiate a price, write the necessary checks and the property will be yours. Bureaucracy, which makes investing in other countries in the world such a pain, is virtually non-existent and, as long as you follow procedural requirements, your property transaction will be processed efficiently and without undue delays.
When compared to the major Indian cities, or major cities round the world, Dubai offers increasingly better value. A modern infrastructure that is continually being developed, a renewed focus on affordable housing, and world-leading rental yields, the value that is inherent in Dubai property is hard to beat in India, or any other country in the world for that matter.
Tax-free rental yields
Put simply, there are not many real estate markets in the world where an investor can enjoy an average 7% yield without paying any local taxes. So, net of service charges, maintenance costs and property management fees, the rent that you charge your tenants goes straight into your wallet without the taxman taking his share. And with the cost of finance remaining reasonably low, the interest charge on any borrowings you may have will be easily covered by the rent that is being yielded by your property leaving more free cash flow to pay down your principal.
Absence of capital gains tax
In addition, capital gains are not taxed upon disposal of the asset which makes investing in Dubai property a very lucrative addition to any investment portfolio as, when taken with a long-term view, investing in Dubai property will provide handsome returns on investment. So, from a total returns point of view, there are few better real estate investments than Dubai property.
World-class infrastructure and security
Many times, investments that provide such lucrative returns are normally associated with excessive risks or poor infrastructure. This is not the case in Dubai. Dubai’s focus has been on developing a world-leading infrastructure for the benefit of commerce, trade, tourism and habitation. The remarkable progress that has been made in opening Dubai up for business, implementing the physical, digital and logistical infrastructures, legal framework and economic policies in the post-recession period has been pretty impressive.
Strong global brand
Dubai as a real estate and commercial hub has captured the imagination of the world, and there is no better barometer of this that the burgeoning tourism industry. Investments in economic revenue generating sectors such as the entertainment and hospitality sectors have ensured that Dubai is increasingly being included in the bucket lists of travelers from all over the world.
Dubai excels in the area of “economic entrepreneurialism.” Already well-known for conducting globally attended exhibitions, there is no greater example than the upcoming Global Expo which Dubai will be hosting in 2020 – an event that the emirate is preparing for with great care.
Multicultural and cosmopolitan society
Once considered just a pit stop for expats that fulfilled employment contracts of limited duration, more and more people have decided to settle down and call Dubai “home.” This change in outlook has had a dramatic effect on the stability of the property market and the development of a society that, while incredibly diverse, is also less transient and more committed to the development of the emirate as a long-term lifestyle solution.
As one looks around the city, one sees many faces hailing from the four corners of the world, and words, both familiar and unfamiliar, echo in the streets and byways. And while there has always been a vibrant and strong Indian community, other communities representing other nationalities are developing rapidly, making it easier for new expats to make the decision to make Dubai their new home.
History has proven that strong nations were built upon such diversity. Armed with this knowledge and the resources the emirate has been so richly endowed, Dubai continues to forge onward with a vision of better things to come.