More and more Bri­tish in­vestors headed for Dubai

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Dubai has been con­stantly ce­ment­ing its po­si­tion as a global in­vest­ment mag­net, due its thriv­ing hos­pi­tal­ity, tourism and real es­tate sec­tors

It has be­come one of the most sought af­ter des­ti­na­tions of leisure trav­ellers from Bri­tain, with res­i­dents of Lon­don and Manch­ester top­ping the list of peo­ple trav­el­ling to the UAE, ac­cord­ing to a study of cities with most of the in­com­ing flights to the Gulf emi­rate.

But com­ing to this amaz­ing city makes busi­ness sense too, as Dubai has been con­stantly ce­ment­ing its po­si­tion as a global in­vest­ment mag­net, cour­tesy of the its thriv­ing hos­pi­tal­ity, tourism and real es­tate sec­tors with vastly im­prov­ing so­cial, busi­ness and tech­nol­ogy in­fra­struc­ture.

So far, 699 Bri­tons with the means and an eye for the fu­ture in­vested AED 1.89 bln ($515 mln) in Dubai’s real es­tate sec­tor in the first quar­ter of 2015, Dubai Land Depart­ment (DLD) fig­ures di­vulged. In­di­ans topped the list with AED 3.04 bln ($828 mln).

DLD said around 19,000 Bri­tons have in­vested in prop­er­ties in Dubai, with a mas­sive £1.6 bln in­vested in 2014 alone.

Rents in Dubai’s tow­er­ing sky­scrapers are 16th costli­est in the list of most ex­pen­sive of­fice spa­ces in the world, mak­ing the fast-emerg­ing global city a bar­gain for those look­ing to per­form at a world stage.

Knight Frank’s Sky­scraper In­dex re­vealed that Dubai prime of­fice rents cost $43.50 per square foot in 2014, much be­hind Hong Kong, which topped the list with prime of­fice rents listed at $250.50 per square foot. New York was sec­ond at $150 and Lon­don fourth at $108.75., UAE’s lead­ing prop­erty por­tal, said it had ob­served an in­creas­ing num­ber of searches by po­ten­tial Bri­tish in­vestors into the Dubai real es­tate mar­ket. Searches for buy­ing prop­erty dwarfed those for rental spa­ces, trans­lat­ing into the fact that there were much more Bri­tons who were in­ter­ested in buy­ing prop­erty in Dubai than those mov­ing to or in the process of mov­ing to Dubai for mak­ing a living.

Bayut stats re­vealed that of all the Bri­tish prospec­tors who searched for op­tions in Dubai in 2014, 66.1% looked for prop­er­ties up for sale. The same num­ber was 64.9% in 2013. Searches for rental spa­ces ac­counted for 33.9% of all searches in 2014, while 35.1% of all searches in 2013 by Bri­tish re­lated to rent­ing prop­er­ties.

Of the 2014 searches for buy­ing prop­erty, a hefty 83% share went to apart­ment searches, fol­lowed by 13% of searches. CEO Haider Ali Khan said the search fig­ures for ac­quir­ing as­sets in Dubai by Bri­tish in­vestors meant that Bri­tons in­creas­ingly saw Dubai as an ideal bas­tion for their cap­i­tal.

“Ster­ling trav­els much far­ther in Dubai. Un­like Lon­don, prime real es­tate op­tions in Dubai are aplenty and get you al­most as de­cent re­turns as in any other part of the world. Fu­ture prospects for the city also ap­pear great, es­pe­cially with the Expo 2020 inch­ing closer. With se­cu­rity of in­vest­ment and own­er­ship and tax-free in­come added ad­van­tages, Dubai leaves an in­vestor with lit­tle to de­sire,” Khan added.

Over the years, free­hold prop­er­ties that en­able ex­pats to fully own an as­set have been a ma­jor im­pe­tus for spurring in­vest­ment. An­other im­por­tant ad­van­tage of in­vest­ing in Dubai has been that the ex­pat own­ers do not need to live in Dubai af­ter buy­ing an as­set. Bri­tish, like other for­eign

vil­las with in­vestors, have wel­comed the op­por­tu­nity as it al­lows them to re­main in their coun­try of choice, while their in­vest­ment sits safe in a coun­try that of­fers fool­proof own­er­ship se­cu­rity.

The up­com­ing Expo 2020 and Dubai’s rapid as­cent to­wards be­com­ing the top tourist des­ti­na­tion of the world is lur­ing large busi­nesses, job seek­ers and ser­vice providers to the city in droves. But the cherry on the cake re­mains the tax-free sta­tus of busi­ness in the emi­rate. Dubai levies zero tax on rental in­come and cap­i­tal gains.

Although some ex­perts fear an­other slow­down in the Dubai real es­tate sec­tor, oth­ers have put their trust in the Dubai gov­ern­ment’s vi­sion and its ded­i­cated ef­forts to ma­te­ri­al­ize that vi­sion.

“The prices in Dubai are still a bar­gain com­pared to other ma­jor cities and the light is on and burning bright for this amaz­ing city. As Dubai braces to host 20 mln vis­i­tors a year by 2020, there will arise a mas­sive need for ac­com­mo­da­tion, mak­ing now prob­a­bly the best time to in­vest in Dubai and

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