This steady decline in residential prices has now made Dubai property among the most attractive and affordable Image Credit: Shutterstock

By Shajai Jacob, Special to Gulf News

Dubai has been one of the perennial favourite investment hubs for Indians interested in buying real estate overseas. However, the city’s property market has witnessed a prolonged period of churning with values steadily declining over the last three years.

This steady decline in residential prices has now made Dubai property among the most attractive and affordable. In fact, Dubai is regarded as one of the most affordable markets for luxury housing among all global cities today. As the downward price trend is somewhat getting stable, demand for luxury property is likely to turn around and steps like the introduction of long-term visas and the upcoming Expo 2020 Dubai are further likely to stabilise the property market.

Negotiate from strength

Dubai has witnessed an overall softening in the real estate market due to a weak economy and oversupply. It’s certainly a buyers’ market. Because the market hasn’t bottomed out, it makes more sense for buyers to pick well-located properties and negotiate a good price.

There has been a spike in real estate transactions and according to data shared by Dubai Land Department, the total value jumped 33 per cent to Dh34 billion in the January-May period compared to Dh24 billion last year.

This growth can be attributed to some decisions taken by the government that has revived the interest of international investors. The UAE is issuing long-term visas — of five and 10 years — to entrepreneurs, professionals and investors, specialists in the medical, scientific, research and technical fields. This step has been taken to spur business activity and create a favourable investment environment in the country.

Investors have to spend a minimum of Dh5 million to obtain a five-year visa, while the decade-long visa is for double that amount.

Luxury gets a closer look

There has been a notable uptick in demand for mansions, villas and town houses in the last few months. Moreover, properties in the proximity of international schools, health care and those with excellent infrastructure facilities are generating demand. In fact, the luxury segment of Dubai’s real estate market has shown resilience.

With Expo 2020 Dubai under a year away, there is likely to be an overall revival in business confidence that will impact on the property market positively.

Does it make sense?

Owning a property abroad is definitely a highly aspirational concept and can also yield good returns on investment. It makes complete sense for investors, and for those who already have family or business interests in a certain country. However, end-users can only really benefit from a property abroad if they stand a good chance of obtaining citizenship or, at the very least, residential status there.

Shajai Jacob is CEO — GCC at Anarock Property Consultants.