Russians take Dubai real estate market by storm

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Sanctions are prompting Russian nationals to stop investing in Western countries, data shows

Russians topped the list of real estate buyers from Dubai’s major developer in a sign that demand for property in the UAE remains strong, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.  

Emaar Properties, the biggest real estate company in Dubai, which accounts for about 30% of all home sales ahead of construction, has revealed that Russian nationals represented the market’s largest segment. The company, however, did not specify the exact percentage.  

Data showed that Russians have sharply increased property purchases in Dubai after sanctions prompted them to stop investing in Western countries, pushing prices in the emirate to record levels, the outlet said.  

According to Sara Boutros, an analyst from CI Capital, investors from Russia accounted for about 12% of buyers in Emaar developments this year, compared to second place in 2022 and ninth in 2020.  

“We expect Russian flows to remain strong for the rest of the year,” she said. “That’s mainly due to the attractiveness of the luxury segment in Dubai where rental yields are very high and investment costs are low.”  

Preferential conditions such as the absence of a rental income tax and higher rental yields have attracted wealthy Russians to invest in Dubai’s real estate. Residential rental incomes in the city ranged from 6.75% to 7.25% in the second quarter, according to real estate adviser CBRE Group Inc.  

The property market in Dubai has been enjoying a rapid recovery from the pandemic fueled by a recent influx of new buyers, such as high-net-worth Russians who moved their funds to the emirate seeking to shield assets.  

Data showed that Dubai’s residential real estate prices increased by 17% over the past year when many Western markets faced a housing slump due to surging borrowing costs.  

Russians also emerged as top foreign buyers of real estate in Türkiye in July, accounting for about a quarter of all homes sold to foreigners.

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