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Dubai’s real estate market: Insights into the preferences of different nationalities

From Emiratis to Russians, here’s why each group leans towards specific types of properties in Dubai

Dubai real estate: What motivates property decisions based on nationality?

Dubai’s real estate market is a melting pot of diverse nationalities, each with its unique preferences and motivations for property investment. Understanding these nuances is crucial for real estate professionals and investors aiming to cater to the specific needs of different demographics.

Gaurav Aidasani, Founder & Managing Director, Union Square House

Emiratis and Arabs: Townhouses and smaller units for investment

Emiratis and Arabs show a distinct preference for townhouses and smaller units. Due to their manageable size and the steady rental income they generate, such types of residences represent an attractive proposition for Arab investors. Townhouses, in particular, offer a balance between space and affordability, making them an ideal choice for investors looking to maximise their returns without significant upfront capital. The flexibility of townhouses in terms of rental yields and resale value improves their attractiveness. This segment often looks for units that are not only cost-effective but also strategically located in well-developed areas, ensuring high occupancy rates and consistent rental income.

The cultural affinity towards community living also influences this preference. Townhouses in Dubai often come with communal facilities like parks, playgrounds, and recreational areas, which resonate with the social lifestyle of Emiratis and Arabs.

Indians and Pakistanis: Townhouses, larger villas, and plots

Investors from India and Pakistan are inclined towards townhouses, larger villas, and plots. This taste is driven by a cultural affinity for spacious living environments, often reflecting their lifestyle back home. Such homes offer the ample space needed for extended households, with multiple generations living under one roof, which is a common practice in South Asian cultures.

The long-term investment potential of these properties continues to draw Indian and Pakistani investors. Villas and plots tend to appreciate over time, making them a sound investment choice for this demographic. The ability to customise and renovate these properties also adds to their attractiveness, allowing buyers to tailor their homes to their specific needs and tastes.

British: Ready communities with greenery

Britons tend to favour homes in established, ready communities that boast greenery and open spaces. The emphasis on green spaces aligns with the Briton’s tendency towards nature and outdoor activities, making such neighbourhoods highly sought after.

The desire for a family-friendly environment is another driving factor for British buyers. Localities with well-maintained parks, walking trails, and outdoor facilities are particularly appealing. With access to quality schools and healthcare facilities, such areas provide a safe and nurturing environment for raising children.

British buyers often look for units that require minimal renovation or customisation, allowing them to move in quickly and start enjoying their new homes. Their liking also extends to houses that offer modern amenities and conveniences, such as fitness centres, swimming pools, and community centres.

Chinese: Downtown and buzzing districts

Chinese investors are attracted to the vibrant and dynamic areas of downtown Dubai. They prefer living in bustling areas that offer branded and serviced units. The appeal lies in the proximity to business hubs, shopping districts, and entertainment venues, catering to the fast-paced lifestyle many Chinese expats lead.

The focus on downtown areas is driven by a desire for connectivity and accessibility. Chinese buyers often prioritise locations that are close to major transportation links, making it easy to navigate the city. Moreover, favouring branded and serviced units reflects a demand for high standards of living. From housekeeping and concierge services to access to exclusive facilities, these properties often come with a range of premium services that boost their allure for this demographic group.

Russians: Waterfront properties

For Russian buyers, waterfront real estate is the prime choice. The charm of living close to the water, with stunning views and the prestige that comes with such locations, is a significant driving factor. This type of real estate often offers a sense of exclusivity and luxury, which are highly valued by Russian investors. The tranquil and scenic environment provided by waterfront properties also augments their desirability.

Waterfront locations also provide opportunities for a range of leisure activities, such as boating, fishing, and beachfront dining. The availability of private beaches and marinas further enhances the appeal of such properties, which tend to hold their value well and often appreciate significantly over time.