During the two waves of COVID-19, wealthy Indians picked up second homes in Dubai, lured largely by its tax-friendly laws and the availability of immediate residency status through real estate investments, not to mention an international lifestyle and the distance from Indian shores.
Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt received his Golden Visa in May.
Dubai’s real estate market has been booming over the past five months due to the influx of foreign investors, of which Indians pumped in 6 billion dirhams (Rs 12,100 crore) compared with 2.9 billion dirhams by UK investors and 1.4 billion dirhams by Chinese investors, Mahmoud AlBurai, senior advisor to the Dubai government, tweeted a few days ago.
These sand castles certainly don’t come cheap – the luxurious apartments, villas and even hotel rooms can set one back by Rs 2 crore to upwards of Rs 20 crore.
The city – only a short flight away from India – has attracted several Indian billionaires. The minimum amount to be invested in a property to obtain a residency visa is 1 million dirhams (Rs 2 crore). This is more affordable than investing 500,000 euros (Rs 4.4 crore) in real estate to obtain residency visas in Portugal and Spain, experts said.