Indian developers eyeing overseas realty market

June 7th, 2008 - 2:49 pm ICT by IANS  

By Anuradha Shukla
New Delhi, June 7 (IANS) More and more Indian realtors are planning global. And the Middle East, especially Dubai, seems to be the most preferred destination. Reversing the trend of international investors flocking to India’s booming reality sector, domestic players are foraying into the foreign market.

One of the first Indian developers to look beyond Indian shores was Parsvnath Developers, which last year began setting up development offices in Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Singapore, Britain, and, of course, the Middle East.

It has now tied up with the Al-Hasan Group in Oman.

Over the past year, at least six real estate companies, big and small, have lined up a number of overseas development projects, mostly in the Gulf region.

“What attract the developers to the Gulf market are low cost and high profit margins,” Anuj Puri, India head of global real estate management and services firm Jones Lang La Salle Meghraj, told IANS.

“It makes sense for them to diversify their business to minimise the risk,” he said.

Among the various destinations, the biggest draw is perhaps Dubai. Puri listed the reasons: the Dubai government is offering free zones for development; there is no shortage of skilled and non-skilled Indian workforce in Dubai, availability of cheaper finance, and its laws are transparent.

Kunal Banerjee of Ansals API cites another factor. “Dubai has a very large Indian population, lots of them are investing in the property market in the Gulf, and this makes the proposition more attractive,” he said.

Concurred Rohtash Goel, chairman of Omaxe, a real estate firm that is spreading its reach globally. “Dubai at present is one of the most happening realty markets with large profit margins,” he said.

“The high-end projects yield very good returns. Moreover, the costs are also less in Dubai,” Goel told IANS.

Omaxe is planning to foray into Dubai and Mauritius and has plans to develop 10-12 projects over the next three years, at an investment of about Rs.6 billion. The company is already in talks with local developers for joint ventures.

Developers indicate that the cost of a high-end project in Dubai comes to Rs.4,000 per sq ft whereas a similar project in Mumbai or Delhi would cost about Rs.5,700-Rs.6,000 per sq ft.

Little wonder that most major Indian developers, after making hefty profits in the domestic market, are now turning to the Gulf.

Hiranadani Developers have already made a mark in the Middle East with its high-end residential project 23-Marina in Dubai, designed by Hafeez Contractor.

This 90-storey residential project, estimated at $250 million, has 90 percent of the apartments in the price range of $462,900-$23,14,501.

Additionally, the company has begun constructing many five-star hotels in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Another Mumbai-based developer, Akruti City Ltd, is planning to foray into the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, citing a booming real estate market there.

Kolkata’s South City Projects too is working on two projects in Dubai.

Ansals API like the others is exploring Dubai and has also tied up with Malaysia’s UEM Group to bid for government projects there.

Mumbai-based developer Ajmera Group and Sobha Developers have already joined the fray to make their presence into the Gulf region.

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