Dubai: Meet 3 residents who bought homes in the city to secure their future

Some expats are investing in the UAE as the 'ideal place for retirement'



File photo
File photo
by

Nandini Sircar

Published: Fri 4 Mar 2022, 6:15 PM

Last updated: Fri 4 Mar 2022, 10:32 PM

The Dubai Government recently announced a new savings scheme for expats working in the public sector. This has made expatriates hopeful of the trickle-down effect on the private sector, inspiring many to choose the place for retirement.

However, a recent survey global consultancy Mercer, reveals that many expats in the UAE don't do enough to ensure a steady post-retirement life.

Nevertheless, some residents are actively investing in their future. Khaleej Times spoke to three such expats on investing and retiring in Dubai.

Mariam Kiwan, an Egyptian expat in Dubai, and her husband Alaa Dous started became proud owners of a home five years ago, after planning for two years. They own a 3-bedroom villa (townhouse) in Al Reem Mira community - Al Qudra.

Sharing their reasons of investing, Mariam says: “We decided to go on as planned, took that leap of faith and bought it finally. I personally believe that investing in a property here makes you feel more at home, because we do love the country. Another reason is that it is better to buy than keep paying rent, with nothing coming back to you. So, it's basically a kind of a saving plan.”

She adds: “Dubai is a great place to invest because of various offerings that suits everyone’s lifestyle. The area that we live in is exactly what we were looking for. A nice and modern community, respectful neighbours, great facilities and services. It's really a family friendly community.”

Mariam who is the global head of digital technology for a tobacco company lives with her husband and her eight-year-old daughter here.

Expressing the desire to retire in Dubai one day, she adds: “It’s a big yes for us. We do hope the rules allow us to stay here even if we lose our jobs. The new rules that are being announced by the wise leadership of the UAE, regarding the different kinds of visas makes us think on these lines even more strongly and we look forward to hearing about more such excellent announcements."

Anuradha and Ashish Chakraborty. Photo supplied.
Anuradha and Ashish Chakraborty. Photo supplied.

Similarly, Ashish and Anuradha Chakraborty who live in one of the most sought-after communities in Dubai, called Springs bought their property in 2012.

However, when they had purchased the property, they had different plans.

“We had bought the villa (townhouse) solely for the purpose of investment. Initially, we hadn’t thought of staying here. But, our plans changed. In hindsight, having an asset like this has been a good investment. It all depends on when you enter the market, whether you manage to catch the bottom, when the market is down…buying at such times is always a wise decision. Dubai is a great city to live in infrastructure-wise and it’s so neat, clean, and safe. The community that we live in is also beautiful. I think it’s been a good decision,” says Anuradha.

While the Chakrabortys own other properties across prime locations in the city, Anuradha explains these investments are all a part of their savings, to meet long-term financial needs.

“Dubai would be an ideal place for retirement, provided we can stay here. For that, one needs to have decent amount of savings that can offer enough protection once service tenure is over. The purpose behind our other investments is essentially short-term rentals and leasing our apartments as holiday homes that can fetch us decent returns. Most of our other properties are self-paying. We don’t believe in keeping all our eggs in one basket. We believe a well-diversified portfolio should contain investments in a wide variety of asset classes,” she said.

It is said that Indian nationals form the largest foreign investor group in Dubai’s real estate market.

Dr Shams Tabrez Siddiqui. Photo supplied.
Dr Shams Tabrez Siddiqui. Photo supplied.

Golden visa holder, Dr Shams Tabrez Siddiqui, Founder and Managing Director, Crossroads Group of Dental Clinics and his wife who is also a dentist, started thinking about investing in a residential property three years after setting up their practice in the UAE.

“I have been living in Dubai for the past 13 years. As expats who came to the UAE to work, we always had it clear that the place where we work would be the place that we will call home. Most people come to the UAE with the intention to stay for a short period and keep renewing their visa upon expiry. For us, our goal had always been to make the UAE our nest."

He added: "We have two properties. One is a flat on Sheikh Zayed road which was bought with the intention of making a passive income, and the other is land in Al Furjan, which will have a villa. The construction for the villa has already started and we aim to live in this place soon.”

He reiterates that Dubai is a safe haven, making it one of the most preferred destinations for expats across the world to choose it as an investment option.

“I have observed that people from around the globe who can afford it, opt for an early retirement to come, and settle in the UAE. For us, Dubai is a great place to live, work and retire. The government policies, procedures are simple and transparent as against any other country in the world. In addition, the government has always been a step ahead in introducing initiatives which make investing a seamless process."

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