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Indian Investment In The UAE Continues Despite The Pandemic

by Ragini Salampure

India has always enjoyed a special relationship with the UAE due to the significant presence of its diaspora in the country. Many come here to work or pursue investment opportunities, leisure and pleasure, or settle in the UAE. In fact, over the past few years, there has been a steady increase in the number of Indians who have opted to buy property in Dubai.

The traditionally cordial relationship between the two countries is rooted in trust, respect, and civilizational bonds that go back centuries. Indian expatriates make up around 30% of the UAE’s resident population. The UAE is India’s third-largest trading partner and is also a major crude oil exporter to India. There has also been a steady flow of bilateral trade and investments, which have kept the two economies close to each other.

The UAE’s existing infrastructure and public expenditure in logistics, highways, and renewable energy are bound to drive the investments up in the coming years. Many Indian entrepreneurs seeking to establish businesses and companies see the UAE as a lucrative destination for their investment. Reports suggest that Indian nationals form around 30% of Dubai’s startup community. The recent policies of the UAE, including the opening up of citizenship to foreign nationals who exhibit unique talents, and the removal of the 49% cap on investment in local companies, etc., have positively impacted the investment climate in the country. The recent remote work visa introduced by the government will drive Indians who want to live, work and invest in Dubai. The normalization of UAE-Israel relations made possible by the Abraham Accords is also poised to influence Indian investors, traditionally seen to regard Israelis in good light.

Many Indians before the pandemic viewed Dubai as a holiday destination. However, the effective pandemic response exhibited by the UAE is expected to shift the perspective. Experts say that many Indians will begin to see the UAE as a potential long-term home, leading to a further increase in Indian investment in the country.  Financial concerns, taxes, the standard of living, government policies are some of the reasons that traditionally led high net worth individuals from India to move to the UAE. The COVID-19 pandemic has added one more dimension to the country’s appeal by offering a high standard of healthcare, sanitation, and security for the residents.

Both countries have nurtured a strong bond built on mutual trust, respect, trade, and commerce laced with a generous sharing of and influencing food, culture, religious practices, literature, myths, and more. The two sides recently agreed that the challenging circumstances of COVID-19 have made it even more essential to encourage investment and cooperation in areas of mutual interest to stimulate economic activity. Both countries have also agreed to reevaluate relevant issues to trade and investments, including tariffs and duties.

The post-pandemic economic climate of the UAE is exceptionally suitable for investments from India. Favorable government reforms and proactive measures to support and sustain the country’s digital transformation, along with an unparalleled quality of life offered, will undoubtedly help the UAE remain a favorite for investors and investment companies from India and across the world.

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