Gulf property developers could boost India’s real estate market

The real estate sector in India is set to grow by 30% and be worth $16 billion by 2010 despite the global economic downturn, it is claimed.

Middle East property investors and developers are likely to be the saviours of the property industry which is currently facing financial problems due to high interest rates and tight lending conditions.

They recognise that the economic climate may be difficult but they also recognise that they can benfit from lower land prices, lower material and labour costs and a market where demand is unlikely to disappear.

'The internal demand for commercial and residential real estate in India is undeniable. But providing finance is in place many developments are likely to be approaching completion after the downturn has bottomed out,' said Graham Wood, exhibition director for next month's Cityscape India.

His company's latest research predicts a 30% growth rate for India. It is also estimated that India is currently facing a shortage of 21 million homes. Wood also points out that more and more Gulf developers are interested in India.

'The demand for affordable housing is immense and potentially the long term returns for investors and developers are colossal,' he added.

Dubai-based Limitless is confident about the long term prospects of India's real estate sector and will be showcasing key Indian projects including a 4,000 hectare mixed use development near Bangalore with accommodation for 750,000.

Dubai Properties recently confirmed that the company hopes to expand its development projects into India. And Dubai-based real estate developer Majid Al Futtaim has also announced it is investigating India as a possible region for investment and development.

Younis Al Mulla, MAL business development officer, said that the company was looking to enter a joint venture with a local firm to help it build a mixture of residential and commercial real estate in the country.

The investment arm of Ras al-Khaimah also plans a $5 billion business centre at Hyderabad.

This year's three day Cityscape India conference which starts at the Bombay Exhibition Centre on December 8 is expecting 7,000 participants from around the world.

'Cityscape India will reach out to over 350,000 senior decision makers seeking to invest in one of the world's fastest growing economies,' added Wood.