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Tuesday, Dec 14, 2004

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IFA Hotels woos Indian investment in Dubai

Vimala Vasan

Abu Dhabi , Dec. 13

IFA Hotels & Resorts, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kuwait's International Financial Advisors and the largest investor in Dubai's The Palm-Jumeirah, is stepping up its efforts to win Indian investors who now make up 20 per cent of foreign real estate buyers in Dubai.

"There is increasing demand in India for properties in Dubai. The emirate is one of India's top trading and tourism partners. It's also a major export trade centre and a gateway for the whole region. The United Arab Emirates alone represents 70 per cent of India's exports to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and there is a corresponding high level of business travel between the two," said Mr James Wilson, COO and President, IFA Hotels & Resorts, according to a statement made available to Business Line.

"A recent real estate industry report suggested that between 18-25 per cent of foreigners buying real estate in Dubai are Indian nationals, with the majority based outside the UAE. Increased interest is likely, following a new Indian Government regulation, which allows individuals to annually send out $25,000 for foreign investment purposes. Investing in overseas property is now a realistic option for families or pooled investors," explained Mr Wilson.

Dubai, already a popular destination with Indian tourists, is now likely to attract even more visitors, with increased promotion of the emirate throughout the sub-continent.

IFA hopes to capitalise on heightened Indian interest in Dubai when it takes part in this week's `UAE in India Exhibition' in Mumbai with joint venture partner, Nakheel, developer of The Palm-Jumeirah.

"We are intensifying our efforts to attract Indian investors and will be actively promoting our world-class Golden Mile project," said Mr Wilson. Golden Mile is a luxury residential and retail destination, and also a joint venture with Nakheel.

It covers 60,000 sq. mt of the iconic island with luxury apartments, townhouses and upscale retail units. IFA will also market its five-star, 460 all-suite timeshare Vacation Club on The Palm-Jumeirah (for which it is affiliated with Resorts Condominiums International (RCI), a global player in vacation property exchange) at the exhibition.

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