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UAE property giants heading for India

A booming economy and the huge middle-class segment in India offer a lucrative destination for investors. Several leading real estate companies in the UAE have announced major plans in the country.

Leading UAE-based firms, especially in the real estate sector, have joined the list of global companies, targeting investments in India in hotels, malls, healthcare, housing, IT Parks and integrated townships.

A booming economy and the huge middle-class segment in India offer a lucrative destination for investors and several leading such as UAE real estate companies such as Emaar Properties, Al Ghurair Group's ETA Star, Al Rostamani Enterprises' KM Properties, Nakheel, and Dubai Properties have announced major plans in the country.

They are investing in hotels, malls, healthcare, housing, IT parks and integrated townships all over the country from Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, to Hyderabad.

Emaar, the largest property developer in West Asia, has announced a joint venture in India between Emaar and MGF Developments- Emaar MGF Land Private Ltd.

In December 2005, Emaar MGF announced India's largest foreign direct investment in real estate, for projects with a capital outlay of $4 billion. Developments are planned in Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.

ETA Star is developing a mall in the heart of Chennai and a one million-square foot tech park in the city's IT corridor, Abid A. Junaid, ETA Star's executive director told the Gulf News.

The company has launched a 10-tower residential project in Bangalore, and in Mumbai's Juhu district, it has a joint venture with the Supra Group for developing service apartments, residential buildings and a mall.

The company is also spreading its operation in cities, including Kolkata and Hyderabad, where land acquisitions are in progress and projects will be announced early next year, Mr. Junaid said.

Better Homes, the UAEFs biggest real estate agency, this month opened offices in Mumbai, which will sell Dubai and Mumbai property to Indian residents and NRIs.

Ryan Mahoney, managing director of Better Homes, said the company will set up six offices in Mumbai that offer brokerage services for residential property.

"This is a turning point in the Indian economy as FDI restrictions have been relaxed and real estate sector now offers tremendous potential," he said.

Sudir Kumar, executive director for property at Dubai-based Morison Consulting, said the opportunities in India were too good to miss, a fact demonstrated by visits to India by global business leaders, including Bill Gates.

KM Properties, another West Asia real estate major, has set up a huge real estate development fund for hotel and real estate development across Middle East and Asia. "We presently have property in Saudi Arabia and are exploring opportunities in India as well," Mohit Gupta of KM properties said. - PTI

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