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For a key to the recovery of Dubai?s real estate market, one need look no further than the Burj Khalifa, the world?s tallest tower, which rises out of the desert floor of the city?s gleaming downtown area.
Figures released by the Dubai government this week showed Indian citizens were the main buyers of luxury apartments and commercial space in the Burj Khalifa during the first half of 2012, spending $222 million. Iranians came second with $128 million.
For the Indian buyers, Dubai property is a refuge from currency depeciation that has taken the Indian rupee down about 20 per cent against the US dollar since the third quarter of 2011. For the Iranians, Dubai provides a safe place to park money as international sanctions, imposed over Tehran?s disputed nuclear programme, ravage the Iranian economy.
?A lot of people in the Middle East and Russia, Pakistan, the Asian subcontinent are looking for a safe haven,? said Farouk Soussa, Middle East economist at Citigroup in Dubai.
?Perceptions are that the real estate market has bottomed out. If you are looking for more long-term investment, the market in Dubai seems reasonable.?