Among the Association of Gulf Cooperation Council (AGCC) countries, Oman has a strategic relationship with India. An estimated 6 lakh NRIs are living in Muscat, Salalah and Sohar, out of which 50 per cent are hailing from the state of Kerala.
Unlike Dubai and a few other gulf countries, local laws prohibit expatriates to own immovable property in the country. This has necessitated NRIs in Oman to look back at home country for investment and real estate forms a significant portion of their investment portfolio
Indian real estate marketing is at a low key due to lack of representative offices and the reluctance of expatriate Indians to set up such operations in view of the stringent local laws. Limited number of property shows not exceeding three or four are held every year in Muscat, according to media agencies operating in Muscat.
Other cities like Salalah and Sohar are far away and the NRI population is said to be in the region of 100,000 people in each city. Most of the property shows are focused in Muscat only
Indian developers do visit Muscat periodically to organise individual road shows but here again local licensing laws impose stringent stipulations without which it would be difficult to reach the target audience.
In a recent Times Realty show held in Muscat and organised by Mindscape Exhibitions, an estimated 3,000 visitors attended the 2-day event at Al Falaj hotel. Over Rs 120 crore worth business was transacted during the event in which 30 property developers from various Indian cities displayed their residential projects, according to the organisers.
The demand for real estate has recently picked up as is evident from the increase in the number of enquiries and sales volumes reported by the exhibitors. In particular, the demand revolved around apartments and developed plots in cities like Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Madurai and Delhi. Secondary cities like Mangalore received overwhelming response during the event.
Oman is still a vast untapped market for Indian developers to get across to the NRIs as investment appetite in particular for real estate back home is said to dominate in the investment portfolio. Unlike other gulf countries, investible surplus is comparatively more among expatriate Indians due to local customs and restrictions imposed in several areas.
V Nagarajan, Magicbricks.com Bureau
Content courtesy- Magicbricks