The Indian Government has purchased a property in the Emirates Hills, one of the posh residential freehold property developments in Dubai, for using as the permanent official residence for the Indian Consul-General (CG) in Dubai.
The outgoing Indian Consul-General Venu Rajmony revealed to Emirates Business that the property deal was signed a couple of days ago and the new CG Sanjay Varma who is likely to assume charge by the end of February will stay in the expensive villa owned by the Consulate in Emirates Hills.
Rajmony, who stayed for three years in a leased villa in Jumeirah, moves to a new posting at the Indian Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi next Monday.
Speaking to this newspaper just before his departure to India, Rajmony said: "We have been negotiating with the owner of the current residence of the Indian CG, Villa Number 123 at the street opposite Spinneys in Jumeirah 3, but could not get permission. I am proud that the new consul-general will be staying in a property owned by the Indian Government. "We wanted to buy the same Jumeirah villa, but did not get permission from the Dubai Government for the deal," Rajmony said.
Most previous Indian consul-generals have lived in a leased building, but the reasonable property prices in Dubai now would mean more such investments by Indian diplomatic mission.
The newspaper was unable to obtain details of the sum paid for the property.
It is the policy of Indian Government to own property used for diplomatic missions and the staff residences in foreign countries.
As the property prices have come down to reasonable level, the Indian Government has taken a prudent decision to invest in a luxury property for the residence and save substantial rental expenses incurred for leasing the property.
Emirates Hills is the most exclusive freehold property project from Emaar that consists of ultra-luxury villas furnished according to the owner's specifications. The investment by the Indian Government in the UAE property market is keenly watched by the other Indian businesses whose investments have been held back due to negative reports about the property market.
A team from the Ministry of External Affairs New Delhi was in the UAE to negotiate and finalise the Emirates Hills deal. The staff residence of other embassy and consulate staff are on leased properties renewed every year and it is not known whether the other properties on annual lease will be renewed or the Indian Government is planning to purchase any new property in Dubai to be used by its diplomatic mission staff.
The new CG house in the Emirates Hills is an ideal location as the Indian diplomat will be living amid the Indian business community.
Indian consul-generals used to live in the residential buildings surrounding the consulate for several years and later the diplomat's residence was shifted to a location near Iranian Hospital and later to the villa number 123 along Umm Al shief street in Al Safa, Jumeirah.
While this newspaper was unable to obtain details of the rent paid for the Jumeirah villa, occupied by successive CGs, but market sources said the annual rent for such a villa in Jumeirah would command about Dh250,000 per year.
Emirates Hills has often been compared to Los Angeles' Beverly Hills. Several top Indian business professionals in the UAE live in Emirates Hills villas.
A high level UAE delegation has been in India to strengthen bilateral trade and economic relationship. The UAE is an important trade partner of India.
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