Indians topped the list of first-time property buyers in Dubai last year, acquiring AED2.1bn (US$571.8m) of real estate in the emirate, the Dubai Land Department said. New buyers from India made up 927 out of a total 35,297 transactions worth AED143bn last year, the property registration agency said. “Indians topped the list of new investors in Dubai properties and conducted 927 transactions worth AED2.1bn. This represents 16 percent of the overall value of transactions carried out by new investors,” DLD said in a statement. Dubai’s battered real estate market is starting to show some signs of a recovery after seeing prices drop by nearly 60 percent in the wake of the economic downturn. House prices in the emirate increased by an average 0.5 percent in 2011, property consultants Knight Frank said last month. Property prices increased 0.4 percent between the second and fourth quarters of last year and 2.3 percent in the last three months of 2011, according to its Global House Price Index. DLD in January said sales of land and property increased 20 percent in transactions worth AED143bn last year. “The 2011 results demonstrate Dubai\'s ability to fully recover from the challenges of the international crisis and prove once again the strength of its economy,” the department said in a statement. DLD did not confirm the nationality of the second largest new group of investors but said UAE nationals ranked third. Emirati buyers invested AED1.57bn, representing 12 percent of new buyers last year. Asian investors were the largest buyers of real estate in 2011 while British citizens topped the list of European investors, it said.