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The Russian community makes its presence felt in Marbella

Sierra Blanca Marbella VillaRussian tourists and homebuyers have been coming to the Costa del Sol for some time now, but it is in recent years that they have been making their presence felt. Still by no means the largest foreign expatriate group in actual numbers, Russian buyers and visitors stand out for their acquisitive power, and in recent years have become the main consumers of luxury products, services and also many of the finest properties on the Costa del Sol. As a result, ultra-exclusive areas such as La Zagaleta and Sierra Blanca have become very popular among affluent Russian buyers, including a super-villa currently being constructed on several plots in one of the most secluded parts of La Zagaleta. The property will include an entire guest wing, a private spa, conferencing facilities, a cinema, swimming pools, sun tanning decks, lounges and its own helipad. Of course not all Russian tourists and residents on the Costa del Sol fall within this category, but on average they punch well above their weight when compared to larger expat communities such as the British and Germans. Not surprisingly, then, the number of Russian-speaking employees in shops and offices across the coast has increased rapidly, the proportion of Russian children in international schools has grown and shops are stocking products ranging from caviar, buckwheat oats and Babkinu sunflower seeds to traditional Russian fish, meats and sweets. La Zagaleta Marbella VillaWith Russian magazines, restaurants and shops proliferating, and local newspapers creating Russian-language sections as well, the presence of this community is being felt in an overwhelmingly positive way – creating jobs and opening up the already cosmopolitan town of Marbella to another, fascinating culture. As to its affect on the landscape – in addition to billboards and signage in Russian perhaps the greatest architectural impact will be a beautiful new Russian Orthodox church to be built – sealing the growing relationship between Russians and this southern tip of Spain they have come to love so.