UAE: Three-year visa for property owners

The UAE extended the visa period of property owners to three years from six months in a move to re-ignite investor confidence the real estate sector.

The decision, part of a raft of measures taken by the government to underpin economic growth as per the strategic plan 2011-2013, was taken at a cabinet meeting in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday chaired by Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai. Under the existing law, foreign owners of property worth more than Dh1 million are eligible to get only a six-month visa, which has to be reviewed every six months for Dh2,120 at a time. The applicant for the property investor residence visa also needs to open a bank account locally or aboard and is required to provide proof of a minimum monthly income of Dh10,000. The investor shall also get a medical insurance renewable every six months, apart from a valid medical fitness test every two years.

The requirements and conditions under the new law will be announced soon. “The UAE Federal Cabinet decision to extend residence visa for real estate investors to three years will significantly enhance investor confidence and drive the growth of the country’s property sector, said Mohamed Alabbar, chairman, Emaar Properties PJSC, while welcoming the decision.

“The property sector is a key contributor to the non-oil GDP of the country, and is one of the largest employment providers apart from supporting several associated industries,” Alabbar added.

The sector also plays in driving foreign direct investment to the country, and the Cabinet decision will enhance the appeal of the UAE as a preferred destination for safe investments in property. The Cabinet decision underlines the vision of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai to further boost the competitiveness of the UAE” Alabbar concluded.