Foreigners who purchase property in the United Arab Emirates will be issued a three year visa that allows for multiple entry into the UAE.
Considerably longer than the current six month visa that is usually handed out, the upgrade is believed to have been born out of dwindling property sales in Dubai.
Before the global economic downturn, properties in Dubai were being erected on a near-constant basis, and foreign investments were fuelling the construction. However, since the cash crisis, many properties have been pulled out of, leaving a number of unfinished buildings tarnishing the image of Dubai, an image the UAE is keen to restore.
This also led a significant decrease in real estate costs, and the UAE appears to have made a big move to restore order to a now erratic market. Overseas investors have often asked for longer visas to be introduced, and it seems they have finally got their wish.
The news has garnered a positive response from property developers and investors alike. Developer Sheikh Maktoum bin Hasher Al Maktoum said: “This is something beyond the market’s expectation. The decision is very forward looking and will help to boost the market, not just in Dubai, but across the emirate. It will certainly have a very positive impact and help property prices recover over the time.”
Speaking to Gulf News, foreign investor Rajiv Singh added: “I have invested in three properties in Dubai and one in Ajman. I have enough funds to take care of my living expenses. I like Dubai and I wanted to make this my home. But I needed a residence visa, as I am an Indian passport holder. I did start a business to get a residence visa, but it was a hassle. If through my properties I can get a residence visa for three years, then why not? It will be cheaper than the cost of setting up a company and way less hassle.”