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Dubai property market would benefit from longer visas, say experts

Dubai, along with the rest of the UAE, would have a better chance of attracting long-term property investors if they provided investors with longer-stay visas, it has been claimed.

Investors in Dubai currently face strict regulations for property visas, as is the case across the UAE, and have to meet several criteria to be eligible for a six month renewable multi-entry visa. Additionally, those in Dubai can also apply for a two-year renewable property permit through the Dubai Land Department.

But by introducing less stringent conditions, more people would be tempted to invest in Dubai’s real estate market, according to Nofi Mojidi, relationship manager at Fragomen’s Worldwide Private Client Practice.


“Many may argue that if Dubai were to introduce longer term investor visas, property buyers would be encouraged to make greater investments in the property market,” said Mojidi.

He continued: “While this might be true for many wealthy investors, the shorter term property visas are currently not a deterrent for investors or retirees who want to make Dubai their future home.

“With longer-term investor visas however, retirees would no longer have to go through the constant hassle of renewing their visas every few years. Most importantly, a longer-term visa would give retirees long-term security knowing they can retire in a country they can actually call home.” 

Matthew Green, head of Research and Consulting at CBRE Middle East, pointed out that Dubai is currently a transient destination, which means that people come with a short term view since they cannot retire in the emirate. But he also believes that there are a number of tools the government has if it wants to encourage longer term investors into the market.

He commented: “Visas is obviously one consideration – offering longer visas for investors buying into real estate. Certainly allowing people to live here longer encourages more of a retirement market. It’s something we don’t have at the moment and would be something to consider.”

Bata Racic, manager of global citizenship and residence advisory firm Henley & Partners in the Middle East, agrees that offering longer term visas for property buyers would drive investment in the market.

He told the press: “With the growing trend towards individuals wanting to live a more mobile life, investors can take advantage of opportunities internationally, as well as make a contribution on a global level. Interest in a second residence is also growing for wealthy individuals in emerging market states. There is definitely an opportunity for the UAE to tap into this wide audience in the future.”


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