New UAE property owner visa

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New UAE property owner visa

Postby shawarma » 05 May 2009, 19:12

This week, the UAE Ministry of Interior announced the new law about visas for UAE property owners, applicable to all emirates which allow foreigners to own properties. There was a follow up press conference with subsequent reports in all the UAE newspapers and other media. As usual with visa issues, there are conflicting reports of what was said, what it means, etc. And a wide spectrum of opinions as to whether this is a good thing or not for property owners, and the slumping property market in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and the rest of the UAE.

The Good
  • Consistent visa policy for all emirates
  • At least there is a rule now (the property ownership visa situation had been in limbo for several months)
  • Opportunity for foreign nationals to use the UAE as a base
  • Abu Dhabi property owners can now get a visa by virtue of their investment (previously they couldn't, except possibly for one or two selected developments)
  • Direct family members of the property owner can also obtain a multi-entry visa
  • Renewal is immediate or close enough apparently (there were some conflicting reports that property owners would have to remain outside the UAE for a month before renewal)
  • Renewal is indefinite (as long as the investor owns the property)
The Bad
  • Expensive - 2000 dhs each time (or 4,000 dhs per year)
  • Period of validity too short (only 6 months at a time - previous property ownership visa was up to 3 years)
  • High investment level required - property must be worth AED 1 million
  • Won't be enough to give a boost to the property market
  • Current holders of the 3 year residence visa from property ownership in Dubai, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah have to change to the new visa by 01 June 2009 or they will be declared as illegal residents (at least that's what the acting director of the FNRD said according to press reports today).
  • Not allowed to work in the UAE (but then no other visit or residence visa entitles the holder to work in the UAE so it's a bit of a moot point)
The Ugly
  • Is it a UAE residence or a multi-entry visit visa?
  • If a visit visa, can holders apply for driving licence, telephone and internet connections, bank accounts, other services normally available to residence visa holders?
  • Are family members on the same visa allowed to travel independently?
What say you? Is this good or bad? Will you be applying for one? Any other questions?
Please use the forum for questions, not the PM system.
shawarma
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Re: New UAE property owner visa

Postby Shahid » 15 Aug 2009, 15:57

The new reseident visa announcement is awful. Can any one explain how would it effect those property owners who have not yet applied for resident visa under previous rergulations. What would be way forward for them, once their property is less than AED 1 Million. Are authorities considering anything for them
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UAE property owner residence visa options

Postby shawarma » 16 Aug 2009, 15:04

Hello shahid and welcome to the Dubai property forums :).

Yes, the new residence visa rules for UAE property owners don't come across as very helpful, although for those emirates which didn't have anything, I suppose it's better than nothing. But compared to the 3 year visa without the value and income restrictions that Dubai had in the past, and marketed with their property sales, it's a poor option.

Last week, the UAE president announced that there would be no minimum capital requirement for company start ups so that's a possible option for property owners - to establish a company albeit one that doesn't actually do much. There would still be costs involved for the process (trade licence etc) and office space, and ongoing costs with sponsorship so it's not a great option.

Another possibility is to set up a company in a UAE free zone. Some of them (RAK FTZ for example) have some relatively cheap options. In theory you have to work and operate a business. In practice, it might be a low level time and capital requirement.

There is also an investor resident visa option which is cheap - I think only 300 dhs for 3 years - but a large sum (about AED 70k I think) needs to be invested with a UAE company. I don't know details of that - for example does buying shares in a public company count or does it have to be with a private individual or company? Try contacting the Dubai resident visa office, they might have more information.

I wonder also if this new law is sort of experimental - the authorities will see how it goes and possibly change it in the future. I would expect that those in power are looking at numbers of expats arriving and leaving and doing various calculations. One thing I'd be fairly confident of is that Dubai and Abu Dhabi do not want to become ghost towns no matter how much the foreign press delights in stating that's what's happening. If large numbers of apartments end up unoccupied, as is forecast to happen in the next few months, that might prompt a revision of the residency visa for property owners (but don't count on it).
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