Property owners get six-month visit visas
ABU DHABI/ DUBAI — Foreign owners of property in the UAE will be able to stay in the country for six months with a renewable multiple entry visa under a decree issued by the Minister of Interior on Saturday.
The visa, tied to ownership of a completed property valued at Dh 1 million, had been expected after the government ordered a federal law on the issue when property companies promised residency visas with ownership. The resolution is effective immediately.
Property developers and investors on Saturday expected the visa to encourage foreign investment into the nation’s real estate sector but some said the law should have a longer time frame and should not be tied to a property value.
According to the amendment made to the residency law, the property owner and family can stay for six months from date of entry and then must return to his home country or a GCC state.
The property owner must also earn more than Dh10,000 a month and the property must also be ready to live in. The visa does not cover the owners of plots.
A Citibank report last year put Pakistanis and Iranians on the top of the list of foreign property buyers with a total of 37 per cent property ownership.
The visa will ease travel for investors from India, Pakistan, Iran and Russia, who had faced tighter visit visa rules. Now, they will be able to visit frequently to manage their properties. Passport holders from the US and Europe some Asian countries receive a visit visa upon arrival.
Syed Mohammed Ali, chief executive officer of the Fortune Group, a property developer based in Dubai, said that the policy initiative would boost the morale of investors, who were demoralised by a slump in property prices.
Finance professional Mohammed Azam said many property buyers sought to stay in the country for a long term.
“Those who want to buy property here or have already purchased property in the UAE want to stay here or whenever they wish they can come. Property life is about 20 to 30 years, while six months’ permission to stay is very less and won’t benefit the owners.”