Skip to content

Expat property investors to be granted multiple entry visas in UAE

But the new decree is lacking in detail and the situation is still confusing, according to property analysts and it is unlikely to have any impact on the area's struggling real estate market, they claim.

Under the new decree, which applies across all emirates, expats who own a property worth at least 1 million dirhams ($272,300) will be eligible for a multiple-entry visas. The property must be ready to move into and the property investor must have a minimum monthly income of Dh10,000 or equivalent in foreign currencies. It does not permit the property owner to work.

It also mentions that the apartment or villa must be able to accommodate the family of the investor but no specifications are given. The investor is also required to obtain the title of the property from the registration authority in the respective emirate, before the visa can be granted.

According to Brigadier Nasser Al Awadhi Al Minhali, Acting Director-General of the Naturalisation and Residency Department the decree standardises the rules and will help to stimulate the economy.

But others doubt this claim. Sana Kapadia, vice president equity research at EFG-Hermes in Dubai said more clarity is needed. 'It depends whether it means 1 million dirhams at the time of purchase or if it is the current selling price,' he said.

Saud Masud, analyst at UBS, thinks the impact will be minimal. 'This visa extension has marginal implications because it is a temporary extension of stay and does not allow expats to work,' he said.

'Essentially a qualified expat property owner is granted an extra five months to stay in Dubai should he or she lose their job. How many expats own properties worth AED1 million or more and have a monthly income of AED10,000? A minority of the total employed workforce in my opinion,' he added.