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Visa policy change called to attract more foreign property investors to Dubai

The association wants full visa rights restored as an urgent move to help combat the downward trend in the property sector. They believe restoration will encourage more foreigners to buy in Dubai.

The DPS also outlined its concerns about the challenges that the property sectors face in Dubai where some areas have seen real estate prices plunge by up to 40%.

HE Hisham Abdullah Al Shirawi, second Vice Chairman of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry, said it was clear that the real estate sector is facing dire challenges and immediate action is needed to address the situation.

He advised the Society to present a unified voice with which to address the Government and relevant authorities to show clear unanimity on the steps to be taken including collaboration between the property sector and the banks to address issues of liquidity and investor confidence.

Al Shirawi also encouraged all parties to stay out of the courts where possible and to utilize mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) available at the Dubai International Arbitration Centre as a means to coming to an amicable settlement whenever there was a dispute.

'We have put across a number of recommendations to restore the investors' faith in the property market including the need to inject sufficient cash and to provide mortgages and financial assistance to the developers so as to meet the demands in the real estate sector,' said Ahmad Al Matrooshi, Chairman of the DPS.

'We also urged the Chamber officials to appeal to the Government to re-consider its visa policy for foreigners, especially that is linked to residential and commercial freehold property ownership,' he added.

Al Matrooshi also called for more liquidity and flexibility in payment across the sector's value chain that will give the real estate sector some breathing space.

The Society is now going to set out a detailed case to be presented to the Federal authorities asking for a clear and unambiguous position on the owners' residence visa issue.

The Society will also provide an outline on the need for a civil body for foreclosures/repossessions. The Chamber will make these representations to the Government authorities.

It will also seek clarification from the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) as to the raft of legislations released by them in light of the difficulties faced by the sector.