Real estate developers in the UAE are calling on the government to reduce the cost of a ten-year residency visa to help boost the property market.
Currently overseas property investors need to spend Dh10 million ($2.7 million) to qualify for a ten-year residency visa in the UAE.
However, leading real estate developers are arguing that the minimum is far too high and have suggested a lower limit of Dh1-2 million to compete with other countries.
Imran Farooq, CEO of Samana Developers, said: ‘I’m very bullish about ten-year visa. One of the biggest reasons that developers in Dubai are doing well is due to the introduction of five to ten-year visas. I suggest that the right number for a ten-year residency visa is Dh2 million. It will boost the local property market.’
Farooq pointed out that Greece offers citizenship on purchasing property for 250,000 euro (Dh993,000), giving access to investors to all Schengen countries of Europe.
Among other countries, Caribbean nations such as Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, and Turkey offer citizenship for purchasing property between $100,000 to $250,000.
‘When UAE offers 10-year residency visa on purchasing property to an investor, that person is going to use the UAE airline every six months to fly in. He is also going to stay in the hotel if he rented out the apartment. He will dine out, rent a car, go to the cinema and amusement parks. So there is a serious positive impact of that,’ Farooq said.
‘I strongly believe that there should be only one category of 10-year visa with Dh2 million or even Dh1 million. If 30,000 people take these long-term visas every year, there will be 150,000 people after five years who will take two trips a year. That will add positively to the economy,’ he said.
The idea of reducing the cost of a ten-year residency visa is supported by other leading figures in the UAE property sector. However, the UAE government is yet to respond to the call.