In the United Arab Emirates, few places can compare to Dubai in terms of potential for growth and investment. There’s a reason why it’s called the “City of Gold,” after all.
Because of its popularity both as an investment and business hub and a tourist destination, the city has gathered quite a population of long-term residents and temporary guests. This led to the continuous growth of the real estate sector in the city.
With so many apartments, penthouses, and luxury villas for sale in Dubai, the local government has implemented rules to keep property investors’ transactions smooth-sailing. This includes policies on visas given to foreign investors.
Here, you will learn all you need to know as a property investor applying for a Dubai visa.
4 Types of Visas
In Dubai, the real estate sector is one of the major drivers of the city’s economy. This is why the industry became the centre of several regulatory measures and policy initiatives to ensure investor confidence and boost foreign investment.
One of these measures includes offering multiple visa options for foreign nationals looking to invest in Dubai. Every investor visa provides investors with a chance to become part of the city’s ever-growing economy, but not all of them are created equal.
Continue reading to learn more about the four types of investor visas in Dubai and determine what works for your specific situation:
6-Month Multi-Entry Visa
Dubai’s six-month visa is similar to having a tourist visa. The only difference is that with this multi-entry visa, you’ll get to enter the city several times within six months.
Investors looking to apply for this type of visa should invest in a property worth over AED 1 million in any of the country’s seven emirates. This means that the visa will be issued by the relevant immigration authority, not just the Dubai Land Department (DLD) alone.
3-Year Residence Visa
Issued by the DLD, this type of visa is offered to people who invested in a Dubai property worth over AED 1 million. With this document, you have a chance to become a UAE resident and to get an Emirates ID and a driving licence. You may also be able to sponsor your family.
As the name suggests, the visa is valid for three years, which can be more convenient for people aiming for a longer stay in Dubai. Just remember that you cannot spend six consecutive months outside the UAE with this visa. Otherwise, your visa will be cancelled (except for special cases with a grace period implemented due to the COVID-19 lockdown).
5-Year Long-Term Residence Visa
If you invest in a property worth more than AED 5 million, you can get yourself a five-year residency visa. But, as with all other visa options in Dubai, the investment property should not be purchased with a mortgage or any type of loans or financing and must be retained within a minimum of three years.
10-Year Long-Term Residence Visa
This type of visa is available for investors with at least AED 10 million worth of investment (40 per cent in real estate). The investment must also be retained for at least three years, and it must be verified that the amount invested was not from any form of loan or financing.
On top of family sponsorship, 10-year-visa investors can also bring their advisor and executive director to Dubai. The visa can be extended to business partners with contributions amounting to the given minimum investment.
Other Specifics on Dubai Visas
Besides the length of stay and the minimum amount of investment, there are several other details you should know about if you’re looking to apply for an investor visa in Dubai. These include:
Before the most recent update, Dubai property visas were only issued to people buying residential properties in the city. This includes apartments and villas.
Now, the DLD has already started accepting visa applications from investors of hotel apartments, offices, and other commercial properties for sale in Dubai. This opened a window of opportunity for people venturing into rental businesses to enjoy the benefits of a Dubai property visa (more on this later).
But take note that there remain several real estate properties that cannot get you a visa, such as an off-plan property. The rule states that properties linked to a visa application must be fully constructed to be considered a valid investment for a visa.
Each visa option requires a minimum amount of real estate investment. However, the property value qualified under this program is based on the actual amount paid for the property, not its current market value.
For example, if you procured a home for AED 900,000 and its value has increased to AED 1,100,000 after a year or so, you still won’t be entitled to a visa. However, if you bought a property worth AED 1,100,000 and the value dropped to AED 950,000, you will remain an eligible visa applicant.
Properties that meet the minimum required investment value, but are bought as a joint venture between spouses qualifies both parties to an investor visa.
However, if the joint ownership is made between people who are not legally married, then each applicant’s share must be worth AED 1 million or more to qualify for a visa.
The rule is that any two parties with a 50-50 stake in a property would need a property bought for at least AED 2 million or more for either investor to be able to obtain a visa.
The Perks of a Dubai Visa: What’s In It for You?
An investor visa is quite useful for people trying to build their wealth. This document is your ticket to becoming a tax domicile in the UAE, which means you can keep all your profits from your investments (no more taxes, even from your home country).
Of course, this still depends on the rules and policies implemented by your home country, too.
Besides saving on taxes, you can also sponsor some of your family members to enter the country. This is applicable for an investor’s spouse, children, and parents. Of course, you’ll need to apply for each sponsor visa and pay relevant fees to bring your family with you to the City of Gold.