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Now will you buy property in Dubai?

Now will you buy property in Dubai?

The UAE is reportedly planning to introduce a law granting residency visas to all freehold property buyers. Will the offer entice investors back to Dubai’s market?

February 17, 2009 10:47 by

The UAE could soon be tempting property buyers to invest in the country by introducing a federal law giving residency visas to freehold property owners, reports The National.

The proposal will allow the owners to obtain a six-month renewable residency visa, regardless of their nationality or the size and value of the property, Brigadier General Nasser al Minhali, the acting director general of the federal Department of Naturalization and Residency told the paper. “We do not want each emirate to develop procedures on its own, so we will unify it under the Ministry of Interior,” he added.

Once passed, the federal law should help to clear the confusion regarding the issuance of freehold visas in the Emirates. The law will specifically help Dubai, where developers have been promising freehold visas to investors since 2002, but have been delivering.

In May last year, Gulf News had quoted the freehold law as saying “If the homeowner has no alternative means of sponsorship for a residence visa, the first owner may be sponsored by your master developer [Nakheel, Dubai Properties or Emaar] for residency in Dubai, UAE, subject to the applicable immigration laws of the country.”

However, Mohammad Bin Braik, CEO of Dubai Properties Group, told the paper at the time that “Resident visas for freehold buyers are subject to conditions which include that you cannot seek employment or run a business and one would assume the buyer has sufficient funds to support himself.”

A week later, Omar Mattar Bin Mizaina, head of employment permits section at Dubai’s Naturalization and Residency Department clarified to the paper that “Anyone who buys a property can get a residence visa in Dubai.”

Currently, the real estate sector in the city is going through tough times; media reports across the world have declared that Dubai’s real estate bubble has burst and that the property market in the city is going through a much needed correction. A large number of developers have postponed or cancelled projects, and have laid off hundreds of people.

Property owners are desperate to find buyers, even as they struggle to pay their installments. The Dubai Financial Market has been crashing primarily due to falling share prices of property developers like Emaar Properties. Emaar dropped 8 percent when it opened this week after it announced its 2008 fourth quarter loss of AED1.77 billion.

That being the case, will the certainty of having a residency visa restore confidence in the property market and rope in international investors? Will they be tempted by the dangling carrot?

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  1. kelendria on February 17, 2009 1:07 pm

    This makes no sense from a logical perspective. Why would i buy property where i cannot enter freely? The reason why the United states and other developed nations are able to assimilate and retain foreigners.
    People need a justifiable reason to invest somewhere, and for the average person when you buy property somewhere, you should have unhindered access to it and the environs surrounding it.
    Dubai has a lot to learn in that respect.

  2. Dubai Rocks on February 17, 2009 3:40 pm

    YES we will buy property in UAE where rules are changing overnight and prices or charges of anything to everything are soaring faster than the speed of light !

    YES we are fool so we will buy, buy and just buy !

    Financial crisis means we have lots n lots of money so we will buy !

    The Selling price of property is around 5 to 10 times than the construction cost. Plus no one will be offered a permanent job as well as citizenship.

    Once one will buy then they will be simply kicked out of the Country by any means as it is happening now in UAE.

  3. Dykey on February 18, 2009 7:56 am

    These rules are changing every few hours now. All is not well in toy town.

  4. Raju on February 18, 2009 8:00 am

    how long will it take before the rule changes….?

  5. YT on February 18, 2009 8:34 am

    You can keeps fools becoming fools all the time, really? I am just waiting to buy because now I will get a six month visa. Absolutely Brilliant.

  6. SB on February 18, 2009 9:12 am

    So you have to renew your visa every 6 months???!
    Is their human and civil rights in DUBAI?!?! There is nothing in Dubai except EMPTY high-rise towers now! They didn’t build any attraction only towers and villas! A tourist will come once then never again, and God forbids if they have an accident or death here, they will twist it and the VICTIM will be the ACCUSED!
    This is what Dubai deserves, because they are greedy even when death is involved they don’t take responsibility of their mistakes!
    I lived in the UAE when there was nothing, not even the World Trade Center, I lived here more than my own country, what did I get? nothing except debts! And lost loved ones!
    Very nice news about EMAAR shares too! They are the GREEDIEST!!

  7. Umar on February 18, 2009 9:30 am

    UAE has to give permanent residency. Nothing short of that!!! They have to give property owners some representation to question the high handedness of developers and other service providers for arbitrarily increasing the service charges. UAE has to make the country more liveable for its 65 – 70% of the expat population.

  8. Jayan Nair on February 18, 2009 9:52 am

    Never!! Even if I had a billion to spare. How will you believe these Departments anymore.

    It is not like buying land in USA or spain or india or china. If they say yes, it is safe, if no, you cant buy. No government change or Department head change will affect your rights.

    Here, in UAE, one fine morning in 2014, when business becomes okay, you may receive one letter from lands department saying “thankyou, you may please sell your flat and move out, as we changed the rules”. Any surety that this cannot happen?

  9. DG on February 18, 2009 11:09 am

    This is a fairytale land with fairytale rules and they can change anytime and you have no rights whatsoever. If not legally, financially , you are always open to unquantifiable risks arising from fees or indirect taxes of any kind.

  10. Mishaal on February 18, 2009 4:06 pm

    In all the above responses above.I can see criticism towards Dubai triggerd by the financial crisis. we should not forget that the UAE gave jobs and wealth to many people from all over the world. I totally agree that residency visa should be granted to home owners since it was promised by in the developers in the beginning.

  11. JAY on February 18, 2009 4:36 pm

    What are your laws worth? you have not protected your existing investors why would we believe you will protect your “new” investors

    once bitten twice shy

    I will never, in my wildest dreams invest in Dubai again

    you wanna play football and show us a goal post and then when we start playing you make the goal post disappear? Shame!!

  12. Amber on February 19, 2009 2:56 pm

    And when will this visa be given? Upon completion or at payment of first deposit?

  13. Fulan on February 19, 2009 4:51 pm

    What part of NO dont you understand?!

  14. ray butt on July 4, 2009 2:43 pm

    I lived in Dubai for many years but I never purchased a property because I understood that the Arab people are a law unto themselves and they only look after their own interests.


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