Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New visa law 'soon' for Dubai property buyers

A new law that would clarify the rules on issuing residency visas to property buyers in Dubai could be introduced this year, it was reported on Wednesday.

Business leaders say they have raised the issue with government officials who have told them that new regulations will be brought in "soon".

"We believe this has to be cleared. We raised it to the government and the government came back and said there is a law that will come very soon and we feel it has to come," said Hamad Buamim, director general of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry."The law will clarify who deserves a visa in terms of their investment in the real estate. We don't know when it will be out but the government says it will be soon. I think soon means within this year," he told the paper.

Previously, most real estate advertisements boasted of 99-year visa for purchase of freehold property but officials say such guarantees are not within the jurisdiction of any property firm.

Dubai: In a bid to improve the conditions of labourers, the UAE is set to introduce new rules regarding their accommodation and a mechanism for electronic payment of their salaries.

"Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of UAE, will sign a draft resolution on criteria for workers' accommodation," Labour Minister Saqr Ghobash said on Monday. "The requirements will be circulated to all municipalities across the country so as to enforce them on housing facilities of workers," the minister told a seminar on Labour and Human Rights here. "The criteria will provide adequate hygienic and humane conditions for the comfort of workers. The government will not accept less than those conditions," he affirmed.

The minister said electronic payment of workers' salaries will be implemented in the next few weeks. "This will be made possible through a joint initiative between the ministry, banks, money exchange houses and the Central Bank of the UAE," he said. "The project, a core element in the ministry's strategy, will prevent delays in payment of salaries. About 500,000 workers will benefit from this project, he said.

Gobash also announced the Ministry had issued 662,000 labour cards and cancelled 405,000 in the six months from October 2008 up to March 2009. "This means incoming workers continued to outnumber departing peers. The workforce rose by 27 and 32 per cent in 2007 and 2008 respectively," he said.