Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Property must be worth Dh1m for UAE's new 3-year real estate visa

Details surrounding the new three-year real estate visa announced by the UAE government last week are flying in thick and fast.The visa will not be available to investors in land, but will allow property investors to sponsor their families and stay in the UAE for three years without leaving, according to senior government officials.Major General Nasser Bin Al Awadi Al Menhali, assistant undersecretary for Naturalisation, Residence and Ports Affairs, told Gulf News that the full details of the law would be made public soon.
It is still unclear if the visa provides investors all the usual benefits of a residence visa, such as enabling them to open bank accounts and apply for local driving licences.While this website on Monday spoke to a source who claimed to be in the know as to what was discussed at these meetings before announcing the decision, no official statement has been forthcoming so far. Until now.
An official quoted in press reports today has stated that the value of the property will have to be Dh1million for an investor to sponsor his/her family and stay in the UAE for three years without leaving, after getting the visa. source had said that: “A number of proposals were discussed at the meeting with ministry officials and one of the proposals was to restrict stay of the property owner to nine or 10 months in a year. However, the final regulation is yet to be drafted.”

However, Gulf News on Tuesday quoted Major-General Nasser bin Al Awadi Al Menhali, Assistant Undersecretary for Naturalisation, Residence and Ports Affairs, as saying that those with property worth more than a Dh1m will be allowed to stay for three years on the new visa.
“Investors can have access to banking services through their international bank accounts. However, it is not yet clear if they can avail of regular benefits of a residence visa holder such as open bank accounts and seek local driving licences,” the paper quoted Menhali as saying.Again, this website’s source had said that access to a number of services - such as applying for a local driving licence, personal loans and getting admission to schools – was also discussed at the meeting.

“The longer duration was requested to allow investors, who want their children to attend schools, have enough time. Generally, schools have long summer holidays and Eid vacation. So, we though, nine or 10 months is sufficient,” the source said.
Sultan Butti bin Mejren, Director-General of Dubai Land Department was quoted by Gulf News as saying that the Dubai Land Department will check the value of properties to see if owners qualify for the extended visa scheme.The UAE Federal government on June 28 announced it was extending visa for real estate investors from six months to three years.
This website had reported then that the discussion about extension of the property visa was held about a month-and-a-half ago and a number of issues were discussed.Sultan Butti Bin Mejren, Director-General of the Dubai Land Department, said his department would be involved in checking the value of properties to see if owners qualify for visas."As soon as the bylaws are issued, the link between the two departments will be activated to check the real value of the property as well as the transaction that will alert the system of the transaction," Bin Mejren said.
Al Menhali added: "The aim of this law is not full residence in the UAE but to give more flexibility and make it easy for the investors to stay and move in and out of the UAE to manage and watch over their properties."
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