By Moustafa Daly
The UAE golden visa by real estate will reportedly no longer require a 50% down payment.
Prior to the decision, real estate investors seeking to obtain the golden visa had to pay at least AED1 million (approx. $270,000) as a downpayment before becoming eligible for the 10-year visa. The total amount of property purchased remains at AED2 million (approx. $550,000).
The decision concerns foreign investors planning to purchase their UAE property on a mortgage or installment plan.
The update hasn’t yet been made official by the government but government-owned media confirmed the change has been made.
Philippe Amarante, head of Henley & Partners Private Clients Middle East, says the decision aims to position the UAE further in the global immigration industry.
“I think it’s mainly motivated by wanting to further elevate the UAE as a leading investment migration destination,” he adds.
Competition for UAE’s golden visa is increasing
The decision follows the recent launch of the Saudi Arabian investor visa program. Anticipated to come in direct competition with the UAE’s program, there’s speculation that the UAE’s decision could have been motivated by the need to remain competitive in the region.
Amarante thinks differently: “It’s difficult to fully outline what the reasons are; however, I do not think this has anything to do with Saudi,” he says.
Launched in 2019, the UAE golden visa has grown to become the region’s most competitive - albeit until recently it only competed with Turkey’s program. In 2022, the golden visa policy was amended to include real estate investors and exceptional talents in sports and sciences, among other categories. The process was streamlined and shortened.
By November 2022, 152,000 golden visas across different categories were issued in the UAE. In 2023, the number of golden visas issued soared by 50% in the first half of the year, as per government figures.
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