An In-depth Analysis of the Impact of Dubai’s Golden Visas on the Real Estate Market


Five years ago, the UAE began issuing “golden” resident visas — the equivalent of a residence permit for investors, entrepreneurs, scientists, highly skilled professionals, and people with exceptional talents. Previously, to get such a visa for investment, you needed five to ten million dirhams.

Two years ago, new visa conditions were approved: the amount of investment for obtaining a visa was reduced, the limitation on the period of stay in other countries was removed, and it was allowed to buy real estate with a mortgage and under construction. The changes went into effect in mid-fall.

To get a golden resident visa in the UAE for ten years, you can buy a property for 2,000,000 AED — about $545,000. Alternatively, an investor can buy a property for 750,000 AED (about $204,000) to get a visa for 24 months.

In late January 2024, the UAE authorities changed the rules for obtaining a 10-year “Golden Visa” for investors investing in real estate, abolishing the requirement for a minimum down payment of 1 million dirhams.

Pros of getting a resident visa

The new golden visa conditions have inevitably shaken up the real estate market, opening up great opportunities for the individual and his family. The lowered threshold of real estate value encourages potential investors and even those who have never considered buying property in a business bay.

A UAE residency visa offers many pluses for investors with a wide variety of goals:

  1.     Relocating to the UAE or creating a “second choice”. The investor and his family members get the right to move to the UAE, one of the world’s richest and most developed countries. They can travel without a visa at any time, which may be useful in case of danger in the country of residence. Permanently Living in the country is unnecessary: visiting 1-2 times a year is enough.
  2. Getting an Esaad card. In Dubai, holders of a golden visa can get a privilege card from the Esaad discount program. It gives access to special offers and discounts of up to 70% in stores, clinics, and other establishments in the UAE and abroad.
  3.   Tax optimization. In the UAE, there are no taxes on inheritance, income, gifts, capital gains, real estate, or corporate profits. From last year, it is 9% on profits of AED 375,000 or more — this rate is lower than many other countries worldwide.
  4.   Obtaining a driver’s license. To drive a car in the UAE, a resident must obtain a driver’s license. UAE driver’s licenses are recognized in 50 countries, including Spain, Sweden, Portugal, Italy, Germany, the UK and the US.

    luxury real estate
    Luxury real estate
  5. Opening a bank account in the UAE. An investor with a resident visa can open accounts in UAE banks in dirhams, dollars, and other global currencies. The account can hold savings at interest or be used for international payments.
  6. Access to medicine and education in the country. Residents can receive medical treatment in local clinics. The country is one of the world’s centers of medical tourism: services of dentists, orthopedists, dermatologists, and reproductologists are the most popular among foreigners. Children of investors can study in UAE schools and universities. International schools work in the country, and universities teach in English.
  7. Residence permit for the whole family. The investor’s spouse and children can obtain a long-term resident visa in the UAE. Also, the main applicant can sponsor parents — they are issued a one-year visa.
  8. Residence permit on simplified terms. An investor does not need to look for an employer or other sponsor to get a golden visa in the UAE. After obtaining the visa, it is not necessary to move to the Arab Emirates.
  9. Opportunity to obtain UAE citizenship. You can apply for citizenship by naturalization only after 30 years of residence in the country. Earlier, it is possible to obtain UAE citizenship for exceptional merit. UAE passport entitles you to visit 176 countries without visas, including Schengen states, the UK, and Canada.

According to official figures, more than 411,000 business licenses were issued in Dubai in 2023 – 30% more than the year before. Thus, the changes that have taken place benefit those looking for downtown Dubai property for sale and will continue to affect the Dubai real estate market.

In the current realities, with more and more people moving to work remotely and considering relocation, the golden visa is becoming the solution for many families, and making it easier to obtain it is expected to cause a stir in Dubai’s real estate market.

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