The UAE government has recently made certain changes to the visa rules and foreign ownership of companies in the UAE. Experts say that these changes will have an impact on the country’s property market.
Under the new laws, the way many expats live and work in the country may be changed. It would allow a sense of permanence that was previously lacking for expatriates. The result is expected to have a significant effect on the way property ownership in the country is viewed by residents.
Such an opinion was even adopted by Haider Ali Khan, the CEO of a Dubai-based property portal. He believes that the new 10-year visas will most likely lead to an increased interest from expats in buying UAE property.
Mr. Khan said that the opportunity to settle for a decade in the UAE instead of 2 years at a time makes property ownership a lot more attractive. Khan considers that the commercial market could also witness certain effects. He said that, with the 10-year visas, a large number of expats will have a greater feeling of permanence in their adopted country. As a result, they will have even more reasons to go for the long-term security of owning property in the UAE, instead of renting. Mr. Khan added that the focus could possibly shift towards business owners buying offices in the UAE, “as well as other commercial premises, rather than renting”.
Visa rules to increase the interest in property sales
At the same time, Paul Kelly said that the 10-year visas will undoubtedly increase the interest in property sales across the UAE. Paul Kelly is the operations director at a real estate company in Dubai.
He explained: “If someone is on a 10-year visa, it brings around a completely different mindset and approach to life in the UAE”. Mr. Kelly claimed that there is more permanency to this situation, which in turns makes visa holders think more long-term about their time here. A part of this time will be dedicated to purchasing a property. Mr. Kelly argued: “If you’re going to be anywhere in the world for a good few years, then it makes sense to purchase a property and invest in yourself and your future”.
In Mr. Kelly’s opinion, there certainly is a buzz around the market, judging by the people who are talking about the new visas. He said that it’s too early to speak about how the decision will impact the market, but thinks that there are big chances for the investments in Dubai to increase. Thus, a lot more people will be encouraged to set up businesses there. As a result, this will create jobs, population growth and an increased demand for property, both on the rental and the buying side.
Visa rules increase inquiries
Mario Volpi already received inquiries from people interested in the new visa rules. Even though he said that it is still early to know the full impact, he thinks that the result could even have an effect on people looking to retire in the UAE. Mario Volpi is a sales manager at a privately owned German company which activates in the real estate sector.
Volpi said that the new visa rules “could be a game changer” that will make people in the future see the UAE as their home, instead of a temporary place to live and work. He added that more people will look at their housing arrangements. Also, he considers it clear that regular renters will be attracted by the 10-year UAE visas to invest and become homeowners. By relaxing visa rules or by allowing longer period visas, the UAE could become a country for older people to retire to. “This particular market is huge and if it can be tapped, it will give a welcome impetus to the property market in general” he said.