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We are excited to share the latest edition of the Law Update, beautifully and appropriately titled “Sustainable Horizons: The Saudi Arabian Vision.” Giving special honor to the Kingdom’s 2030 vision, this update focuses on a collection of both informative and inspiring articles.
For those in construction, you can learn about how the tendering environment impacts risk-pricing for contractors, the updates on the legal framework of the construction industry and how contractors can protect themselves against financial difficulties.
There is good news too from the kingdom’s banking sector, from which the practice of “Open Banking” is being pushed for! But what is open banking? We’re answering that too.
Also . . . Are there any women trail blazers in Saudi Arabia you can name? We’ll help you with that. We cover how the Middle East has been making strides in empowering women in the entrepreneurial space,most notably in STEM fields.Read the full edition
Aruna Mukherji - Associate - Real Estate
As the world’s economies continue to recuperate from the novel Coronavirus, the real estate industry in Dubai has performed surprisingly well and the value of the total sales transactions registered with Dubai Land Department reached AED16.10 billion (approximately US$4.4 billion) between 1 January 2021 and 7 March 2021.
In general, global investors have been actively looking to diversify their real estate portfolio and Dubai has been identified as one of the top locations in which to invest during the pandemic. In 2019, the Dubai Land Department (‘DLD’) announced the facilitation of two categories of residency visa for the property owner and his or her dependents thereby, opening up an exciting new way of life which has made property investment in Dubai more attractive.
The property investment Residency Visa is directed towards high net worth expats who wish to acquire residency in Dubai by purchasing a property. Currently, investors are entitled to apply for three year or five-year property residency visa as facilitated by DLD.
The property owner is eligible to apply for a residency visa for himself or herself and his or her immediate dependants (spouse and children) which can be renewed indefinitely as long as the property ownership is maintained pursuant to the current rules.
An investor is eligible for a three-year Residency Visa subject to a minimum of AED 1 million (approximately US$250,000) property investment and is eligible to a five year Residency Visa in return for a minimum of AED 5 million (approximately US$1.4m) property investment.
The government fees for a three-year Residency Visa are currently in the range of AED14,000 (approximately US$4,000) and for a five-year Residency Visa approximately AED4,000 (approximately US$1,000).
The general eligibility requirements for a Residency Visa, based on our discussions with the DLD, are the following:
Once the Residency Visa has been issued, DLD will register a restriction over the identified property which will indicate that the property was purchased in order to obtain a Residency Visa. The purpose of the restriction is to prevent the investor from disposing of the real estate during the term of the Visa and thereby safeguard the minimum investment threshold.
Thus, if the investor wishes to sell his property during the term of the Visa, the DLD will cancel the Residency Visa unless the investor is able to replace it with a substitute property. The property owner must be present in Dubai at least once every six months to keep it active which is a standard requirement for all UAE visas.
Looking ahead, Dubai continues to retain its top position as being an attractive destination for wealthy investors to obtain property investment visas which is currently subject to minimal criteria and does not even require a language test. As some countries consider raising their taxes on the wealthy, the Dubai Residency Visa options offer an excellent opportunity for potential tax savings and a luxury lifestyle with plentiful sea and sunshine.
In 2021, the Dubai Government announced Emirati citizenship for a variety of categories including property investors and their dependants. These citizenship requirements are separate from that of the investor visa and will be shared in a separate Law Update article soon.
 Source: https://dubailand.gov.ae/en/eservices/real-estate-transaction/#/form
 The eligibility criteria requirements are based on the current policy of the DLD and it is recommended to verify with the DLD prior to the visa application.
For further information, please contact Mohammad Kawasmi (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Aruna Mukherji (email@example.com).
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