The final Law Update of 2022 is here, and it’s packed full of articles. The double edition features two focus areas, first is a spotlight on Energy and Resources and second we feature a collection of articles on Transport and Logistics. The developments occurring in these sectors in the MENA region are unprecedented and our lawyers cover vast themes for you.
The Energy and Resources focus features topics such as diversifying energy resources, solar PV, mining in the Middle East, renewable energy and green hydrogen. From a transport perspective, we draw attention to the Bahrain metro project, discuss the challenges and remedies associated with the repossession of an aircraft, and there is advice on what to consider should a party vary the terms of a shipping contract.
This edition navigates you through updates from across jurisdictions such as, Oman, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq, Qatar, and the UAE. Each article is timely and provides insights into legal issues and cases that are affecting these sectors across the region.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.
 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.