Our first edition of 2022 focuses on Healthcare and Life Sciences. It is a sector that will once again have the spotlight on it this year as we continue to tackle COVID-19 and its subsequent variants. While the pandemic continues to challenge the sector, governments across the region forge ahead with their plans to expand and upgrade healthcare systems and develop robust world-class healthcare infrastructure.
For the region, healthcare is a vital pillar in diversifying its economies, both locally and as medical tourism hubs. To underpin this, healthcare authorities across the region continue to implement frameworks and regulations that provide structure and accountability.
In this edition, you have unique access to great insights and expert commentary on a number of pertinent healthcare regulatory developments. You will find a topical mix of articles; for example, our lawyers discuss vaccines and returning to work during the pandemic. They take you through several other areas, including stem cell research in Bahrain, clinical research laws in Egypt, and Saudi medical device and pharmaceutical laws.Take a read of the 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.