Dubai skyline
A view of Dubai skyline. Image Credit: Reuters

Back in 2001, the Dubai Government had agreed to allow expats to have a 99-year lease of certain properties in Dubai. In May 2002, a decree allowed foreigners to buy property on freehold ownership.

The two initiatives sparked interest from real estate investors in Dubai’s residential property at the time. The latest gold card system, which offers much more incentives to investors, is likely to fetch buyers for around 59,800 properties scheduled for delivery in Dubai this year.

Creating opportunities is definitely helping in terms of investments and economic growth. For instance, the UAE cabinet, had begun implementation of 100 per cent foreign ownership and 10-year residency visas for expats, investors and business people earlier this year.

The new visa rules, including the issuance of gold card, have made it easier for those who view Dubai as a hub city to settle and become contributors to the overall economy. This would also help in soaking up current and upcoming supply and help the market in price stabilisation.

Dubai has long been in the mind of foreign investors. The new initiative will definitely have a far-reaching effect on their plans to move to, settle or invest in the emirate. The initiative will put UAE on the global map touting it as a land creating avenues for inclusion and opportunities alike.

UAE is the second home for more than 200 nationalities, and now they can make the UAE their permanent home after the introduction of the gold card with the confidence that their generations can stay on.

Additionally, with the government providing retirement options for expats here, everyone is now looking at the investment from a long-term perspective. And the real estate market has seen a huge surge in sales, especially in off-plan properties.

The new permanent visa is expected to help generate foreign investment and attract exceptional talent in the field of engineering, science and arts. The first batch of beneficiaries include 6,800 investors with total investments exceeding Dh100 billion.

International investors had always looked at Dubai real estate as a source of steady returns. The latest announcement that gives more clarity on permanent residency for expats will not only encourage them to invest in the country but also make them “permanent partners going hand in hand with us in our journey”.

The Dh100 billion will benefit the local economy and inspire international investors to consider UAE as the destination to live, work and set up businesses. If these investors cater to the requirements of the diverse population the country is home to, property units are most likely expected to witness an increase in sales.

Entrepreneurs are expected to be issued a six-month multi-entry visa, as part of this effort giving them enough time to set up their business in the region. The well-thought initiative opens up opportunities for long-time residents to consider the UAE as their forever home. Global celebrities looking to own properties in the region can use this to their advantage. Their interest could perhaps attract their fans to consider investing as an option as well.

Kalpesh Kinariwala is CEO of Pantheon Group.