UAE Cancels Minimum Down Payment for Property Investors in Golden Visa Overhaul

UAE Cancels Minimum Down Payment for Property Investors in Golden Visa Overhaul cover

In a significant move to attract more residents and investors, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has recently cancelled the Dh1 million minimum down payment requirement for property investors seeking to obtain a golden visa through real estate investment. The golden visa initiative, introduced in 2019, offers a 10-year renewable residency program to investors, entrepreneurs, skilled professionals, and various other categories. Previously, investors were mandated to acquire property valued at Dh2 million or more to qualify for this coveted visa.

As of January 22, 2024, the amendment eliminates the need for a minimum down payment altogether, according to Maroun Abou Harb, an associate at the esteemed law firm BSA Ahmad bin Hezeem & Associates. This modification allows investors to qualify for the golden visa as long as the property's value meets or exceeds Dh2 million, regardless of whether it is off-plan, completed, mortgaged, or not mortgaged.

Photographer: Nick Fewings | Source: Unsplash

However, it is important to note that the recent change has not yet been reflected on the Dubai Land Department's Cube website or the Dubai's General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs website. The eligibility criteria for obtaining the golden residency for real estate investors remain unchanged, with the property value requirement set at a minimum of Dh2 million, as confirmed by the Dubai Land Department (DLD).

Jess Stephenson, Head of Sales Progression at Dubai property broker Allsopp & Allsopp, highlighted the potential benefits of this policy change. According to Stephenson, the elimination of the minimum down payment requirement will open up the golden visa option to a broader range of property buyers, including those who have acquired properties through mortgage plans. This is expected to boost buyer confidence in the city, encouraging more individuals to apply for the golden visa and subsequently sponsor their families and domestic staff.

The recent rule change is perceived as a strategic response to market dynamics, aiming to stimulate increased investment in the real estate sector. With the financial barrier associated with the down payment removed, more investors may be enticed to participate in property acquisitions, leading to heightened construction activities, job creation, and overall economic growth associated with the real estate industry.

The broader eligibility criteria for the golden visa may attract a more diverse pool of investors, as the focus shifts from a specific down payment requirement to the property's overall value. Individuals with varying financial capacities may find the golden visa program more accessible, fostering sustained growth and resilience in the UAE's real estate market.

In conclusion, the UAE's decision to cancel the minimum down payment requirement for property investors seeking a golden visa, including the Golden Visa Dubai program, is a significant step towards making the visa program more inclusive. This move is expected to stimulate increased investment in the real estate sector, attract a diverse pool of investors, and contribute to the stability and long-term vitality of the UAE's real estate market. As the market dynamics evolve, this strategic response showcases the government's commitment to fostering economic growth and encouraging deeper connections with the country for residents and investors alike.

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