UAE - Foreigners investing in property in the UAE can get the coveted Golden Visa directly through real estate developers. According to industry experts, obtaining a long-term residency is simple and straightforward.
When Danube Properties launched its Dh350 million pyramid-shaped Gemz in Al Furjan, the company had offered to process the Golden Visa for investors.
According to Imran Farooq, CEO of Samana Developers, the whole process takes less than two weeks, and all processing fees are paid for by the developer.
"Once clients select a project and a unit, they must transfer money through Escrow. Then, we can register their title deed and apply for the Golden Visa. The applicant must submit documentation, including proof of investment and passport details, to complete the process.
"If they need the Golden Visa for their family, they need to furnish other documents like marriage certificates and birth certificates for their children. If the documentation is in order, the procedure takes very little time. Also, as the developer, we pay all the processing fees."
Real estate investors can obtain long-term residency when purchasing a property worth no less than Dh2 million.
"This move is going to benefit the property market in the UAE immensely," said Imran Farooq. "I already have more than 15 clients in various stages of the application. Some of them are choosing to merge their properties so that they can apply for the Visa. With the kind of standard of living that the UAE offers, it is very attractive for many people to get the Golden Visa here."
According to Imran, the offer has many international takers as well. "For a lot of our overseas clients, they can choose the property and unit from their comforts of our home," he said.
"It is not necessary to come to get the title deed. They only have to visit the UAE to undergo a mandatory medical examination. This is a very convenient option for many. When these people relocate to the UAE, having a Golden Visa helps speed up the process of getting a bank account and other necessities."
Ahmed Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, CEO of SAAS Properties, said the Golden Visa initiative is "wonderful news" from a market perspective.
"This is the case in particular for developers such as SAAS, who are building and selling homes in mostly freehold districts. The long-term residency options allow quality and ownership for the long haul."
UAE's real estate market has seen an upswing in recent times. Long queues outside developer's offices ahead of project launches have once again become a common sight. Earlier this year, several keenly anticipated properties were sold out within a few hours of their launch.
Imran Farooq agreed with this perspective and said he has noticed several positive trends in the market. "With every cycle, the market has been gaining more maturity," he said. "More end users are coming up and investment by speculators is very minimal now. At every project launch, we see more first-time buyers, which is a very promising sign."
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