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Foreign investors now have a change to get longer visas with the new reform initiated by the government of the UAE last year. Investors who are willing to invest in real estate with a minimum investment of Dh5 million can now get a 5-year visa to stay in the emirates.

Although the financial return of this goes will be more apparent after 3 year onwards, this is a boost to many expatriates. Investors and expats around the world who initially do not see themselves in a long- term stay in the UAE because of the initially short visa-terms granted are usually deterred from making life decisions such as buying a home and appliances, taking family over, and many more. All of which make up a thriving community in the UAE.

There are 40 communities across the country, majority in Dubai, where investors can secure a Dh5 million worth of real estate investment, long-term visa, and a high potential of getting good returns of their investment.

Many foreigners are investing into residential properties. Real estate experts, on the other hand, suggest that there are also strong returns from commercial properties.


One important requirement on getting the long-term visa through real-estate investment is “cash-only” investment. With this, many are asking for clarity on the matter on how this will be applicable to single-units or entire buildings, lands, etc.



With the many communities in fast development, investors have a good number of areas to choose from. In Dubai alone, they can choose from 31 communities including: Downtown Burj Khalifa, Dubai Marina, Damac Hills, Dubai Science Park, Damac Hills, Culture Village, Business Bay, City Walk, Bluewaters Island, Arabian Ranches, Arabian Ranches 2, Al Barari and Al Furjan.

Many properties along this price range are villas in Emirates Hills, Palm Jumeirah, and Emirates Living. Many market offerings are also coming in Dubai Marina, City Walk, Jumeirah, and the new Bluewaters.


Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi also has 8 communities for long term visa including: Nurai Island, Saadiyat Island, Marina Village, Al Reem island, Al Raha Gold Gardens, and other communities in Al Raha including Al Bandar, Al Manara, and Al Zeina.

Majority of the residential properties exceeding Dh5 million are villas in prime locations such as Saadiyat Island and high-end apartments in Yas Island and Raha Beach.

There are other communities that are available but the ones mentioned and suggested by real estate experts are ones where foreign investors, non-GCC nationals, are able to own a property.


Impact on UAE Investments


Aside from restoring confidence to expatriates in their decisions to stay long-term, this initiative is based on an observation in the rise of interest by top investors to buy instead of renting.

Foreign investors are growing businesses in the UAE and investing in real estate is yet another profitable platform. Areas in Dubai where mostly good office tenants are, yield returns up to 7 percent. Industrial and logistic assets such as in DIP go up to 10-11 percent.

Other commercial assets investors can look at which are over Dh5 million are retail community malls and labor accommodations. These are ones with bigger investments, higher risks, but also higher returns up to 15%.

This, along with the growth of the UAE in terms of profitability from non-oil activities project a brighter future ahead. Many investors are projected to come bringing more businesses and multiple jobs available. Therefore, enriching the growth of communities and continuous progress in building a thriving economy and communities.