Real estate investors not entitled to residency

Foreign property buyers to only get short-term visas, says Dubai regulatory authority.

Dubai will introduce short-term visas for foreign investors in the real estate sector, the emirate's Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) announced on Monday.Marwan Bin Galita, chief executive of RERA, told UAE daily Gulf News the agency had submitted proposals to the government to review visas for property buyers.

Bin Galita said there was no link between property ownership and residence visas, and developers shouldn’t attract investors to buy into property with a promise of a residence visa.

However, his comments appear to contradict the government’s earlier stand.

As the government opened Dubai’s property sector to foreign investors in selected freehold areas in 2002, a proper real estate law was absent.

The leading three master developers Emaar, Nakheel and Dubai Properties had promised to facilitate a three-year renewable residence visas to owners of freehold properties under a special arrangement with the residency department.

More than 20,000 families have moved into their freehold homes during the last six years, many on residence visas linked to their homes.

Recently, a senior government official said foreign buyers are entitled to residence visas if they purchase property, but this was a misconception, the newspaper said.

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Posted by: Ashraf

THe blame rests 100% on the government. It is really strange that the government is making statements to the contrary 5 years down the road. Why did it not stop its agencies (Emaar, Nakheel and Dubai Investments) way back in 20023 when these offers were beng made? Perhaps at that time government wanted to lure investors in its new idea of generating money by selling sand to foreigners. This and I am sure many other issues will continue to appear on the scene until a complete property law is enacted.

Posted by: Raj

Come on Dubai fellas ... dont let the world think that u have been sleeping while all developers have been advertising Resi visas right under your noses?? Clearly investors have been misguided and obviously they can do nothing abt it except complain. Well good luck fellows - this is not the first time Dubai has offered and withdrawn it under pretext it is a developing country hence changes will take place. Good luck to all!

Posted by: Graham

Unfortunately this has been driven by greed on both sides. Buy the purchaser seeing these amazing returns suddely seem to forget the basics in real estate investment that you would do in UK for example if buying a property; 1) have a land deed that is clear - not so yet in Dubai yet 2) have a lawyer - tell you what can be built infront/around your property (so no 6 lane highways suddenly built next to your quiet neighbourhood- greens - or you sea view becoming a view of somebodies toilet window - marina) and who would have checked UAE law to see if there was a law to give residency with property (no there was never and will unlikely be since this is a federal law and individual emirates can not just ignore - so even residency given by setting up company in RAK for 20,000dhs could be blown out off water by powers that be in Abu Dhabi) and 3) getting a surveyor to tell you how long it will stand up for. From the sellers - they have been greedy to see real estate prices go up and therefore made these promises

Posted by: Trevor

As far as I was aware the law is relatively straightforward. The master developer can apply on behalf of the owner to the Residency Department for a 3 year residency permit if the owner has no alternative. The residency is granted at the option of the Ministry on the same terms as normal residency. Anything else is just spin. Did you get your contract looked at by a lawyer?

Posted by: jay

A law is a binding on any Government towards its citizens or residents. The Laws should be clarified BEFORE foreigners are lured to invest their hard earned lifetime savings. I sincerely wish that the Govt steps in to put an end to all this exploitation and clarifies the rules to clear Dubai's tarnished image.

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