UAE-based construction company chiefs have praised the UAE's decision to approve a new long-term visa system aimed at attracting international investors and high-skilled professional workers.
Atif Rahman, director and partner, Danube Properties, Imran Farooq, group CEO of Samana Developers and Sudhakar R Rao, chairman of Gemini Property Developers said the move will help boost the real estate market "in a big way".
The UAE cabinet on Sunday also approved 100 percent foreign ownership of companies in the country, which has previously been limited to those companies based in freezones.
The ten-year visa will be made available to investors in the UAE, as well as those who are specialists in medical, scientific, research and technical fields, as well as for all scientists and innovators.
Rahman said: “The decision to grant residence visas up to 10 years to investors and highly skilled professionals under select categories will go a long way in boosting investor confidence and help liberalise the socio-economic environment where foreigners could play a larger role in local and regional economies.
“This landmark decision will change the economic landscape of the region as we expect other countries to follow the trend set by the UAE. The UAE’s visionary leadership has always been a step ahead in implementing game-changing ideas.
“This will also boost the real estate market in a big way. Now families, assured of the 10-year residency could call the UAE their home and will be encouraged to invest in their freehold homes. This will also help developers and mortgage providers to offer better choices and options now that the visa tenure has been extended to cover a longer period.”
Farooq added: "It is a timely and strategic move by the UAE, which will have economic and social impact. UAE is already a magnet for international investors. The new law will further boost investor confidence, especially in real estate and construction sectors.
"I expect an influx of new businesses, new investors coming to UAE. The 100 per cent business ownership and 10 years residency for investors will attract FDI to Dubai’s real estate sector.
"We as a group of companies based in Dubai since long, feel confident, happy and stimulated to look for local and international expansion plans."
Rao also commented: "It is a timely and wise decision by the visionary leadership of the UAE, which will have a positive impact on all sectors of the economy. The real estate will get direct benefit as the property buyers, with families, will have the comfort of 10 years stay in UAE.
"From property sales point of view, it will help sell the properties and clear the backlog of large chunks of inventory available in the market. It will encourage developers to invest more in the sector. The decision will not only improve the market sentiment, but also will have a chain effect to accelerate investments in general.
"By allowing 10 years’ residency, the UAE will attract and retain top talent from all over the world that will have a positive socio-economic impact on UAE society."
The UAE’s Ministry of Economy, which will coordinate the implementation of the new rules, will follow up on its developments with a report due to be submitted to cabinet in the third quarter of this year - which is when the UAE will enforce the cabinet's decision.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.