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Thu 11 Jul 2019 02:13 PM

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UAE's Gold Card visa improving investment sentiment - survey

New poll says existing UAE investors have more appetite to increase their portfolio, while would-be investors are now more open to start investing

UAE's Gold Card visa improving investment sentiment - survey

A survey of UAE investors and residents show that the recently implemented Gold Card permanent residency scheme has created a positive sentiment.

The poll of over 1,000 respondents indicated that existing investors have more appetite to increase their portfolio, while would-be investors are now more open to start investing.

Seventy-nine percent of UAE investors say that with the launch of the permanent residency scheme, they will consider expanding their investments in the country, according to a survey conducted by Lootah Real Estate Development, the real estate development arm of Lootah Holding.

Sixty-eight percent of the UAE expat investors said they plan to grow their investment portfolio by investing in property, more specifically in properties located in Dubai.

Property leads the investment class option (68 percent), followed by business (26 percent), and stocks (4 percent), the survey showed.

Of those who expressed interest on property investments, 79.7 percent said that they prefer investing in Dubai.

The optimism also extends to those who do not have investments yet. As per the survey, among the 819 respondents who are not yet investors, 29 percent said that they will consider investing in the UAE because of the permanent residency scheme.

Saleh Abdullah Lootah, CEO at Lootah Real Estate Development, said: “The growth in the number of expats who are interested in real estate investments signify that they are becoming more confident of the market. The property sector is one of the major sectors that drive the UAE economy and the shift of their mindset to buying from renting is definitely a great boost.”

He added: “The permanent residence visa is a great initiative by the government to stabilize the country’s economy, most especially the real estate market. An increase on the interest of foreign investors and expatriates in buying properties in the UAE is expected which will eventually drive the real estate sector to a boom."

Last month, it was announced that 400 people have so far been granted the gold card residency visas.

The UAE plans to issue a further 6,400 gold card visas by the end of the year.

The UAE's new permanent visa is intended to generate foreign investment and attract top engineers, scientists, and star students.

The gold card visa is renewed automatically every 10 years, so long as holders satisfy terms and conditions.

The UAE also announced an extension of the scheme to make foreign executive directors eligible if they earn a monthly salary of AED30,000 ($8,200).

Applicants will also need a bachelor’s degree and no less than five years of work experience to apply for a 10-year residency visa, according to a presentation by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship.