UAE cancels minimum down payment for golden visas

The UAE has recently abolished the previous requirement of a Dh1 million ($272,294) minimum down payment for individuals to qualify for a golden visa through real estate investment. This change aims to attract more citizens and investors to establish longer-term residences in the nation. Prior to 2019, investors were required to purchase property valued at Dh2 million or more to be eligible for the 10-year renewable residency program.

Previously, buyers of properties acquired through mortgages or installment plans had to pay a minimum down payment of Dh1 million or 50% of the property’s value to qualify for the golden visa. However, according to Maroun Abou Harb, an associate at the legal firm BSA Ahmad bin Hezeem & Associates, the recent modification completely eliminates the requirement for a minimum down payment.

Under the updated criteria, investors are eligible for the golden visa if the property is valued at Dh2 million or more, regardless of whether it is completed, off-plan, mortgaged, or not. Despite this change, the Dubai Land Department’s Cube website and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs website in Dubai have not yet been updated to reflect the modification.

The Golden Visa initiative, launched in 2019, aims to incentivize foreign investors and exceptional workers to establish closer ties with the UAE. The recent change in eligibility requirements for the golden visa is expected to stimulate increased investment in the real estate sector. By eliminating the financial barrier associated with the down payment, more investors may be enticed to participate in property acquisitions, leading to a surge in real estate transactions, heightened construction activities, job creation, and overall economic growth associated with the real estate industry.

Moreover, the expanded eligibility criteria for the golden visa may attract a more diverse group of investors, as the emphasis is now on the property’s total value rather than a set down payment. This strategic response to market dynamics aims to bolster Dubai’s real estate sector amid predictions of a potential price drop, ensuring sustained growth and resilience. By facilitating easier access to the golden visa, the government could proactively counteract market downturns and foster a positive sentiment that contributes to the stability and long-term vitality of the UAE’s real estate market.

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