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UAE Golden Visa: $272,000 Rule Change to Boost Dubai Real Estate

The UAE government recently announced an exciting change in the Golden Visa residency program. You need to pay a minimum down payment of AED 1 million ($272,000) or 50% of the property value. However, as of January 2024, this requirement has been removed entirely!

This rule change is great news for Dubai’s real estate market. We’ll explain all the details of the new requirement.

What is the UAE Golden Visa?

The UAE Golden Visa is a long-term residence visa. It allows expats to live, work and study in the UAE without needing a national sponsor. Key benefits include:

  • Entry visa valid for 6 months
  • Renewable 5 or 10-year residency
  • No sponsor required
  • Can stay outside UAE for over 6 months
  • Sponsor family members regardless of age
  • Sponsor unlimited domestic helpers
  • 100% ownership of mainland business

How Do the New Rules Boost Real Estate Investment?

Previously, if you wanted to get a Golden Visa via real estate investment, you needed to pay a minimum of AED 1 million (it’s around $272,000) or 50% of the property fee. But now, the government has removed the minimum down pay requirement completely!

This change is a game-changer for those who want to buy property in the UAE. It opens the door for the Golden Visa program.  Before, having to put down 50% or $272k as a minimum was a high barrier to entry. But now the market is more accessible for investors who don’t have large upfront amounts.

How Will This Impact Dubai’s Property Market?

Property experts predict this rule change will give a major boost to Dubai real estate. Some key things as follows:

More Demand From Investors

This dramatic drop in the required real estate investment amount is expected to generate higher demand among would-be Golden Visa recipients. Many more investors can now reach the threshold through a relatively attainable property purchase. Experts anticipate a substantial boost in sales activity as a result over both the short and long term.

Properties priced between $272,000 and $545,000 stand to benefit the most. Listings in this price range that previously had less appeal now become viable options for securing residency rights. The adjustment makes Dubai an increasingly attractive investment location for those seeking long stays within a globally respected legal framework.

Positive Flow-On Effects

An influx of investment capital into the lower end of the market could have positive flow-on effects throughout the sector. Increased sales of affordable properties may boost overall confidence, transaction volumes and price stability. 

Returned buyer demand could trickle up the market in a virtuous cycle that supports prices across segments as overall market sentiment improves. Builders may also gain reassurance to commence new projects aimed at first-time buyers and young professionals.

Stimulus for a Broader Economy

Not only does foreign investment strengthen the real estate industry, but it also stimulates related sectors of the overall economy. From furnishings to facilities management, every property purchase supports a wider business ecosystem. 

New homeowners increasing discretionary spending in their new local community have additional multiplier effects. This renewed activity through the Golden Visa could provide the whole Dubai and UAE economy with a welcome demand boost as it continues emerging from the pandemic impacts.

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What Are the Exact New Golden Visa Requirements?

Here are the key requirements to qualify for the Golden Visa under the new rules:

  • Own property worth AED 2 million ($545,000) or more
  • Get an approval letter from the land department
  • Property can be purchased with a mortgage
  • Payment amount does not affect eligibility

The land department still approves applications on a case-by-case basis. But the minimum payment removal opens doors to more investors.

How Can Investors Apply for the Golden Visa?

There are a few ways investors can apply for the Golden Visa:

Online:

  • Visit ICP smart services website
  • Choose “Golden Visa Services”
  • Submit application form and documents
  • Pay fees

In Person:

  • Visit a Customer Happiness Centre
  • Submit documents and get a ticket
  • Pay fees if applicable

Typing Centre:

  • Visit the authorized typing centre
  • Submit full application and documents
  • Pay fees if required

What Documents Do Investors Need?

Required documents include:

  • Passport
  • Property title deed
  • Personal photo
  • UAE ID (if applicable)
  • Current residency visa (if applicable)

Investors also need official proof of property ownership and value.

What Fees Are Involved?

There are various Golden Visa fees investors must pay:

  • AED 700 for medical examination
  • AED 1,153 for 10 year UAE ID
  • AED 2,656.75 for 10 year residency permit
  • AED 4,020 to Land Department
  • AED 1,155 administrative fee

So, in total, investors should budget around AED 10,000 in fees.

The Bottom Line

Scrapping the minimum down payment requirement makes the UAE Golden Visa way more accessible for real estate investors. Industry experts predict this will give Dubai’s property market a significant boost.

With lower barriers to entry, more investors can take advantage of Dubai’s world-class infrastructure. This is a game-changer set to inject fresh vitality into the real estate landscape.

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