TradeArabia, 7 October, 2018
Dubai: As UAE developers unveiled another raft of projects at Cityscape Global this week, a legal expert said more of the new homes will be snapped up by expatriates encouraged to stay longer in the country by changes to company ownership and visa rules.
Plans to introduce an investment law allowing 100 per cent foreign ownership this year, as well as a new 10-year visa for international investors and talented professionals, were announced by the UAE cabinet in May.
“There is a growing interest both from investors around the world and expatriate professionals in many sectors who are anxiously awaiting the government’s draft regulations,” said Zisha Rizvi, a partner at STA Law Firm.
“One thing that is certain is that the new visa rules will change the trend for the UAE’s traditionally transient expatriate population to simply come and go. They’re saying that they will be far more inclined to stay, contribute to the economy on a long-term basis, and invest in property,” she stated.
“The big questions expatriates are now asking are who will be able to apply for a visa, will the law be restricted to doctors, lawyers and engineers or will it apply to those with other qualifications, and will there be any restrictions based on nationality,” said Rizvi.
Said Fatima Al Sakkaf, the associate at STA, said: “We have been receiving a growing number of investor enquiries in recent weeks ahead of the draft regulations being announced. There is great interest from many parts of the world, not just India, Europe and the US.”
“Enquiries are coming from professionals from many different sectors, including oil and gas, telecom, engineering and healthcare,” revealed Al Sakkaf.
“There is definitely a growing momentum. The market sentiments look very positive. The one question most investors ask concerns the value of the property they must own in order to qualify for a 10-year visa,” she stated.
Al Sakkaf pointed out that a new wave of investor confidence was being built by the country’s long-term vision.
“The UAE is already a lucrative jurisdiction for overseas investors, but the new laws will attract more investment by providing a greater level of social security,” she noted.
Over the past three years, Al Sakkaf and Rizvi have established themselves as leading UAE-based expert advisers on corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, litigation, arbitration, and real estate in the global market.