Here's What You Need to Know About the UAE Green Visa
As part of its continued vision for growth and success, the UAE has announced several new initiatives that are aimed at making life easier for foreign expats and investors. In previous years, we have seen the introduction of longer and more flexible visa types such as the Golden Visa, a special visa for retirees, and a remote working visa. Most recently, the country added another layer of flexibility with the introduction of the ‘Green Visa’. Unlike the typical residency visa in the UAE, which is tied to sponsorship from an employer, the new Green Visa allows expats to live in the country without requiring a company sponsorship. They will also be able to sponsor their parents, as well as their offspring until the age of 25 (as opposed to the traditional cutoff which is 18 years). The visa is targeted at entrepreneurs, investors, highly skilled individuals, businesspeople, students with an exceptional performance record, and fresh graduates.
For entrepreneurs, this is a truly fantastic opportunity. Being a Dubai resident has always been linked to sponsorship from an employer (except in the case of tourist visas or for male offspring under the age of 18). The removal of that requirement makes it easier than ever to set up residency in the UAE, and will be welcome news for many prospective expats. Another key part of the announcement is the ability to sponsor one’s parents on the Green Visa - previously, there were minimum salary requirements for that. The duration of business trips has also been extended to six months (from the previous three months) and a grace period of 190 days for leaving the country or changing residence status in the case of employment termination/retirement (a huge increase from 30 days, as it was before).
This announcement is one of 50 new projects being unveiled by the government this year to mark the nation’s 50th anniversary. The timing of the announcement is also quite strategic, coming just a few weeks before the start of Expo 2020. With the influx of visitors that will be coming over the next six months to participate in and experience the global exhibition, initiatives such as this will go a long way toward converting those visitors into long-term residents.
Safest Place to Be
Dubai is the destination of choice for many across the world - with its awe-inspiring architecture, pristine beaches, masterfully designed residential communities and plethora of leisure attractions, there is something here to suit every lifestyle. And as the city continues to scale up its vision for the future, it keeps introducing new initiatives that are aimed at attracting an even larger segment of the global population.
Under current circumstances, Dubai is more popular than ever for foreign visitors and new expats - the UAE is, after all, the most vaccinated country in the world and has been seeing a steady decline in new COVID infections during the second half of 2021. As a result, it has become something of a safe haven for anyone that is seeking an escape from pandemic-related woes in their home country.
Soaring Real Estate Market
It really is a new Golden Age for Dubai, particularly in the real estate market, which has seen an incredible uptick in sales and rental activity since late 2020. After a brief plummet brought on by the onset of the pandemic, Dubai real estate became a hot commodity, which should come as no surprise if one looks at the city as a whole over the past year. Dubai only faced a brief lockdown period lasting less than a month before business resumed as the city quickly adapted to a new normal. Safety protocols were strictly enforced, and post-lockdown there was a surge in demand for larger homes that provided more privacy and security. Fortunately, the city offers several low-density neighbourhoods to choose from, and in the luxury segment you have some truly incredible homes that give you all the space you need. This led to a flurry of transactions late in the year, culminating in the toppling of a 7-year record for both sales value and volume. Since then, several records have been smashed for monthly transactions, and 2021 has witnessed some of the most expensive transactions in Dubai real estate history.
The Future is Bright
Expo 2020 is expected to be the start of an incredible new chapter for Dubai, and will only reap further dividends for the real estate market. Short-term rentals are set to be on the rise for those who are only in the city for the next six months - though there will be several people who will be looking to stay for the long term. With initiatives in place such as the five-year visa, ten-year visa, Golden Visa and Green Visa, plus other newly announced legislative announcements such as changes in inheritance laws, there are plenty of reasons to be excited about what Dubai can offer over the coming years.
The real estate market is looking especially bright at present, and is moving at a pace that is unlikely to let up any time soon. If you are looking for a new home in Dubai and you would like to get more information about the new legal changes and how they would apply to you, please get in touch with our Private Client Advisory team. We can help you with your home search, and can direct you to the right resources for your legal requirements.