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As a top-ranked business hub in the world, few compare to what Dubai offers. Economic stability. Strategic location. Tax-free environment. That’s not even the entire list yet.

It’s undeniable that Dubai’s appeal is growing stronger than ever. This is nothing new, of course. After all, Dubai has made great strides to become the world’s top investment destination. Among its many initiatives include regulations and reforms over the years to make it easier and more convenient for investors, especially in real estate, to set up base in the emirate.

From the Dubai Land Department (DLD) to the Federal Authority For Identity and Citizenship (ICA), real estate investors looking to obtain a residence visa can find multiple options, depending on the value of their investment and the government entity responsible for processing their application. Here’s an overview of the different investor visas in this article:

Visas for real estate investors through DLD
  1. DLD’s three-year residence visa
  2. DLD’s five-year Golden Visa for investors
  3. DLD’s five-year Golden Visas for retirees
Visas for real estate investors through ICA
  1. ICA’s five-year Golden Visa
  2. ICA’s 10-year Golden Visa

In this blog, we’re looking at all these visa options, specifically for real estate investors, and how to process them. Here’s everything you need to know.

Can I buy a property in Dubai?

First off, the most frequently asked question: ‘Can an expat buy a property in Dubai?’

The answer is a resounding yes! A foreign national, whether a resident or overseas, can purchase a property in designated zones in Dubai. These zones are the so-called freehold areas where a buyer can acquire ownership rights over an asset in perpetuity with the freedom to resell, lease, and gift or inherit it.

Article 3 of Regulation No. 3 of 2006 specifies these areas designated as freehold. You can read more about freehold and leasehold areas here. From apartments to villas and off-plan to completed properties, there are plenty of options to choose from in these areas.

Visas for real estate investors through DLD

1. DLD’s three-year residence visa

This made rounds in the news in September last year when DLD lowered the minimum property value from AED 1 million. Now, real estate investors, who own a property valued at at least AED 750,000 can apply for a three-year renewable visa through its Taskeen Program.

Requirements for ​​DLD’s three-year residence visa

  • The asset must be valued at AED 750,000 or more at the time of purchase
  • The asset must be a single residential property; not commercial
  • The asset must be a completed property, not off-plan
  • At least 50% of the property value must be paid or at least AED 750,000 must be paid to the bank in case it is mortgaged; NOC is required
  • Amount invested must not be on a credit basis
  • Joint ownership is possible only if the share of each individual constitutes at least AED 750,000

How can I apply for a three-year visa?

  1. Submit the visa application through the Dubai Rest App
  2. Once approved and notified, visit DLD’s Cube for payment
  3. Undergo the medical examination
  4. Await the release of the visa

DLD’s five-year Golden Visas

Not to be confused with GDRFA-Dubai Golden Visas, DLD offers five-year golden visas for real estate investors and retirees.

2. DLD’s five-year Golden Visa for investors

Requirements for ​​DLD’s five-year Golden Visa for investors

  • The asset or owned share for one property or more must be valued at least AED 2 million
  • At least AED 2 million of the property value must be paid to the bank in case it is mortgaged; NOC is required
  • Husband and wife can share one property; marriage certificate required

3. DLD’s five-year Golden Visas for retirees

Requirements for ​​DLD’s five-year Golden Visa for retirees

  • The applicant must at least be 55 years of age
  • The asset or owned share for one property or more must be valued at – least AED 1 million or a AED 1 million deposit in any local bank for a minimum of three years
  • The asset must be fully paid, not mortgaged
    Husband and wife can share one property; marriage certificate required

How can I apply for a five-year investor or retirement visa?

  1. Visit DLD’s Cube for application and payment
  2. Undergo the medical examination
  3. Await the release of the visa

Visas for real estate investors through ICA

Introduced in 2019, it is designed to enable foreigners to live, work and study in the UAE without the need for a national sponsor. This long-term five-year or 10-year residency program is issued to entrepreneurs, specialized talents and researchers, and promising students and extends to investors. Note that we are only looking at the requirements for the latter here.

4. ICA’s five-year Golden Visa

Requirements for ICA’s five-year Golden Visa

  • An investment in a property with a value of not less than AED 5 million
  • Invested amount must not be on a credit basis
  • The property must also be retained for a minimum period of three years

5. ICA’s 10-year Golden Visa

Requirements for a 10-year Golden Visa

  • A public investment of not less than AED 10 million
  • At least 60% of the total investment must be in sectors other than real estate
  • Invested amount must not be on a credit basis
  • The property must also be retained for a minimum period of three years
  • Proof of financial solvency of up to AED10 million

How can I apply for a five-year or 10-year Golden Visa?

Investors who meet the requirements can apply for a five-year or 10-year Golden Visa online or in-person through the ICA website or app, through the GDRFA – Dubai website, or through AMER centers.

In case you are based outside the UAE, ICA will issue an entry permit valid for six months, which can be extended for a similar period, to facilitate the completion of procedures for obtaining a golden residency in the country.

ICA procedure

  1. Head to the ICA website or download the UAEICP app
  2. Click ‘Golden Visa’ under Services, select ‘Start Service’ under Investors, and select ‘Visa to Finalize the Procedures of Golden Residency’
  3. Submit all required information and documents
  4. Pay the service fee
  5. The application will be reviewed and you will be notified of the next steps accordingly

GDRFA – Dubai procedure

  1. Head to the GDFRA Dubai website
  2. Click Golden Visa form the service list and select ‘Investor Residency Visa (Golden Visa)’
  3. Click ‘Start Service’ and login as an individual
  4. Submit all required information and documents
  5. Pay the service fee
  6. The application will be reviewed and you will be notified of the next steps accordingly

AMER Center procedure

  1. Head to one of the service branches of the Amer Centers
  2. Select the required service at the receptionist
  3. Submit the required documents to the service employee
  4. Pay the service fees
  5. The application will be reviewed and you will be notified of the next steps accordingly

If you are looking for Dubai properties for sale or if you need have any questions, we’d be happy to help. Feel free to get in touch with us here.




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