Do I need to have a UAE visa to make investments in Dubai?

A KT reader asks if it is mandatory to be physically present in the city to invest here


Ashish Mehta

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

Published: Sun 30 Oct 2022, 10:57 AM

Last updated: Sun 30 Oct 2022, 5:52 PM

Question: Do I need to have a UAE residency/business visa to invest in Dubai? Could you please explain if I can make the investments from abroad?

Response: Pursuant to your queries, as you intend to invest in Dubai, the provisions of Law No. 7 of 2006 Concerning Real Property Registration in the Emirate of Dubai (the ‘Dubai Real Property Registration Law’) and Federal Decree Law No. 32 of 2021 on Commercial Companies (the 'Companies Law') shall be applicable.

Expatriates may invest in movable and immovable properties and/or entities in Dubai. Further, there is no requirement to have any kind of residence visa or visit/tourist visa for an expatriate investor to invest. The investor may, at any time, obtain a residency visa from different types of visas available for investors.

An expatriate may invest in freehold or leasehold properties in Dubai. This is in accordance with Article 4 of the Dubai Real Property Registration Law, which states: “The right to own Real Property in the Emirate shall be restricted to UAE nationals, nationals of the Gulf Cooperation Council States, companies fully owned by these nationals, and public joint stock companies. Subject to the approval of the Ruler, non-UAE nationals may be granted the following rights in the relevant areas determined by the Ruler:

a. Freehold ownership of Real Property, without time restrictions; and

b. Usufruct or lease rights in Real Property for up to 99 years.”

Further, an expatriate may also set up new entities or invest in existing ones. This is in accordance with Article 2 of the Companies Law, which states: “The present Decree-Law aims to contribute to the development of the working environment and the State’s capabilities and economic position in accordance with global changes as to regulating companies, especially those related to regulating Governance rules, protecting the rights of shareholders and partners, supporting the flow of foreign investment, and enhancing the social responsibility of companies.”

It is not mandatory to be physically present in Dubai and the UAE to make any investments. You may invest from overseas by issuing a power of attorney to any person of your choice who is present or will be present in the UAE. With this power of attorney, the authorised person can sign all documents related to all investments you intend to make.

The said power of attorney should be duly notarised in the country of your residency. Thereafter, it needs to be legalised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UAE embassy. Thereafter, it must be attested by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in the UAE. Upon the completion of these attestations, the power of attorney must be legally translated to Arabic. Finally, the legal translation needs to be attested by the UAE Ministry of Justice.

It is recommended that you seek legal advice from a counsel based in the UAE.

Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: Readers may e-mail their questions to: or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.


More news from