UAE Golden Visa: Dubai drops minimum down payment required for property owners

The owner can apply for the 10-year residency regardless of the amount paid upfront, an executive explained

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Sahim Salim

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Waheed Abbas

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KT Photo: Neeraj Murali
KT Photo: Neeraj Murali

Published: Wed 24 Jan 2024, 11:49 AM

Last updated: Wed 24 Jan 2024, 11:26 PM

Property buyers in Dubai are no longer required to make a minimum down payment of Dh1 million to be eligible for the Golden Visa, as the government has eased the criteria for real estate investors.

If the property's value exceeds Dh2 million, owners opting for a payment plan or mortgage can apply for the long-term visa, Khaleej Times can reveal. The owner can apply for the 10-year residency regardless of the amount paid upfront, an executive explained.

"Off-plan properties could be considered on a case-to-case basis. Applicants need to submit the title deed of the property, letter from the developer or mortgage document from the bank, and their passport copy along with a photograph," said Firosekhan, managing director of Dubai-based Profound Business Service.

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As with all Golden Visa holders, owners can sponsor their spouses, children and parents for the same 10-year period.

Jess Stephenson, head of sales progression at Allsopp & Allsopp Group, confirmed to Khaleej Times that the minimum payment of Dh1 million is no longer required. The eligibility criterion is now only that the property should meet a value of Dh2 million or more for investors to obtain the Golden Visa. "There is no minimum equity investment," she said.

Stephenson said this opens the visa to everybody who has a mortgage. "If you pay in 20 per cent of the property's value, which most people do for a mortgage, they would be eligible for the visa," she said.

Stephenson said this would benefit many buyers and end-users. It opens up the Golden Visa option to pretty much everybody who's bought a property because most options in Dubai are valued at more than Dh2 million. "All of the mortgage buyers would then be able to apply for the Golden Visa."

Payment plans for Dubai-based homes range from 1 per cent monthly to five- to 25-year schemes after an initial down payment. When it comes to mortgages, up to 80 per cent of property value can be financed.

Property prices in the UAE, especially Dubai, have increased substantially in the past couple of years, reaching their peak in 2023. Led by the luxury segment, prices have almost doubled in some high-demand areas such as Palm Jumeirah and Downtown.

According to real estate consultancy and advisory firm ValuStrat, cash buyers make up the vast majority of transactions in Dubai. In the third quarter of 2023, the Dubai real estate market witnessed 8,238 mortgage transactions compared to 16,485 cash deals. However, property buyers opting for mortgages in 2024 are set to increase as interest rates are expected to drop by up to 100 basis points.

The UAE's long-term residency is self-sponsored and open to investors, entrepreneurs, scientists, outstanding students and graduates, humanitarian pioneers and frontline heroes.

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