Dubai offers long-term residence, retirement visas to lure wealthy Chinese to boost slumping property market

By Cheryl / | June 18, 2019 1:52 PM SGT
Dubai has set its sights on wealthy foreign investors, including the Chinese, by offering sweeteners such as long-term residence visas and retirement options, amid a slump in property prices.
The new measures allow those who invest 5 million dirhams (US$1.36 million) in property; have a monthly income of 20,000 dirhams; or have more than 1 million dirhams in capital to secure long-term visas.
The Dubai Land Department, which promotes property investment in the city, has been stepping up efforts to lure more Chinese investors into buying property, targeting at least 1 billion dirhams in investments this year. The Dubai government arm opened two offices in Beijing and Shanghai in the past two years, and plans to open another in Shenzhen and other mainland cities, according to a report by the Abu Dhabi-based The National newspaper.
Skyscrapers stand beyond a new residential construction site at Dubai Marina in Dubai. Photo: Bloomberg
"Chinese investors represent a growing sector of the market ... with many of the major developers currently targeting this sector through sales events in China and relationships with Chinese brokers," said Craig Plumb, head of research, Middle East and North Africa at JLL.
The measures coupled with the UAE's zero-tax regime are being touted to attract wealthy investors into buying property in Dubai.
Maria Morris, partner and head of residential at Knight Frank Middle East and North Africa, said that after nearly three years of a softening property market because of an influx of inventory, there are early signs of a recovery.
"This trend of higher demand could continue to strengthen given the recent approval of a range of legislation to ease visa and foreign business ownership by the UAE cabinet," Morris said, adding that this was likely to drive additional demand for Dubai property, given that many of the changes in visa regulations were linked to property ownership.
Dubai, according to the latest data...