The UAE Visa scheme has always been critiqued for being difficult to acquire, especially the resident visa. Now, the UAE will offer long-term visas to the super-rich and super-smart people which includes property investors, scientists and entrepreneurs in an attempt to bolster its economy and real estate market, that has been damaged by low oil prices.
Until now, visas for foreigners to live in the Arab world’s second-biggest economy have generally been valid for only a few years, and have depended on the main visa holder in each family remaining employed. The UAE government said in May it planned to ease that policy.
Detailed rules approved by the cabinet offer five-year residency to owners of UAE real estate worth at least 5 million dirhams as long as ownership is not based on loans, state news agency WAM reported.
Renewable 10-year visas will be provided to foreigners with investments in the UAE of at least 10 million dirhams if non-real estate assets account for at least 60% of the total. Investors can bring spouses and children into the country.
Other rules offer five-year visas to entrepreneurs and 10-year visas for scientists and researchers with top qualifications. Outstanding students can stay for five years.
Share prices of UAE property firms, beaten down by collapsing real estate prices, moved little on Sunday in response to the new visa rules. Experts state that they were probably not enough on their own to change investment or employment trends.