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What is Dubai’s golden visa and why are Indians making a beeline?


What does Shah Rukh Khan, Sanjay Dutt, Sonu Sood, Ranveer Singh, Sania Mirza, and Mouni Roy have in common? They have all secured the Dubai Golden Visa – which now allows them to freely reside in Dubai. A Golden Visa is a residential permit in a foreign country secured upon purchase of high-end property or investment. Business Today spoke to experts on the increasing popularity of Dubai as a destination of choice for Indian migrants. 

 

Visa of Opportunity 

A Golden Visa refers to the immigration program which allows wealthy individuals to get a residence permit or even citizenship in another country simply by purchasing a house there or making a relatively large investment or donation. Different countries have different investment options and the property prices are often in the range of millions. According to real estate consultants ANAROCK, H1 2022, saw a sharp rise of around 10-15 per cent in interest among Indians regarding residential opportunities in other countries as compared to the same period in 2021.  

Dubai, experts claimed, has emerged as a favourite investment destination for Indians buying real estate abroad. Anuj Puri, Chairman, ANAROCK said, “Dubai has been the favourite investment destination for Indians interested in buying real estate abroad. The city’s property market has seen quite a bit of turmoil in the last 2-3 years, due to oversupply and less-than-stellar economic activity. This has made the Dubai property market quite affordable. Lower price points have made luxury homes in Dubai very attractive.

Several factors apart from lower prices and its proximity to India are responsible for the growing demand – for instance, favourable government measures, including the UAE’s long-term visas of five and 10 years to entrepreneurs, professionals, investors, and specialists in the medical, scientific, research and technical fields. While Indian HNIs are among the top investors in Dubai, luxury properties continue to attract wealthy Indians looking for options priced between Rs 2-6 crore.

The sliding prices post-COVID-19 too have brought a cross-section of businesspeople and professionals to show interest. Dubai is still a buyers’ market, with housing affordability remaining attractive over the last couple of years. Property prices have now more or less bottomed out, and the price correction trend is receding. Prices will probably remain stable over the 12-18 months.”

Buying property in Dubai ensures the Golden Visa, and Indians are making the most of it (Photo: Getty Images)

Increasing demand for luxury living  

The UAE Golden Visa launched three years ago has led to an increase in demand for luxury apartments in Dubai. 

Ajay Sharma, President and Founder, Abhinav Immigration Services Private Limited explained, “The Golden Visa route has increased the demand for luxury residences and properties in UAE, making it a second home for Indian nationals. The Golden Visa 10-year residency permit allows foreign nationals to live, work, or study in the UAE. Investors, entrepreneurs, notable scientists, talented students, humanitarian people, and frontline heroes are the most eligible applicants for this route. Investors can buy a house or invest in UAE to secure a Golden Visa. Dubai does not levy income tax, making it an ideal investment destination for foreigners. The recent overhaul of the Golden visa scheme has increased demand for properties in Dubai among wealthy Indians.”

Buying property in Dubai ensures the Golden Visa, and Indians are making the most of it

How much does one need to invest in Dubai to secure a Golden Visa? 

Dubai already is a favourite among Indians and constitutes 30 per cent of its ex-pat community. Akash Puri, Director, International Business, India Sotheby’s International Realty said, “Buying a house is the simplest way of investing and securing a Golden Visa.  Dubai government has also reduced the investment size in real estate – to AED 2 million making it possible for many more Indian families to use the golden visa route. It must be noted that Dubai also has no capital Gain Tax, which makes investment in real estate a compelling proposition. Ease of doing business and a tax-friendly environment is definitely a big plus.” 

The extension of Visa period to 10 years is an added attraction for buying property in Dubai (Photo: Getty Images)

Golden Visa as a sales push for Dubai luxury real estate 

The Golden Visa has generated a strong interest among Indians to buy luxury property in Dubai. Dubai’s infrastructure, feel experts, provide the perfect backdrop for luxury living as well.  Rabiah Shaikh, CBO, IPM Asia, Square Yards, said, “The recent overhaul in Dubai’s golden visa rules has spurred a strong interest in Indians to snap up a luxurious residence and fulfill their long-fetched dream of living a hassle-free, lavish life in the Gulf. Dubai is witnessing a steady influx of millionaire Indians recently as more and more high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) are looking to milk this golden opportunity to the tee. Dubai’s premium quality of life, ease of investment, benevolent tax structure, highest returns in terms of rental yield, solid capital appreciation on investment, world-class infrastructure, and steady economic growth, has provided a good reason for Indians to designate it as their second home.” 

Changes in the Dubai Golden Visa rules 

The recent changes in the Dubai Golden Visa rules include a reduction in the perquisite investment amount to AED 2 million (approx. Rs 4.2 crore). The visa duration is now extended to 10 years from five years previously which has allowed High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) to take a long-term approach to building a life in Dubai. The revised law has allowed the merger of properties for securing the Golden Visa which has made it easy for Indians to invest in multiple projects. Entrepreneurs can also invest in a Dubai startup under the new laws.  

Also Read: ‘Two out of three in Mumbai want to buy a house in next six months’

Also Read: EXPLAINED: Why does it make sense to invest in real estate via REITs



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