United Arab Emirates: Types of Residence Permits available to Real Estate Owners in the Emirate of Dubai

Last Updated: 24 August 2016
Article by Dr. Ines Anders and Christina Mauel

The acquisition of real estate in the Emirate of Dubai does not automatically provide an owner with a residence permit for the United Arab Emirates ("UAE"). Instead, he has to seek the issuance of his residence permit separately. Below, we would like to inform you about the various options currently available to property owners:

1. Residence Visa

A residence visa is generally valid for a period of either two or three years and enables its holder to reside in the UAE continuously during that time without having to leave the country.

As a prerequisite for his residence visa application as a property owner, the applicant must be in possession of an apartment or villa worth at least AED 1 million, which has to be documented by the certificate of title, the so-called Title Deed. Furthermore, the premises must not be tenanted. In case the property is financed, at least half of the purchase price must have been paid already.

The application for a residence visa as a real estate owner has to be processed through the Dubai Land Department ("DLD"). The DLD instigates the procedure on behalf of the applicant at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs ("Immigration") and makes all essential decisions regarding the rejection or approval of the visa application.

The advantage of a residence visa for a property owner is that he gains certain privileges which ease everyday life in the UAE. For example, he is able to open post boxes and bank accounts with a line of credit, to register vehicles and telephone connections with post-paid invoicing as well as to apply for a local driving license. Furthermore, it is possible to sponsor family members for their own residence visas. The latter is especially relevant in such instances in which the children of the applicant shall attend local schools since they are not permitted to do so without a residence visa.

On the downside, the application of a residence visa is rather time-consuming and confusing for a real estate owner due to the sheer volume and structure of the process. Hence, extensive preparations are required in order to collate all relevant documents and obtain the approvals from the involved authorities. Besides, a local health insurance may have to be taken out in the future. Contrary to the other types of available residence permits, the applicant must also successfully complete a medical test.

Furthermore, it cannot be guaranteed that the applicant receives the approval of the DLD and subsequently his residence visa even upon payment of all due fees which currently accrue to approximately AED 11,000. The reason for this is that the DLD grants a residence visa at its own discretion and most likely only issues visas in such cases in which the applicant would have been eligible to be awarded a residence permit in another way, for example, by taking up employment in the UAE. It stands to reason that factors such as the home country of the applicant affect the decision of the DLD.

2. Multiple Entry Visa

A multiple entry visa authorizes its bearer to enter the UAE multiple times within a period of 180 days and to stay during these periods as long as he likes. Alternatively, he can reside in the UAE without exiting the country for the overall duration of the visa. At the end of the 180 days, it is possible to renew a multiple entry visa without leaving the UAE for this purpose.

Identical to the requirements for residence visas, the title deed has to account for a minimum property value of AED 1 million and the premises must not be tenanted. In contrast to the conditions applicable to residence visas, however, the title deed has to additionally prove that the property is entirely unencumbered when applying for a multiple entry visa. The applicant himself runs the application procedure at the Immigration.

The holder of a multiple entry visa is eligible to sponsor immediate family members for a similar visa. Nevertheless, the applicant does not receive any of the privileges granted to the holder of a residence visa.

Compared to a residence visa, the benefit of a multiple entry visa is that just a reasonable number of application documents are required and that the process can regularly be finalized within a short period of time. Furthermore, the applicant does not need to undergo a medical examination. The multiple entry visa might prove to be unprofitable since it does not bestow the comprehensive privileges of a residence visa upon its holder.

3. Visit Visa

For those property owners who stay in the UAE for short periods only, the visit visa upon arrival might suffice. Such visit visa is issued to citizens of certain nationalities when entering the UAE without prior application and grants its holder a temporary right of residence in the UAE as a tourist.

The visit visa is valid for 30 days from the date of first entry and can be renewed once for additional 30 days against a fee without leaving the country. More importantly, it is possible to re-apply for a visit visa by exiting and immediately re-entering the UAE (so-called Visa Run) as often as needed. For all intents and purposes, the holder of a visit visa can reside in the UAE almost indefinitely. Especially owners not in possession of a residence visa but intending to use their property as a holiday home or for retirement purposes benefit from this mechanism.

Special attention should be paid to the fact that since mid-2015 the aforementioned procedure no longer applies to citizens of the member states of the Schengen Agreement. Due to altered entry requirements, a visit visa will in fact still be issued automatically upon arrival. However, it entitles citizens of Schengen member states to a stay of merely 90 days within an overall period of 180 days. It is of no significance whether the visit occurs continuously or in several segments. In any case, a total stay of 90 days within the 180-day time frame cannot be extended. A Visa Run is, therefore, no longer an option. Instead, the persons concerned have to await the expiry of the 180-day period before being able to enter the UAE again for the next available interval of 90 days.

Real estate owners from a Schengen member state intending to use their property for an extended period of time should consequently try to acquire either a multiple entry visa or a residence visa if they do not want to risk being subjected to penalties due to overstaying their visit visa or being denied access at the border when trying to re-enter the country before the expiry of the 180-day period.

4. Conclusion

The question as to which residence permit available to real estate owners is the preferable alternative largely depends on the circumstances of each individual case. The residence visa grants its holders the possibility of a prolonged stay in the UAE and, compared to a multiple entry visa or a visit visa, additional privileges. However, it is distinctly more difficult to apply for. Hence, a residence visa is most likely only an option for such applicants and their families who intend to relocate permanently to the UAE.

Property owners who wish to reside in the UAE on a temporary basis have the option of either applying for a multiple entry visa or a visit visa depending on the intended length of their stay and nationality.

Types of Residence Permits available to Real Estate Owners in the Emirate of Dubai


Do you have any questions?

Should you have further queries, we are glad to assist you anytime, whether in a personal meeting, over the phone or by eMail correspondence.

ANDERS LEGAL CONSULTANCY
Sama Tower, Office 806
Sheikh Zayed Road
PO Box 333 558
Dubai
United Arab Emirates

Phone: +971 4 327 5888
eMail: info@anders.ae
www.anders.ae
www.dubaicompanyformation.ae

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.