Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 July 2019

Eight in 10 UAE investors to boost their portfolios on 'golden card' optimism

Expatriate residents favour investing in property, followed by business ventures and stocks

The Dubai skyline. Reuters
The Dubai skyline. Reuters

Almost 80 per cent of UAE investors and residents are considering increasing their investments in the country after the government rolled out its permanent residency scheme, according to a survey.

Seventy-nine per cent of respondents to a poll by Lootah Real Estate Development, the property development arm of Lootah Holding, said they plan to grow their investment portfolio in the Emirates after the "golden card" was unveiled in May. Separately, 68 per cent of expatriate residents said they plan to invest in property with the majority favouring Dubai, just over a quarter intend to invest in a business venture, while 4 per cent prefer stocks.

“The growth in the number of expatriates who are interested in real estate investments signify that they are becoming more confident of the market,” said Saleh Abdullah Lootah, chief executive at Lootah Real Estate Development. “The property sector is one of the major sectors that drive the UAE economy and the shift of their mindset to buying from renting is definitely a great boost.”

The golden card has been touted as a permanent residency scheme and was announced by the UAE in May. It is automatically renewed every 10 years, subject to certain conditions. Property investors with a gross value of at least Dh5 million, expatriates with investments worth at least Dh10m and entrepreneurs with an existing project amounting to Dh500,000 can apply to stay in the Emirates for 10 years. Under the special talent section, executive directors or senior management with a bachelor’s degree, five years’ experience in the UAE region and a monthly salary of Dh30,000 are also eligible.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, UAE Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, said last month that 6,800 investors and residents, worth an estimated Dh100 billion, and from 70 countries, were chosen to receive the visa. Beneficiaries include Yusuff Ali, the Lulu Group chairman; Mohammed Rahman, chairman and managing director of Al Haramain Group, and B R Shetty, the founder NMC Healthcare and financial technology start-up Finablr.

The optimism about the permanent residence scheme also extends to UAE residents who have not made any investments. Of the 819 non-investors, 29 per cent said they would consider investing in the UAE because of the golden card initiative.

“The permanent residence visa is a great initiative by the government to stabilise the country’s economy, most especially the real estate market. An increase in foreign investors and expatriates interest in buying properties in the UAE is expected, which will eventually drive the real estate sector to a boom,” Mr Lootah added.

Updated: July 10, 2019 03:32 PM

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