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Time UAE residents thought beyond renting to actually investing in property

Combination of favourable factors are in play, but just don’t settle for easiest option

Among the most fundamental - and practical - dreams people share is owning a home. But why is it that not everyone succeeds in this? Economics plays a significant role in the overall scheme of things.

So, given the opportunity to purchase a property - or your home, no less - would you not hold on tightly and make sure you “own” it? In Dubai, while there has been a correction in rental values, it has essentially lagged behind the correction going on in property values. And I do not believe the general rent decline will exceed 10 per cent in most areas.

Owning a property is essential to underpinning the accumulation of wealth and building net worth. Obviously, the accumulation of the asset itself must be done with a high level of diligence and care and the vast majority who have taken the step towards property ownership have benefitted significantly. The essential question to ask is: “How do I use my money to increase my wealth instead of the wealth of my landlord?”

Doing away with a needless expense

Owning property allows you to change the application of your hard-earned dirhams from covering an expense that offers you no financial return to investing in an asset that does. In a way, it’s a forced form of saving that will reap benefits for you in the future.

Conversely, paying rent actually detracts from your ability to build net worth because, not only are you paying out for no financial gain, but you are at the mercy of rental inflation as well. This is a problem because you are consistently being asked to pay more while your salary increases are lagging, effectively eroding your ability to build wealth.

By owning your home, inflation is working in your favor because, in all likelihood, the property is increasing in value and, if kept for a certain number of years, will enjoy an inflation-driven compounding effect on its value. This allows the owner to build net worth through capital appreciation of the property – something important for your financial future.

Stated intent

The fundamentals of buying real estate in Dubai are no different from those elsewhere. As an expat, you may be even more anxious regarding the decision to buy which is all the more reason to stick to some tried principles.

First of all, be very clear as to why you are investing in real estate. Whether to provide the family with a home, generate a steady stream of income or build equity for the future, make sure about what the expectations are and quantify them wherever possible. Plan for the long term and can be rewarding if you ride out one or two cycles.

If you have the cash to pay, I suggest you pay for it outright. However, don’t be afraid to take out a mortgage and make the purchase as at least your repayments are building equity, not being lost forever on rent.

Picking an option

As always, stick to the basics. Properties which are close to the beach (especially with a sea view), a golf course view or part of an iconic development such as Downtown Dubai is a good place to start. If you can have close access to the Metro, even better. These are more likely to provide superior appreciation in capital value as well as be able to ride out cyclical volatility with less distress.

You also need to consider the effectiveness of the owners association, service charges and the quality of maintenance services. Facility management is becoming increasingly important to determining the value of buildings, and it will have an effect on the long-term value of your investment.

If you cannot find a property immediately that will satisfy your requirements and objectives, do not settle for less, regardless of what’s happening in the market.

Source "https://gulfnews.com/business/analysis/time-uae-residents-thought-beyond-renting-to-actually-investing-in-property-1.74291113"

$1.05bln of weekly real estate transactions in Dubai

A total of 182 plots were sold for $329mln, 1,140 apartments and villas were sold for $435mln

 

 

DUBAI - The real estate and properties transactions in Dubai were valued at AED3.89 billion in total during the week ending October 1st 2020, according to the figures of the Department of Land and Property in Dubai. The sum of transactions was 1,732.

A total of 182 plots were sold for AED1.21 billion, 1,140 apartments and villas were sold for AED1.56 billion.

The top three transactions were a land in Marsa Dubai sold for AED250.2 million, followed by a land sold for AED45.04 million in Al Hebiah First, and a land worth AED250.2 million in Marsa Dubai in third place.

Al Hebiah Third recorded the most transactions for this week by 19 sales transactions worth AED48.17 million, followed by Hadaeq Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid with 15 sales transactions worth AED104.89 million, and Al Thanayah Fourth with 13 sales transactions worth AED123 million in third place.

The top three transfers for apartments and villas were an apartment was sold for AED221 million in Burj Khalifa, an apartment was second in the list sold for AED199 million in Al Merkadh, and thirdly it was an apartment sold for AED182 million in Al Khairan First.

The sum of the amount of mortgaged properties for the week was 843 million, with the highest being a land in Al Barshaa South Second, mortgaged for AED 129 million.

A total of 99 properties were granted between first-degree relatives worth AED281 million.

© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2020.

Source "https://www.zawya.com/mena/en/business/story/105bln_of_weekly_real_estate_transactions_in_Dubai-WAM20201001162220209/"

Israeli investors eye booming UAE real estate, energy, AI sectors

 

 

As the talks to normalise relations between Israel and the UAE gather momentum, a group of private sector players from Israel, Emirates-Israel Investment Group is also expected in the country in search of mutually beneficial investment and trading opportunities.
 
Coming against the backdrop of the historic talks, a group of Israel investors under the auspices of the United Emirates-Israel Investment Group, have shown keen interest in developing partnerships in various sectors of the regional economy. 
 
A organisation founded by a group of investors with vast experience in business all over the world, The Emirates-Israel fund specialise in different areas such as real estate, energy, artificial intelligence (AI), automotive, cyber security, agriculture and food industry. 
 
The group has identified Dubai as the gateway to the region’s vibrant market and their first visit to the UAE is seen as a launchpad for doing business in the wider GCC region. 
 
Israel known as a 'start-up nation' is expected to bring innovative solutions in the energy, cyber security and communications industries. 
 
With the right trading opportunities, the group says its exports to the UAE could jump to an annual $300-$500 million, said a top official. 
 
"We are proud of the successful normalization talks between Israel and the UAE - two great nations that can achieve more in terms of economic growth following a strong annual bilateral trade," remarked Advocate Ofir Bar-Noy, the co-founder of the group and UAE-Israel owner of Bar-Noy and Co Lawyer office.
 
"As private sector players from Israel, we are also looking for investment opportunities in key areas such as cyber technology, biotech, green energy and food technology that can further strengthen this relationship," he added.
 
According to Ofir, the group’s primary objective is to collaborate with UAE investors and to nurture trade opportunities as well as to establish solid foundations for long term business relationships.
 
The group also plans to tap into UAE’s unique position as a regional business hub for world-class products and cutting-edge technology to grow a market for Israel products and services.
 
Source "http://www.tradearabia.com/news/CONS_372724.html"

Invest in Dubai Real Estate initiative to offer best services at virtual event

Taking place alongside International Property Show, event to generate additional networking opportunities for market

 

 

The Dubai Land Department (DLD) on Saturday launched the Invest in Dubai Real Estate initiative to offer the best virtual experience to the realty industry.

The department, through its Real Estate Promotion and Investment Management Sector, in cooperation with Strategic Holding, announced the latest move to unveil unprecedented interactive features for its very first virtual edition from November 11-20 to provide an unparalleled, intriguing experience for the global real estate community.

Invest in Dubai Real Estate aspires to be the best virtual destination for the industry as it utilises the most advanced virtual technology and a digital platform that will advance upon the real estate industry in Dubai.

Taking place alongside the International Property Show, Invest in Dubai Real Estate will generate additional networking opportunities for the Dubai real estate market.

In a safe and secure virtual environment, made possible through its partner Events 10X, the event will eradicate all barriers and stimulate connectivity among exhibitors, developers, investors and other professionals from different parts of the globe. The aim would be to maximise investment opportunities for the local real estate market, with the ultimate goal of further boosting economic progress and sustainability in Dubai.

"Innovation is an indispensable pillar to shape the future of the real estate industry. Possessing the ability to quickly adapt to varying real estate scenarios, such as using technology to transform the future of the industry, is a necessity to stay resilient and gain a competitive edge in international markets," said Sultan Butti bin Mejren, director-general of the DLD.

"The DLD has played a crucial role in adapting to and promoting innovation and using artificial intelligence because we are consistently seeking approaches that would strengthen Dubai's reputation as a role model for smart cities in the world," he added.

Source "https://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/real-estate/invest-in-dubai-real-estate-initiative-to-offer-best-services-at-virtual-event"

 

Dubai tenants turn into homeowners; mortgage purchases up after COVID-19 lockdown

91% of new real estate purchases made by first-time buyers: Colliers report91% of new real estate purchases made by first-time buyers: Colliers report

 

Dubai’s tenants are flocking into the real estate market and buying homes to take advantage of low interest rates and competitive prices.

In a survey conducted by Colliers during the second quarter of the year, 82 percent of real estate professionals agreed that mortgage purchases in the emirate are increasing. Most of the buyers (91 percent) are first-time homeowners or end users, while only nine percent are investors.

According to the real estate services firm, an increasing number of tenants are now looking to invest in property for themselves as the rent or mortgage payment gap narrows.

“Other contributing factors include current low interest rates, reduced loan-to-value, reduced fees and attractive property prices,” Colliers said in its report released on Sunday.

Property transactions in Dubai have been on the rise despite the overall economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Industry sources said that buying a home has become a more attractive proposition for both investors and buyers, as prices have gone down.

Bigger private space

The stay-at-home trend has also fuelled demand for residential units with ample space, as well as those with swimming pools and gardens.

During the third quarter of the year, close to 9,000 property transactions worth 18.4 billion UAE dirhams ($5.01 billion) were recorded in Dubai, according to Data Finder, the real estate insights and data platform under the Property Finder Group. Transactions in September were 56.56 percent higher than August.

“There has been quite an array of interesting dynamics in the Dubai real estate market these past few months…Our broker clients are having all-time record-breaking months. Needless to say, pent-up demand, best-ever mortgage rates and lower down payments have been the perfect combination to stimulate the Dubai real estate market,” said Lynnette Abad, director of research and data at Property Finder.

Among the real estate professionals polled by Colliers, 44 percent said there has been an increase in demand for properties priced above 5 million UAE dirhams.

Trends in second quarter

“Since lockdown measures were eased, there had been an increased number of sales in higher-end communities. One of the findings from our research is that investors took advantage of the lower price points prior to the COVID-19 lockdown,” said Colliers.

“This created a domino effect releasing pent-up demand from prospective buyers that had been waiting for the right time to buy. After the lockdown measures eased, the market began to pick up momentum as waiting buyers had the opportunity to react.

The majority of the polled respondents also saw an uptake in clients moving from apartments to villas and townhouses.

Buyers that do want apartments tend to favour units that offer additional accommodation and larger terraces or balconies. Apartments that don’t have a balcony are, therefore, proving difficult to sell.

Third quarter trends

Colliers said there are still increased levels of activity from property end users and first-tome buyers during the third quarter of the year, with a large proportion of these looking for a mortgage.

There has also been an increase in transactions involving higher end properties, particular in premium locations like Palm Jumeirah, District One and Jumeirah Islands.

“Due to lockdown restrictions, changing work habits, the desire for larger space and potentially a higher percentage of homeowners less attracted to apartment living, is something that we have noticed continuing into this quarter,” said Colliers.

(Reporting by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Mily Chakrabarty)

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Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. The content does not provide tax, legal or investment advice or opinion regarding the suitability, value or profitability of any particular security, portfolio or investment strategy. Read our full disclaimer policy here.

Source "https://www.zawya.com/mena/en/business/story/Dubai_tenants_turn_into_homeowners_mortgage_purchases_up_after_COVID19_lockdown-ZAWYA20201004091401/"

Dubai's weekly real estate sales transactions hit $1.05bn

Dubai's real estate and properties transactions value hit AED3.89 billion ($1.05 billion) during the week ending October 1, according to the figures of the Department of Land and Property in Dubai. 
 
Of the total 1,732 land plots, 182 was sold for AED1.21 billion ($326 million), while 1,140 apartments and villas were snapped up for AED1.56 billion ($424 million).
 
A total of 182 plots were sold for AED1.21 billion, while 1,140 apartments and villas were sold for AED1.56 billion.
 
The top three transactions were a land in Marsa Dubai sold for AED250.2 million, followed by a land sold for AED45.04 million in Al Hebiah First, and a land worth AED250.2 million in Marsa Dubai in third place.
 
Al Hebiah Third recorded the most transactions for this week by 19 sales transactions worth AED48.17 million, followed by Hadaeq Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid with 15 sales transactions worth AED104.89 million, and Al Thanayah Fourth with 13 sales transactions worth AED123 million in third place, said the report.
 
The top three transfers for apartments and villas were an apartment was sold for AED221 million in Burj Khalifa, an apartment was second in the list sold for AED199 million in Al Merkadh, and thirdly it was an apartment sold for AED182 million in Al Khairan First, it stated.
 
Department of Land and Property said the sum of the amount of mortgaged properties for the week was 843 million, with the highest being a land in Al Barshaa South Second, mortgaged for AED 129 million.
 
A total of 99 properties were granted between first-degree relatives worth AED281 million, it added.-TradeArabia News Service
 
Source:"http://www.tradearabia.com/news/CONS_373458.html"

Israeli investors eye UAE property deals

Individuals and Israeli institutions are willing to invest in Dubai real estate once the two countries will finalise details to establish diplomatic relations in coming weeks.

As the UAE and Israel are holding talks this week to finalise details to set up diplomatic ties following the announcement of a peace treaty, investors have shown interest in real estate sectors of the two countries, Khaleej Times has learnt.

Industry insiders said Israeli investors, both individuals and institutions, are willing to invest in Dubai real estate once the two countries finalise details of establishing diplomatic relations in the coming weeks.

Matthew Bortnick, associate director at Tel Aviv-based Beauchamp Estates, said Israeli investors are keen to make forays into the UAE property market.

"We have received over 50 inquiries over the past two weeks from Israeli investors, both individuals and institutions, looking to get involved in the Emirati market. I've taken numerous meetings with various developers to make this a reality," Bortnick said.

Beauchamp Estates Tel Aviv specialises in sales, rentals and new homes. Aside from a portfolio of Tel Aviv and Herzliya properties for sale, it also has offices in UK,  the US, France and Greece.

"Interestingly, I've also had over 20 inquiries from Emirati investors looking to invest in the Israeli property market," he said in a statement to Khaleej Times on Sunday.
"These past two weeks have kept many of us busy with nothing but the implications of the new peace deal. Exciting indeed," he added. 

"These past two weeks have kept many of us busy with nothing but the implications of the new peace deal. Exciting indeed," he added.

He said Emirati investors have taken interest in beach side properties and new developments in Tel Aviv as well as private homes in Herzliya Pituach - a suburb north of Tel Aviv on the sea featuring mostly villas - wheras Tel Aviv is mostly apartments. 

"Tel Aviv features more luxury high-rise developments that are similar to those properties in Dubai. Some are interested in the capital growth and long term safe investment value of these properties, as well as using them as a holiday home with Israel being only four hours away," he said.

To a question, he said Israeli investors have taken interest in similar properties in Dubai, attracted by the high yields and holiday rental use they can provide. "Prices are less than in Israel and offer higher yields for the money and are thus more accessible for most Israelis. Israelis are often excited by new untapped markets so there is a lot of excitement," he said.

Rizwan Sajan, founder chairman of Danube Group, said recent peace deal with Israel will pave the way for a new era of cooperation and shared prosperity.  

"The UAE government has taken a very bold step and if everything moves as planned, these steps will create greater opportunities for all parties. Businesses will have a larger ground to cover, more customers to serve and will create a win-win situation for all. We are hopeful for the best, which is yet to come.

"With this bold step, the UAE government is creating more opportunities for local businesses. At Danube, we can see lot of investments coming from Israel as the property prices are much cheaper here compared to Israel and soon you will see UAE products in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem," he added.

Atif Rahman, director and partner at Danube Properties, said the investment and business opportunities in UAE are seasoned with a strong growth outlook.

"I believe this is the golden era of investment opportunities in the UAE and it's only natural that the most prolific investment community is getting access to this," he said.

Elaborating, he said it's all about the leadership and UAE is blessed with the best. The UAE has always been led by the most forward thinking and visionary leaders who have created an unparalleled soft and hard infrastructure in the country. The UAE is also one of the safest and most inclusive societies with a track record of tolerance.

"All these are the essential platform for businesses to thrive and grow," he said.

Atif Rahman said excellent infrastructure, strong regulatory framework, immigration reforms, trade liberalisation, geographical advantage further boost the UAE advantage. All of this put together create a unique combination of safe yet high yield investment opportunities, he said.

"It's a historical decision taken today that the future will be proud of. This move has far reaching benefits, and I am confident that the decision will commence a new era of stability for the entire Arab world," he said.

Source "https://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/local/kt-exclusive-israeli-investors-eye-uae-property-deals-"

Dubai’s new retirement visa to boost local economy and property market

Analysts say the emirate's move will influence expats’ investment and spending decisions

A retired expatriate and their spouse can apply for the five-year visa with the possibility of automatic renewal online, provided the retiree continues to meet the criteria.

Scott Livermore, chief economist at Oxford Economics Middle East, said that attracting a well-off retired population will further boost demand in the economy while altering the transient nature of the population.

 Allowing expats an option to stay for a longer term will “influence their investment and spending decisions”, Mr Livermore said.

“The sectors likely to benefit are real estate, retail, health care, hospitality and entertainment, and, potentially, finance,” he told The National.

Expats make up a bulk of the UAE’s 5.2 million private sector labour force and the duration of their stay in the country is largely linked to their employment status. However, the UAE has taken many steps to provide flexibility and has previously announced five-year and 10-year visas for entrepreneurs and skilled expats. It has also provided short-term visas for job seekers.

“We see any easing of immigration rules as a positive step … ,” Carla Slim, senior economist at Standard Chartered Bank, said.

With the latest visa, Dubai is also tapping into the potential of the retiree population – a strong driver of demand in the economies of Florida and other Southern states in the US.

In 2015, people aged over 50 generated around $7.6 trillion (Dh27.9tn) worth of economic activity in the US, according to a report by Oxford Economics titled ‘The Longevity Economy’. Direct spending on consumer goods and services, including health care, by those aged 50 and over amounted to $5.6tn in 2015, the report added. Another report by the Economist Intelligence Unit last year estimated the contribution of the older generation to the US economy at $8.3tn.

Mr Livermore said that Dubai could stand to gain “if it is able to attract snowbirds from Europe”.

The retiree visa could also lead to more older expats buying homes in the emirate since one of three stipulations of the visa requirements is property ownership.

“Now that the retirement visa is open for those outside the UAE, holiday home purchases could rise as a result,” said Lewis Allsopp, chief executive of Allsopp & Allsopp, a real estate brokerage. “Dubai is extremely popular with tourists worldwide and a great place for retirees to spend the winter and enjoy all that Dubai has to offer.”

Meanwhile, the retiree visa also offers a sense of security for those nearing retirement age in Dubai. “The Dubai property market will benefit immensely as a result of more expats investing in family homes,” Mr Allsopp added.

“Expats over 50 are not buying homes as often as people in their 30s purely because of the lack of visa as they near retirement age. I predict that many people will now be having discussions with their families about where they will retire and perhaps changing their plans off the back of this new legislation,” Mr Allsopp said.

Talal Moafaq Al Gaddah, chief executive of MAG Real Estate Development, said that Dubai’s move to issue retiree visas showed that the emirate is “a safe haven to everyone”.

Lynnette Abad, director of research and data at Property Finder, said any such decision will “certainly impact the property market in a positive way”.

“Before this initiative, expats knew their time was limited in the UAE, which impacted their decisions to purchase property. This new initiative opens up many opportunities and the ability to plan long term which includes the option to purchase a home to eventually retire in,” Ms Abad added.

With first-time expat buyers required to put down a deposit of 20 per cent on a property worth Dh2m, they would have to pay Dh400,000 upfront, according to Mortgage Finder.

“Currently, many banks in the UAE will not lend purely on retirement income. So, it will depend on what the borrower’s main income source is,” said Warren Philiskirk, director at Mortgage Finder.

The majority of banks also have upper age limits on who they will lend to. Most will lend to employed expat residents up to the age of 65 or 70 for UAE nationals and self-employed expats, said Mr Philiskirk, adding that non-residents are looked at on a case-by-case basis.

Steve Cronin, founder of DeadSimpleSaving.com, said that the set criteria will give people a target to save.

“People will need to feel confident that they can reach the minimum criteria not just the first time but every five years for renewal also,” he said.

Prathyusha Gurrapu, head of research and advisory, Core, a property consultancy, expects this regulation to open new real estate asset classes such as retirement communities with integrated healthcare that are prevalent in other mature economies.

“The UAE already caters to significant demand from tourism, holiday and second home investors from international markets, with this regulation expected to contribute further to medical and leisure tourism from the retiree resident’s family and friends,” Ms Gurrapu added.

Source "https://www.thenational.ae/business/property/dubai-s-new-retirement-visa-to-boost-local-economy-and-property-market-1.1072438"

 

Dubai sees most property transactions in August since onset of Covid-19

A total of 2,457 properties worth Dh4.73bn were sold last month, an annual increase of 11.3%, says Property Finder

The Dubai property market registered the highest number of sales transactions in August this year since the onset of Covid-19, according to a new report from the portal Property Finder.

Although August is historically considered to be a slow month for property transactions, the industry defied norms and recorded 2,457 sales transactions worth Dh4.73 billion last month, according to data from the portal. This represented a monthly increase of 2.2 per cent and an annual increase of 11.3 per cent, according to Data Finder, the real estate insights and data platform under the Property Finder group.

“In previous years, the summer months were typically slower for real estate transactions in Dubai because of the summer holidays," said Lynnette Abad, director of research and data at Property Finder. "This year, due to the Covid-19 situation, many residents chose not to travel. This, coupled with pent-up demand and attractive pricing, drove transactions higher.”

Among the transactions concluded in August, 31.6 per cent were off-plan while 68.4 per cent were in the secondary market, according to Property Finder. There were 1,189 mortgage transactions worth Dh10.44bn in August.

With few project launches from developers in Dubai, buyer interest seems to be aimed at units in the secondary market. There was an annual increase of 22.4 per cent in secondary market transactions in August this year, according to the portal.

More than 5,560 property sales transactions worth Dh10.88bn took place in Dubai during the second quarter of this year, which is half the number of transactions during the first quarter, bringing this year’s total to 15,893 deals worth Dh32.49bn, according to an earlier Property Finder report.

Dubai’s property market has softened due to oversupply and a drop in oil prices that began in 2014. In September of last year the emirate formed a higher committee for real estate, headed by Deputy Ruler Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed and senior property developers, that aims to achieve a balance between supply and demand in the sector.

The market could bounce back next year on the back of increased economic activity related to Expo 2020, Hussain Sajwani, chairman of the UAE’s third-largest listed developer Damac, said in May.

The top areas for overall sales transactions in Dubai in August were Town Square, Jumeirah Village Circle, Dubai Marina, International City and Business Bay, according to Property Finder data.

Most off-plan transactions were registered in Jumeirah Village Circle, Business Bay, Palm Jumeirah, Arjan and International City. The bulk of secondary market properties were sold in Town Square, Dubai Marina, Dubailand, Downtown Dubai and Dubai Sports City, the property website added.

“Since the Covid-19-induced crisis began, we have seen the search demand for larger units and number of bedrooms increase significantly and the sales transactions today further validate this,” Ms Abad said.

The volume of sales transactions for 1-bedroom apartments in Dubai fell by more than 10 per cent, since the start of the pandemic. Studio transactions declined by more than 34 per cent. The volume of transactions for 3, 4 and 5-bedroom apartments increased by 9 per cent, 20 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively, according to Property Finder.

The findings are in line with data from CBRE, which found demand for larger properties such as villas and townhouses increased across GCC real estate markets as end-users spend more time working from home amid the pandemic.

Source "https://www.thenational.ae/business/property/dubai-sees-most-property-transactions-in-august-since-onset-of-covid-19-1.1071790"

Dubai launches 5-year retirement visa

Under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Dubai Government today announced the launch of Retire in Dubai, a global retirement programme that offers resident expatriates and foreigners aged 55 and above the opportunity to enjoy the emirate’s distinctive lifestyle.

The first such scheme in the region, Retire in Dubai is spearheaded by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism) in collaboration with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA-Dubai). The new initiative showcases Dubai as the world’s preferred retirement destination.

 To ensure a competitive offering, Dubai Tourism has worked with its partners to develop key propositions for retirees covering healthcare, real estate, insurance and banking. Details of the offerings, designed to help retirees enjoy a happy and fulfilling life, and all information necessary to start the application process, are available on www.retireindubai.com.

Eligible applicants will be provided a Retirement Visa, renewable every five years. The retiree can choose between one of three financial requirements for eligibility: earning a monthly income of Dhs20,000 (approx. $5,500); having savings of Dhs1 million (approx. $275,000); or owning a property in Dubai worth Dhs2 million (approx. $550,000).

In its initial phase, the programme will focus on UAE residents working in Dubai who have reached retirement age. The programme offers long-term residents of the city who are familiar with Dubai’s value proposition an easy and hassle-free retirement option. Dubai’s close proximity with the native countries of a large majority of residents makes it a convenient retirement destination for them.

Announcing the initiative, Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai Tourism, said: “The Retire in Dubai programme is based on the vision of Sheikh Mohammed to further enhance Dubai’s position as an iconic global city and make it the world’s most preferred lifestyle destination. Dubai’s Retirement Readiness strategy will enable expatriates and international retirees to take advantage of the city’s open-door policy, tolerance, and outstanding quality of life and live in one of the world’s fastest growing, culturally diverse cities.

“With the continued support of our stakeholders and partners including GDRFA-Dubai, the retirement programme will contribute towards our tourism economy by facilitating frequent visits from families and friends of the retirees and increasing visitation from markets with a high retiree population.  This will also have the wider effect of promoting Dubai as a retiree-friendly destination while highlighting the city’s unparalleled lifestyle and diverse destination offerings and experiences.”

Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director-General of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in Dubai said that the retirement programme reflects the vision of Sheikh Mohammed to enhance the emirate’s position as a prominent destination on the global investment map. Dubai was recently ranked first in the Middle East and North Africa region and 11th globally among the top 20 most popular destinations for venture capital investments for 2020, which validates the strengths of Dubai's investment environment and its success in creating new opportunities despite the challenges caused by the pandemic.

He said that the Retire in Dubai initiative is part of the combined efforts of GDRFA and Dubai Tourism to reinforce the emirate's status as a preferred tourism and lifestyle hub as well as provide a unique lifestyle for retirees, which will help boost economic development in the country and enhance its global reputation as a business and investment centre. “We work closely with Dubai Tourism to launch initiatives to attract investors from all over the world,” he added.

The Retire in Dubai programme revolves around seven key factors that make Dubai the ideal destination for retirees:

 Unique Lifestyle

 Home to over 200 nationalities, Dubai is a cosmopolitan destination that unites cultures, beliefs, and values under a banner of tolerance and diversity. Although Arabic is the official language, Dubai is a multilingual city where English is the most widely spoken language. Dubai Tourism, in collaboration with its real estate partners Dubai Holding, Meraas and Emaar, and Emirates NBD, has put together banking options that will enable retirees to own a property that fits their lifestyle. The options will be available only to holders of the Retirement Visa.

Convenience

Dubai provides its residents with a comfortable and hassle-free lifestyle, with conveniences ranging from home services to food delivery. It’s a city of affordable luxury where retirees can choose the quality of life they desire.

Recreation 

One of the world’s most popular leisure and shopping destinations, living in Dubai will enable retirees to take care of all their needs, whether it’s rest, relaxation or recreation. As the gastronomic capital of the region, Dubai offers a range of culinary experiences catering to all appetites, cultures and budgets. Residents can choose from thousands of cafés, food trucks and restaurants that reflect the exotic cuisines of its 200 plus resident nationalities, whether it is dished out by Michelin-starred chefs or street vendors. Dubai also provides a diverse and world-class spa offering in a variety of settings whether it's the beach, the city or desert resorts. For connoisseurs of art and culture, Dubai provides many ways to discover its history and heritage and be part of a vibrant creative community of artists, as well as the opportunity to attend a plethora of festivals and events throughout the year.

An active and fit society

Retirees in Dubai have access to a healthy outdoor lifestyle, with a wide range of fitness options, whether it is strolling or jogging along sandy beaches, relaxing in beautiful gardens or hiking in Hatta. An active citywide fitness movement driven by the Dubai Fitness Challenge reflects the city’s collective spirit and strong sense of community.

Proximity & connectivity 

Combined with its ideal geographical location midway between the West and the East, Dubai’s highly-connected infrastructure – both technological and physical – makes it easy for retirees to connect with and visit friends and family from all over the world. Dubai International (DXB) is one of the busiest airports in the world and connects more than 240 destinations through 140 airlines. With the addition of its second airport Dubai World Central (DWC), connectivity has become one of Dubai’s most compelling advantages. With the city’s two homegrown airlines Emirates and flydubai and over 100 other regular and low-cost airlines to choose from, Dubai ranks as one of the top cities in the world when it comes to airline connectivity. Perfectly positioned as a gateway to the globe, you can travel to anywhere in Europe, Asia, and Africa in under eight hours.

World-class healthcare system

Dubai provides the highest quality of healthcare across a range of specialisations. Following the global pandemic, Dubai’s robust healthcare system has been further strengthened in line with the highest international benchmarks and best practices. The city continues to be one of the world’s safest destinations. Furthermore, Dubai Tourism has developed price-competitive insurance packages for retirees in cooperation with leading companies in the sector.

Legacy Management

To ensure that retirees can have their affairs planned for and protected, the DIFC Wills Service Centre has developed enhanced wills drafting, registration and probate services at exclusive competitive rates. The services will help retirees enjoy their lives in Dubai confident that their assets are safe and can be passed on to their loved ones.

Source"https://www.gulftoday.ae/news/2020/09/02/dubai-launches-5-year-retirement-visa"

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