United Arab Emirates Faqs

Here you can clarify any doubts or question marks regarding the UAE and its viability as an ideal property location.

Can foreign nationals own property in the UAE?

Yes, foreigners can purchase freehold property in the UAE within designated areas, while Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nationals are allowed freehold ownership anywhere in the Emirates. As the real estate market is still relatively new to foreign buyers in the UAE, most property for sale is newly built and many people buy within special pre-approved zones.

Why should I choose the UAE?

The UAE boasts one of the most developed economies on the planet, making for a strong investment arena. The emergence of previously lesser-known emirates such as Abu Dhabi, Ras al-Khaimah and Ajman means investors are enjoying relatively low prices, when compared with much of Dubai, and strong capital appreciation of 20-40% p.a. (depending upon emirate). High demand for property, combined with rental yields of 6-10% p.a. are a recipe for success for timely investors.

An absence of taxes and a low cost of living are further incentives for investors, drawing many foreign companies to establish activities in free zones and industrial cities.

What is the economic and political situation?

The UAE possesses one of the most highly developed and industrialised economies on the planet, as reflected in its GDP per capita, ranking 5th in the world and 3rd in the Middle East, after Qatar and Kuwait. GDP growth rate in 2007 stood at 7.4%, and predictions from The Economist quote an average forecast for the period 2008 to 2012 of an average 7.6% p.a.

As one of the fastest growing tourist markets in the world, the UAE attracts record numbers of international jet-setters and investors alike. UAE tourism already accounts for 0.5% of worldwide tourism, while the tourist industry in the Emirates is forecasted to grow by some 4.9% per annum until 2017. A frenzy of real estate activity is producing a vast array awe-inspiring hotel and resort developments in a bid to supply an unprecedented demand for top quality property.

How do I travel to the UAE?

You can arrive at any of the UAE’s six international airports at: Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH), Al Ain International Airport (AAN), Dubai Airport (DXB), Sharjah International Airport (SHJ), Ra’s al-Khaimah International Airport (RKT) or Fujairah International Airport (FJR/OMFJ). Meanwhile, a seventh, the Dubai World Central, is now under construction and expected to be fully open for passengers by 2017.

The national airlines are Etihad Airways and Emirates.

What is the direct flying time to the UAE?

Below are some sample flight durations to the UAE:

London to Abu Dhabi - 6 hours 35 minutes
London to Dubai - around 7 hours
Frankfurt to Dubai - 6 hours
Hong King to Dubai - 8 hours
Los Angeles to Dubai - 19 hours 55 minutes
Toronto to Dubai - 14 hours 10 minutes
Sydney to Dubai - 16 hours 15 minutes
Nairobi to Dubai – 4 hours

Is a visa required to enter the UAE?

Generally no, as citizens of no less than 39 countries (GCC nationals and nationals of other listed countries) need not obtain a visa prior to arrival at UAE airports. Simply take your travel documents to the immigration counter upon arrival and they will provide an on-the-spot short entry (visit) visa for one month. Efficient immigration systems are also now in place to facilitate visitors not coming from the 39 countries.

The kind of visa you require depends on various different criteria. In addition to nationality, other factors taken into account, such as the purpose and duration of your planned visit. If you are coming to work in the UAE, you’ll need a visa obtained on your behalf by your employer or sponsor.

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