I own a property in Dubai that is in my sole name and owned outright. It is worth considerably more than the minimum amount required to obtain a residence visa related to property ownership. What I don’t understand are the actual benefits of obtaining a residency visa. I am Irish and able to travel in and out of the UAE as I wish, so does the residence visa allow me to stay indefinitely without renewal if I stay for a long time? Are there any other benefits? AM, Ireland
For someone holding a passport that permits them to enter freely on a visit visa there is usually less demand for a residency visa, but there can be several advantages. These include: no requirement to exit the country and renew a visit visa after 30 days, the option to obtain a UAE driving licence and to buy and drive their own car, ability to obtain an alcohol licence, increased banking options and the option for children to go to school in the UAE. Note that someone may not take up employment with this type of visa. Most of the queries I receive in relation to a property-related visa are from people whose passports mean that they have to apply for a tourist visa each time they come to the UAE. Property visas come with a fee, but there is no guarantee it will be granted even if they own a property.
Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai, with more than 20 years’ experience. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE.
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