To the joy of many expats leaving in the Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have announced in 2018 that they will provide long term residence permit to highly value foreigners. These permit have a length of 5 or 10 years and cater to investors, entrepreneurs, outstanding students, specialised talents and researchers. The measure was put in place to retain talent and reinforce the economy. At the same time, the UAE announced that 100% ownership in business by foreigner will be allowed start 2019. Until then, Foreign business people had to enter in partnership with a UAE national or have their business located in the Free Zone to retain 100% ownership.
The UAE has been the destinations for HNWI from Middle East and India to relocate to and the new residence by investment programs (RBI) are expected to have a lot of success. Until know, property owners and Free Zone business investors had to apply for annual permit or 2-year permit that needed to be renewed and which left them with uncertainty. Now business investors can receive a 10-year permit with their investment and property owner can obtain a 5-year permit even if both are only required to hold the investment for a minimum of 3 years. The 10-year investor resident permit could also be extended to the Spouse, children, one executive director and one advisor.
Naturalisation is not a straightforward process and takes at least 20 years unless you are an Arab from the other Emirate of the Arabic peninsula. Other Arabs can qualify after 7 years, but not many foreigners are naturalised by the UAE. The UAE Passport has been growing in strength and it currently provides visa-free travel to the European Union.
Investors in public investments of at least AED 10 million
The investment may take many forms such as:
Investors in a property in the UAE:
This category includes those having an existing project with a minimum capital of AED 500,000, or those who have the approval of an accredited business incubator in the country.