Property developers have applauded the UAE’s new 10-year visa system aimed at attracting international investors and skilled workers in what could be a major boost to the economy.

Chiefs from Azizi Developments, Danube Properties, Samana Developers, and Gemini Property Developers praised the decision to give investors and high-skilled workers long-term visas, claiming the decision will attract realty investment.

Chairman of Azizi Developments, Mirwais Azizi, told Construction Week that the new visa laws would boost investor confidence in the property market.

“The new visa residency regulations announced by the government are a welcome move for long-term residents in the UAE, and will be especially beneficial for the real estate sector,” he said.

“We believe that this ruling will encourage even more people to invest in buying a house or an apartment. Azizi believes the new regulations will definitely boost buyer and investor confidence in both the short and long-term and reinforce Dubai’s reputation as a safe and long term destination for real estate investment.”

Chairman of Gemini Property Developers, Sudhakar Rao, said the new visa system had the potential to not only boost the economy, but help developers to clear up a burgeoning inventory backlog.

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"From property sales point of view, it will help sell the properties and clear the backlog of large chunks of inventory available in the market. It will encourage developers to invest more in the sector,” he said. “The decision will not only improve the market sentiment, but also will have a chain effect to accelerate investments in general.”

Rao added: “It is a timely and wise decision by the visionary leadership of the UAE, which will have a positive impact on all sectors of the economy.  The real estate will get direct benefit as the property buyers, with families, will have the comfort of 10 years stay in UAE.”

The UAE Cabinet this week approved a range of measure that may boost the economy. This included a decision to allow 100% foreign ownership of UAE-based companies for international investors, and allowing residency visas of up to 10 years for investors, doctors, engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, and innovators.

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Atif Rahman, director and partner at Danube Properties said the laws would boost the construction market in a “big way”.

“The decision to grant residence visas up to 10 years to investors and highly skilled professionals under select categories will go a long way in boosting investor confidence and help liberalise the socio-economic environment where foreigners could play a larger role in local and regional economies,” he said.

The new visa system could have a seismic affect on the GCC, according to Rahamn who said he expected “other countries to follow the trend set by the UAE”.

He added: “This will also boost the real estate market in a big way. Now families, assured of the 10-year residency could call the UAE their home and will be encouraged to invest in their freehold homes. This will also help developers and mortgage providers to offer better choices and options now that the visa tenure has been extended to cover a longer period.”

Imran Farooq, group chief executive officer of Samana Developers, part of Samana Group of Companies, said: "It is a timely and strategic move by the UAE, which will have an economic and social impact.

“The UAE is already a magnet for international investors and the new law will further boost investor confidence, especially in real estate and construction sectors. I expect an influx of new businesses, new investors coming to UAE. The 100 per cent business ownership and 10 years residency for investors will attract [foreign direct investment] to Dubai’s real estate sector.”