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Expatriates with own homes to be awarded Dubai visas

Expatriates living in Dubai could be automatically granted residency visas if they have purchased a property in the emirate, it has been announced.

Under new legislation being developed by the Dubai authorities, foreign nationals would be eligible for six-month visas, regardless of where they are originally from or how big the property they bought is, the National has reported.

This comes as the United Arab Emirates as a whole looks to increase interest among would-be expatriates, with the property markets currently suffering from a slight downturn after years of marked growth.

However, while these new rules are likely to be welcomed by a few expatriates, experts have pointed out that most investors are looking to the long-term, and therefore such a short residency permit would be unlikely to appeal.

"Due to the short-term nature of the proposed visa this does not give buyers a sense of security if they are thinking of staying, moving to or retiring in Dubai, as property for many is a long-term investment," Liz O’Connor, director of residential sales at Better Homes told the newspaper.

At the same time, it has been reported that Dubai’s property sector could be set to receive some state funding to help it weather the current economic turbulence.

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