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Overseas Health Insurance News: Buying property in the Middle East helps expats gain residency

A growing number of expatriates are choosing to purchase property in the Middle East as a way to boost their chances of gaining long-term residency.

The main expat hotspots of Dubai and Abu Dhabi saw purchases by foreigners top £1.7 billion last year alone, property experts have said.

Dubai is the largest market for expat real estate in the Gulf states with Brits responsible for 21 per cent of the property sold.

Middle Eastern economies are currently undergoing a resurgence, meaning that as well as helping foreigners to gain residency, buying property in the region is also a good investment.

Mark Stott, chief executive officer of Select Property, told the Telegraph: "Now is a good time to invest in Dubai and if you choose the right areas you will see good capital growth and strong rental yields from your property."

He gave the example of a two bedroom apartment in The Torch complex, which is situated within the Dubai Marina.

A year and a half ago the price for such a property was 900,000 dirhams (£154,369), but it currently sits at 1.2 million dirhams (£205,826), meaning that those who invested then are already seeing a good return.

The Qatar government has been keen to attract foreigners to the country and has therefore promoted luxury accommodation as a good investment opportunity.

It offers residency permits to those who purchase such property, with a large number being on offer in the capital city, Doha.

Expats looking to purchase homes and secure residency should ensure that local amenities support their way of living, with shops, restaurants and transport links in the area.

At present the most desirable developments in Dubai include downtown Dubai, Dubai Marina and the Palm islands.

Paying close attention to finishings is also important as the quality of the workmanship can vary considerably between one place and another.

Anyone who purchases property and then decides not to stay in the region in the long-term will find they do not have a problem renting to other expats.

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