What is the UAE Golden Visa - Pic

United Arab Emirates launched its golden visa (a unique long-term residence visa with exclusive benefits) back in 2018 that enables foreign talent, entrepreneurs, investors, and their families to make UAE their second home, where they can live, work or study.

Since its launch the UAE golden visa has been a major success and have attracted thousands of individuals and families who are looking towards UAE’s safe & secure environment, low tax regime, stable political environment, and thriving economy. To qualify for the visa, one of the routes is to make a significant investment in one or more properties worth a minimum of AED 2 million (USD 550,000 approx.) or more from approved local real estate companies in the Emirates.


Why UAE Golden Visa?

Other than making UAE as your second home where you and your family can live, work, or study, the golden visa offers benefits as below.

  • Applicants enjoy benefits of 0% tax on personal income, net worth, or withholding tax (except for those levied in the domestic banking and oil sectors.
  • Applicants can stay outside the UAE however long they need.
  • Applicants can sponsor their spouses and any unmarried children of any age may be added at no additional investment.
  • All dependents are protected by a right to remain until the end of the residency period, in unfortunate case if the main applicant is deceased.
  • Applicants can sponsor any number of domestic helpers like cleaners, nannies, and drivers.
  • Applicants are qualified to receive Esaad privilege card, which provides significant discounts not just in the UAE, but in 92 other countries.

Why United Arab Emirates?

Excellent infrastructural facilities coupled with professional expertise and personalized services give the UAE an edge over other countries, with some of the highlights as below.

  • UAE has several double-tax treaties in place.
  • UAE is ranked second in the world safety index in 2022, according.
  • None of the emirates in UAE comes in the most expensive cities in the world as per World Economic Forum report 2022.
  • UAE is one of the most attractive business destinations worldwide, with approximately 4,000 millionaires expected to move to the country this year.
  • UAE is ranked 1st in terms of business efficiency, 2nd in terms of government efficiency, and 7th on economic performance index, as per the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Economy.
  • UAE is considered as the gateway to MENA “Middle Ease & North Africa”, Asia, and Europe due to the country’s strategic geographic positioning.
  • UAE is the 25th most competitive economy globally as per the Global Competitiveness Report 2019, leading the MENA region.
  • UAE is a member state of the United Nations, the Gulf Co-operation Council, and the Arab League.

Does this mean the UAE is a secure business hub for entrepreneurs from around the world?

Well, United Arab Emirates is considered a tax haven because income, capital gains, inheritance, gifts, and properties are exempt from taxation. However, from July 2023 or January 2024 “depending on the financial year followed by the business” there will be tax on corporate profit, as per the Ministry of Finance the rates are (0% for taxable income up to AED 375,000 “USD 102,000 approx.” and 9% for taxable income above AED 375,000. For further information on corporate tax visit the official portal of The United Arab Emirates' Government.

The investors can register their business in Free Zones (there are more than 40 free zones that allow 100% foreign ownership of business) with a special tax and customs regime if they are considering reducing the tax burden.


How can I help you with this?

As an Investment Migration Expert and a professional member of IMCM “Investment Migration Council” I will conducts an initial due diligence to find out issues (if any related to anti money laundering) and raise the chances for obtaining the visa, one of my associates will assist you on collecting required documents, getting them translated, notarise / legalized (when and if required), will apply for initial six months entry visa, arrange property viewing for investments, arrange appointments for medical check-up, and apply for a golden visa. Usually, the processing time for the residence application takes over eight weeks.

One of the questions I keep hearing again and again and that is “since the program seems too good to be true, are there any downsides of the program?” Well, the answer is YES, UAE golden visa is not a direct route to obtaining citizenship in UAE, and the golden visa does not allow investors to visit USA, or Europe as visa-free.


The Author

Imran Mirani
Head of RCBI / Business Migration
Investment Migration Council Member

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