100 per cent foreign ownership of companies in the UAE with a 10-year visa for investors, scientists, doctors, engineers, entrepreneurs and innovators
New visa rule in UAE: Magnet for investments, talent
“The decision reveals the transparency and clarity of policies implemented by the UAE’s federal government, a key incentive in attracting foreign direct investments to the country,” said Al Hajiri in a statement.
What are the new rules for 100% foreign investment?
Under the new decision, foreign companies will be allowed to own 100 per cent of their business in the UAE outside free zones — a major departure from the current practice of requiring an Emirati partner with a majority stake. Currently, only companies based in various free zones around the UAE were eligible for the 100 per cent ownership rule. Further, foreign investors establishing a business or simply investing money in the UAE will now be eligible for a visa of up to 10 years. A range of businesses — from start-ups to city-based trades to knowledge economy companies — will be the biggest benefactors from the decision. This will also attract new capital infusion into the UAE economy from investors around the world.
When will these measures come into effect?
Shaikh Mohammad has directed the Ministry of Economy to implement the resolution and follow up on its developments, in coordination with all concerned stakeholders. He has asked for a detailed report to be submitted in the third quarter of this year, and the measures will come into force by the end of 2018.
Why did the UAE undertake these new measures?
The Cabinet resolutions mark a bold new era for the UAE, but they are in line with the UAE leadership’s continued focus on attracting top international investments as well as exceptional talent to the country and build a solid foundation for a diversified knowledge economy. The UAE is already the most diversified and open economy in the Middle East, but these policies with long-term implications will further lift the UAE’s economic competitiveness globally.
How will these measures help the UAE?
In the words of Shaikh Mohammad, the UAE “will remain a global incubator for exceptional talents and a permanent destination for international investors. Our open environment, tolerant values, infrastructure and flexible legislation are the best plan to attract global investment and exceptional talents to the UAE”. That position will not only transform the quality of the UAE’s workforce, but also ensure social and economic stability and ensure a strong surge in home-grown talent. Along with that, the funds remitted by the UAE’s expat population — which stood at Dh164.3 billion in 2017 — could well be spent back in the local economy if residents settle in the country and possibly invest in the local real estate due to the benefit of a long-term visa.
New regulation is likely to further integrate the real estate market with capital markets
The Dubai Land Department (DLD) has proposed a new mortgage and finance law to bring in more capital to the real estate market.
The main objective of the mortgage law is to attract foreign investors and public joint stock companies listed on Nasdaq. The law also aims to encourage alternative financing methods and cater to investors with small and medium-sized portfolios.
"A lot of non-residents are looking to buy property in the UAE and they are looking to get a higher proportion of financing as well. Currently, banks are only offering a loan-to-value ratio of 60 to 65 per cent on ready property for non-resident investors. Banks are hesitant to lend to them owing to the higher degree of risk involved. Certain banks are willing to offer 50 per cent LTV for non-residents based on bank statements and passport copies. The documentation is also complicated as they need to fly down to Dubai to do all the paperwork and transfer," says Carol Monis, head of mortgages, MortgageMe, a financial consultancy.
The proposed mortgage law will attempt to make it easier for specialised funds to come into the Dubai real estate market. Bringing in more real estate investment trusts (Reits) is being touted as one of the alternatives.
According to Core Savills, Reits account for almost 5 per cent of the UAE's listed real estate, compared to more than 40 per cent in countries such as the UK and Singapore.
"This new regulation is expected to further integrate the real estate market with capital markets. These Reits and alternate financing avenues will support the expansion of funding channels available to developers, while also allowing higher exposure to foreign investment funds to Dubai's real estate market and providing investors [individual/retail] liquid, diversified and smaller ticket size investment instruments," explains David Godchaux, Group chief executive officer of Core Savills.
The lower to mid-income residents in Dubai are also keen to buy property to get out of the rental trap. However, the initial upfront costs to purchase a home are prohibitive.
"This involves a 25 per cent deposit for a ready property, 4 per cent transfer fee, 2 per cent broker fee, 1 per cent bank processing fee, 0.25 per cent mortgage registration fee, Dh4,000 trustee fee, and more. In short, they would have to arrange for at least 32 per cent of the property's value as initial costs. This should be relaxed," suggests Monis. Market stakeholders have been calling to ease mortgage regulations to boost the sector.
"However, it may also instigate more short-term/speculative investors versus end-user buyers, that the market needs, more especially in the affordable and lower mid-market segments. Regulations allowing to distinguish between end-users and investors would be welcome to absorb the upcoming supply and work for the short term while having a positive long-term impact as well," concludes Godchaux.
Source: Khaleej Times
Mohammad Bin Rashid: UAE and Dubai will always be pioneers in the world and will not settle for anything less than first place
Since its launch 21 years ago, DGEP has become a synonym for excellence, accomplishment and quality,” Shaikh Mohammad said. He also said that the DGEP has contributed to developing a culture of excellence across the GCC and the Arab region, and making Dubai a byword for service quality.
Shaikh Mohammad was addressing the winners of the 21st edition of DGEP at a ceremony held at the Dubai World Trade Centre, in the presence of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, and Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai. Other shaikhs and senior officials also attended the award ceremony.
He thanked all employees of Dubai Government and expressed his appreciation for their efforts to achieve excellence. He said more new ideas need to be generated to ensure we make another leap in service quality in the next phase of Dubai’s growth.
“Those who were honoured today are our best performers, and everyone should learn from. Their success and commitment to excellence should be a source of inspiration for everyone,” he said.
“At the same time, those who have achieved excellence still have a lot more to do, as accomplishment and excellence have no limits. It’s important that those who achieved outstanding excellence share their experiences with their colleagues. Individual efforts and excellence need to be streamlined to achieve excellence on an organisational level,” Shaikh Mohammad said.
He added that excellence is a culture in the UAE. “What we have accomplished in terms of development and progress in every sphere of life is the result of our commitment to meet the aspirations of our people.”
Addressing the winners, he said: “You are the pillars of our future. Your innovation and hard work and your commitment to ensure the best for your nation will have a great impact on the future of our country. The UAE and Dubai will always be pioneers in the world and will not settle for anything less than first place,” Shaikh Mohammad added.
Source: Gulf News
VAT for property transactions is likely to make a negligible difference in terms of buyer interest
As from January 1. 2018, the UAE is seeing value-added tax (VAT) levied on property transactions across the emirates, including Dubai. VAT has been set at 5 per cent, which is among the lowest rates in the world, with some countries such as the UK and Spain charging more than 20 per cent.
Despite VAT in the UAE being levied at only 5 per cent, its introduction could raise concerns among some property investors and homebuyers alike. Chances are that this tax will potentially become a cash flow issue with funds moving from one account to another, i.e. VAT paid will be compensated with VAT charged. Having to pay more for property related purchases also has the potential to adversely affect sentiment in the market in general.
The introduction of VAT for property transactions in Dubai is likely to make a negligible difference in terms of buyer interest. Five per cent remains one of the lowest rates for VAT in the world and because it is usually charged by one side and claimed back by the other, there's not likely to be much impact overall.
It is important to know that there are two types of charge. The VAT charged on supplies which include services by a registered company such as a lawyer or accountant (outputs) and the levy paid to suppliers for them to produce these goods and services (inputs). With VAT, these inputs and outputs should level each other out, but sometimes it is not possible to charge VAT in both cases for that to happen.
These goods and services can attract either zero rating or can be exempt from VAT. A zero-rated tax means that zero per cent is charged for goods and services produced or sold (output) while any levy paid on production costs on inputs can be recovered.
What levy is chargeable
The first supply of residential properties is zero-rated within three years from completion. This means that developers can recover VAT on construction of residential properties, including the architectural design, consulting, contracting and materials used.
Residential real estate
The secondary or resale home market will be exempt from VAT at the point of sale but buyers will be subject to pay the tax on commissions and other government fees relating to these purchases. Individuals will have to pay VAT on Dubai real estate only in terms of lease management services or other management services relating to their property.
Commercial real estate
Commercial property buyers will have to pay VAT on Dubai real estate on both off-plan and secondary market units. If the commercial property is acquired for the purpose of further leasing to commercial tenants, the cost of the VAT paid when buying, for example, a retail unit, a warehouse or office, can be reclaimed when charging the levy for tenants. These tenants who are charged VAT from the landlord in addition to the rent will be able to recover the VAT from their commercial activities when charging the levy for goods and services.
The owner of any commercial property in Dubai is now required to register for VAT if the value of the supplies over the preceding 12 months was more than Dh375,000 or it is expected that they will exceed Dh375,000 in the next 30 days.
Do homeowners have to register for VAT?
There is no requirement for owners of residential properties to register for VAT unless they have any other business activities in the emirate that are taxable. VAT in Dubai will work in a very similar way to how it does in other countries, where private individuals are not subject to the tax unless they are self-employed or a business owner generating a certain level of revenue in the emirate.
The issue of VAT generally becomes a matter of cash flow. There is no reason for it to impact the value of real estate units or property prices negatively. Ultimately, although VAT becomes another factor to consider when buying property in Dubai, its impact is widely expected to be minimal in terms of adding additional costs to real estate transactions.
The writer is managing partner at Premier Estates. Views expressed are her own and do not reflect our policies.
Source: Khaleej Times
Developers will factor in VAT rebate and extend benefits.
Dubai: Dubai’s developers are likely to get even more generous with their offers as they compete to reduce the unsold stock on their books. And unlike in other sectors, the introduction of VAT (value added tax) is not going to impact on developer plans.
In fact, VAT could even be a marketing advantage with off-plan launches. “Introduction of VAT is likely to set off more favourable payment plans from developers,” said Faisal Durrani, Cluttons’ Head of Research. “Simply because of the tax rebates available to developers and the fact that VAT kicks in only three years after completion of development.” (As things stand now, residential off-plan sales are believed to be exempt from VAT.) But the fact is that in the last six months or so, developers here have already been quite generous, many of them waiving registration fees, allowing for a lower payment upfront and the bulk of the instalments to be made after handover.
Developers are also stretching the number of years after handover in which those payments can be made. Two years was the norm and that is slowly inching up to five years and even longer.
According to Durrani, it should be on the post-handover payment period that developers will focus further. Five years and more could even become the norm. “As such, extended post-handover payment schemes would be a permanent feature of the property market,” said Durrani. “People sense that the Dubai residential realty is nearing the bottom of the current cycle.
“We don’t think oversupply is going to be an issue in Dubai … as long as the government’s target of doubling the population by 2030 is met.”
Survey carried out to measure how secure people feel living in the emirate.
Dubai: Some 95.3 per cent of Dubai residents feel safe and secure living in Dubai, latest figures from a survey suggested.
The survey, carried out by Dubai Police’s Public Opinion Survey Centre in cooperation with Criminal Investigation Department in 2016, also shows that 97.8 per cent of people trust in the justice system.
Major General Khalil Ebrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant to the Dubai Police Chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs said the study, which included 2,716 respondents of Asian, Arab and other nationalities, was carried out to measure how secure people feel living in the emirate.
Discussing the survey details, Lieutenant Colonel Faisal Al Khaimari, Director of the Survey Centre said the survey measured the security level across different areas during different times of the day. It covered residential areas, markets, parks and places of worship.
He said that 94.3 per cent of people felt secure at these places, during the day or night, while 95.8 per cent said that they did not have to be worried about crimes. Some 96.4 per cent said there were enough police present throughout the day in these areas, even during holidays.
Major General Al Mansouri said the results were not new to the emirate. He said even though there are more than 200 nationalities living in the UAE, they all live in harmony, which has contributed to residents feeling safe and secure in the city.
Lieutenant Al Khaimari added that the harmony and peace between residents was due to the strength of security and people’s confidence in the just judicial system here.
Residents were interviewed by Dubai Police to understand what made them feel safe and secure in the city.
One resident, Dr Mohammad Al Laham, said Dubai is a place where he can leave his car with the engine running at the petrol station while buying things from the convenience store, without worrying about it being stolen.
“I also don’t fear worried while travelling from one emirate to another on highways in the early morning,” he said.
Another resident said she moved to the UAE five years ago and she never felt scared going out late at night.
“I don’t have to think about closing my purse while walking in a shopping mall because I know Dubai is a safe city to live in compared to other places,” said Sara Demakaling.
Source: Gulf News
Trump's two sons, who now run the Trump Organization, attend a gala at the golf course
During a brief speech made to a crowd of several hundred people - including property developers and other members of the business community from around the Gulf - Donald Jr. praised the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Delivering his keynote at the 'UAE Economic Outlook 2017' hosted jointly by the Dubai Department of Economic Development and the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, he also revealed that Dubai will announce its future economic outlook twice every year from now onwards - in January and October. The economic outlook will shed light on growth opportunities in the emirate both at the macro-economic and sectoral levels and against the global economic backdrop.
'Dubai Harbour' is also set to enhance the city's profile as a magnet for wealth and investment.
His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai announced the development of 'Dubai Harbour', a unique new waterfront destination that will feature the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region's largest marina.
The announcement was made in the presence of Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai; Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum,President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group; Shaikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai International Marine Club; Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman, Director General of Dubai Protocol Department; and Abdulla Al Habbai, Group Chairman of Meraas.
The project, located on King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street, in the area between Jumeirah Beach Residence and Palm Jumeirah, also known as Mina Al Seyahi, will be developed by Dubai's leading holding company Meraas.
The iconic luxury waterfront destination, spread over 20 million sq. feet, will include a 1400-berth marina as well as a cruise ship port and terminal, a shopping mall covering 3.5 million sq. feet, an events arena, luxurious residential buildings, hotels, offices, retail stores, public services, restaurants and cafes and 'Dubai Lighthouse'.
Stay up to date with this blog on important news in Dubai, UAE.