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Five Ways UAE Government Policies and Initiatives are Powerful Driving Forces for Property Investment

 

Siddiq Farid, CEO and co-founder of property crowdfunding platform SmartCrowd, discusses how the UAE leadership is a positive driving force for the real estate sector

 
August 30, 2021 PropTech
 

Five Ways UAE Government Policies and Initiatives are Powerful Driving Forces for Property Investment
 

1.LONG TERM VISION

The UAE has been blessed with many resources such as oil and geographical advantage, but it has also been blessed with innovative and perceptive leadership. Very few countries around the world think beyond five or tenyear cycles, but the UAE has already taken the first steps towards the UAE Centennial 2071 Plan. The ability for investors around the world to understand how a country wants to plan for the future, also makes it attractive as an investment centre. Through aligned strategies, the UAE is thinking generations ahead and building a country not just for the 10 million people currently living here, but for the millions more that will call this place home over the next hundred plus years.

2.RAPID RESPONSE TO COVID-19

It’s not just long-term trends that attract investment into the UAE, but also short-term, wise decisions. In recent times, the UAE has demonstrated this great leadership with its response to the global pandemic. By imposing swift lockdowns at an earlier stage than the rest of the world and speedily vaccinating the population, it has allowed the country to recover quickly and be able to open back up to business and tourism. The free vaccination drive for citizens and residents has ensured one of the world’s highest rates of vaccination. According to Statista, only Gibraltar (which has a tiny population of just 34,000 people) and Israel, have vaccinated more per capita than the UAE. With a highly vaccinated population and a recovering economy, the UAE is a smart option for those choosing places to live and work. Engaged working populations need accommodation and whether they choose to rent or buy, it acts as a catalyst for the property sector.

3.INVESTMENT AND INITIATIVES TO BOOST PRIVATE SECTOR

In the short term, as Covid started to affect businesses in the country, the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) launched an AED 100 billion comprehensive Economic Support Scheme for retail and corporate customers affected by the pandemic. In reality the government has done even more, with economic support packages and initiatives provided by federal and local government reaching AED 395 billion by February 2021. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Index 2020, the UAE ranked first in the Arab World and second worldwide in the government’s economic response to the pandemic. Even prior to Covid-19, Abu Dhabi had launched the threeyear Ghadan 21 initiative to accelerate investment in business, innovation and people. Meanwhile, Dubai aims to increase creative jobs in the city from 70,000 to 150,000 over the next five years, ensuring the brightest minds are attracted to be here. On top of this, Operation 300bn which aims to increase manufacturing and industrial output from the Emirates. These are just some of the initiatives that underpin why global and regional businesses have faith in the UAE’s approach and individuals can commit to living and working in the Emirates. The private sector economy has a bright future in the UAE and this strength of confidence in the economic outlook makes investment in real estate more appealing.

4.REGULATION AND TRANSPARENCY

 Ever since May 2002, when His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced that areas of Dubai would become available for foreign ownership, the Emirates has rapidly developed laws and regulations to ensure the highest levels of transparency and clarity on ownership. This included the creation of Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) in 2007 and Abu Dhabi’s Land Registration Department which preceded this in 2005. By having clear guidelines and transparent ownership policies, this helps to attract foreign investment into UAE real estate.

 5.VISA AND RESIDENCY POLICY

 Recently, UAE has announced permanent residency, work from home visas, multi-entry tourist visas and citizenship. The biggest stand out is the remote working visa, in a bid to attract a growing global pool of digital nomads, as temporary work from home situations become more permanent. For example, according to Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), more than 1,700 remote working visa applications were received between October and March. That figure could well increase as Dubai’s economy continues to rebound. Work From Anywhere (WFA) is a significant long-term trend, with employers giving their teams freedom to work from satellite offices or any place of their choice. According to McKinsey, if you consider job roles that can be done without any loss to productivity, 20 to 25 per cent of workforces in advance economies could work from a remote location between three and five days a week. If employers become more flexible, Dubai is a very attractive place for remote work, given its year-round sunshine, quality of life for a reasonable price and effortless connectivity to the rest of the world’s time zones. The long-term visas, such as five and ten-year visas and the ‘golden visa’, are also a big structural shift that will reap rewards for years to come. In January this year, perhaps the biggest announcement of all, the government opened up Emirati citizenship to expats. This could also help to attract skilled workers for the longer term. With people able to plan their future in the UAE, the likelihood of demand for property investment increases.

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