UAE Golden Visa – Your guide for 2024

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Golden Visa system began in 2019 as a route for foreign nationals to live and work in the UAE, and is open to a variety of individuals, including professionals, scientists and of course real estate investors. Read on to find out everything you need to know about UAE Golden Visa, including the latest developments for 2023.



Table of Contents
  1. What is the UAE Golden Visa?
  2. How can I get a Golden Visa in the UAE?
  3. Does the golden visa lead to UAE citizenship?
  4. What are the key benefits of the UAE Golden Visa?
  5. Are there any changes to the UAE Golden Visa in 2023?
  6. Can I apply for a Golden Visa with a mortgage?
  7. Is the UAE Golden Visa worth it?
  8. Invest in the UAE with GuestReady


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1. What is the UAE Golden Visa?

The UAE Golden Visa is a long-term residence visa that makes it possible for you to live, work and study in the UAE, without having to have a sponsor. It is essentially a long term residence visa, aimed at attracting talent and investment to the country. And with expatriates making up more than 88% of the nation’s population of 10 million people, you’ll be in good company.

The visa gives you access to the whole of the UAE, which is comprised of seven ‘emirates’, or states. For this reason, it could just as easily be thought of as a Dubai Golden Visa or an Abu Dhabi Golden Visa. These two emirates and their namesake cities are home to the vast majority of UAE’s population, and are favourites for real estate investors.


2. Who is eligible for the UAE Golden Visa?

The UAE Golden Visa is open to people who are classified in specific groups by the UAE government. The following groups are eligible to apply for this visa:

  • Scientists, PhD holders, and data experts
  • Chief executives
  • Medical doctors
  • Outstanding students (specific grades apply)
  • University graduates with a 3.8 GPA or higher
  • Investors
  • Real estate investors
  • Entrepreneurs

Applying for the UAE Golden Visa as a property investor is the best route for many applicants and is highly attractive, given the value of real estate in the city. It is also the main focus of this article, but it’s worth noting that you can also apply for this visa if you are a member of any of the groups above.


3. How can I get a Golden Visa in the UAE via property investment?

There are three key steps to obtaining this visa via property investment in Dubai:


A. Identify and purchase a suitable property

To meet the real estate requirements for a UAE Golden Visa, you must purchase a property or group of properties worth at least 2 million Dirhams (£430,000). Once you have done this, you will need to acquire a letter from the land department of whichever emirate you have bought in which states this fact. Dubai is by far the most popular part of the UAE to invest in property, and it is home to a dizzying mix of futuristic architecture, luxury shopping, and nightlife.


B. Assemble the necessary documents

When applying for the visa you will need to present a number of documents:

  • Valid passport from your country of residence
  • E-copy of property title deeds
  • Valid health insurance certificate
  • Personal photo
  • Previous ID or visa for the UAE (if renewing)
  • Details of your current residence permit (if available)


C. Pay for the visa

Numerous fees are attached to the Golden Visa application process, and you need to be aware of them. You should also know that the visa cost for investing in real estate is higher than it is for other applicants. Here are the service fees for a 10-year residency permit in Dubai via the Golden Visa:

  • Medical examination: 700 AED (£150)
  • Fee for UAE ID for ten years: 1,153 AED (£248)
  • Fee for confirmation of residency permit for ten years: 2,620 AED (£572)
  • Fee for the land department: 4,020 AED (£864)
  • Administrative fee: 1,155 AED (£248)
  • TOTAL: 9,648.75 (£2,082)

You can pay the fees to the government of Dubai via bank transfer, credit card, or cash. You can pay for your visa upon application at one of the country’s dedicated service centres, where you will also submit your documents. You’ll undergo a medical examination at the centre. All being well, you will get your visa and residency ID within seven to ten days.


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D. Renewal

When it’s time to renew your UAE Golden Visa, you don’t need to do anything as it will be renewed automatically, provided that the conditions for it are still met.


4. Does the golden visa lead to UAE citizenship?

There’s no single fast-track route to citizenship for UAE Golden Visa holders, but there are a number of ways you may eventually qualify. Marriage is one route, as is naturalisation after living there for 30 years if you speak Arabic. Finally, as a real estate investor in the UAE, you can be nominated for citizenship, and this may be granted at the discretion of the country’s Cabinet and Executive Council.


5. What are the key benefits of the UAE Golden Visa?

  • You will have a long-term renewable residence visa which is valid for 10 years. As well as being able to live and work in the UAE, you will have the right to open a bank account, access health services and invest in further real estate.
  • You do not need to have a sponsor in the country to apply. You can sponsor your family members, including sons up to 25 years-old and daughters of any age, for residency. In the event of your passing, they will be able to stay for the full length of the visa.
  • Any number of domestic helpers can also be sponsored for residency.

The normal residence visa rule which will void your residency if you live outside of the UAE for more than six continuous months of the year, does not apply. So your visa will stay valid, even if you’re not in the country. During the application process, you will be given an entry visa with multiple entries allowed, for a period of six months.


6. Are there any changes to the UAE Golden Visa in 2024?

A January 2024 announcement from the UAE government introduced some changes to the Golden Visa. If anything, these make it easier for applicants. Here are the changes made that might affect you if you apply for this visa in 2024:


Off-plan properties

  • The investor now only needs to obtain a Non-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the developer, which must detail the payment of any amount related to the investment.
  • There is now no minimum construction requirement (previously, it was set at 50% for off-plan properties).


Mortgaged properties

  • If you plan to invest in Dubai property with a mortgage, you must obtain an NOC from the bank to support your application.
  • It should stipulate the payment of any amount rather than the previous minimum of 50% (AED 1,000,000).


Property valuation

  • The valuation of properties now must be at least AED 2,000,000 as determined exclusively by the Dubai Land Department (DLD). Previously, land valuation was taken from the Title Deed.


Overall, these changes are positive for would-be investors, as they lower the barriers to entry. For instance, it is now much easier to buy off-plan properties, and the DLD property valuation means that investors can now consider properties that may have significantly appreciated in recent times.


7. Can I apply for a Golden Visa with a mortgage?

Yes, you can take out a mortgage when buying property to qualify for the visa. The requirement used to be set at 50%, but now you simply need an NOC from the bank stipulating the payment of any amount.


8. Is the UAE Golden Visa worth it?

Obtaining the visa is worth it for the chance to live and invest in one of the world’s most exciting and forward-thinking countries. There are many other reasons why it’s a worthwhile prospect for property investors, including:

  • The opportunity to have a UAE bank account and invest in the country
  • Access to good government-funded healthcare from a health system with approximately 181 doctors per 100,000 residents
  • You can invest in new property developments and holiday homes in rapidly growing places like Dubai
  • You can move your whole family there and have access to world-class schools


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UAE Golden Visa FAQs


What are the new rules for the Dubai Golden Visa in 2024?

Several changes relating to real estate investment were made to the Dubai Golden Visa at the start of 2024. There is now no minimum completion requirement for people buying off-plan properties (previously 50%), while mortgages of any amount are now accepted. Read our updates on this page for full details of the 2024 changes.


What are the disadvantages of the Dubai Golden Visa?

Though we think the Dubai Golden Visa is a great option for property investors, there are some drawbacks. It is expensive to apply for, at more than £2,000, and a lot of paperwork is involved.


Does the Golden Visa guarantee Dubai citizenship?

No, it doesn’t. It’s better to view the Golden Visa as a pathway to residence as opposed to citizenship. In its current iteration, you can gain residency in Dubai for up to 10 years with the Golden Visa. Then, the easiest route to citizenship is through marriage or naturalisation, but you will need to speak Arabic to meet the requirements.


9. Invest in the UAE with GuestReady

GuestReady helps property investors in the UAE to get the most out of their investments. We can help you to manage your rental properties and get the best returns possible, hassle-free. If you’re ready for investing in the UAE, get in touch today to find out how we can help.


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