Longterm residency a bonus for Middle East property buyers

Published:  13 Feb at 6 PM
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The number of expats buying property in the expat hubs of the Middle East is rising fast due to real estate ownership being considered a qualifying factor for long-term residency.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi property markets are seeing a return to the good old days, with revenue from property sales topping £1.7 billion in 2012. Dubai is the largest market within the Gulf States, with British expat property purchases representing 21 per cent of total sales.

As well as guaranteeing a residence permit, investing in property is the smart option at present, given the resurgence of the kingdoms’ economies since 2008. Again Dubai is leading the pack, with real estate professionals predicting strong rental yields and capital appreciation in the right areas.

As an example, two years ago a two-bedroomed condo on Dubai Marina was sold for £154,369, and was valued at £205,826 some 18 months later. Last year, average property values increased by 13 per cent, and are expected to rise further in 2013.

Rental yields are also on the up, with an average apartment in a good area yielding £12,079 annually in 2010 now achieving up to £20,707. Qatar is another property hotspot which offers residency permits to expat who buy real estate, with luxury homes centered in the emirate’s capital, Doha, promoted by the government.

However, to ensure a good return for any expat property investment, the same principle applies as in the home county – location, location, location. Key considerations include a well-established, upscale district with shopping facilities, restaurants, transport links and a supportive expat community. Nearby international schools and medical facilities are also important.
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