UAE Golden Visa Update: removal of Minimum Down Payment requirement for Property Owners

While many countries are tightening their Golden Visa programmes, particularly in respect of real estate investment options, the UAE is opening and simplifying the criteria for foreign investors with the aim of encouraging real estate investment in the UAE, facilitating settlement and stimulating economic growth.

In January, the UAE government confirmed that it had withdrawn the previous requirement for an AED1 million (USD272,294) ‘minimum down payment’ for applicants to qualify for a Golden Visa through real estate investment.

What changes have been made to the UAE Golden Visa?

The UAE Golden Visa, a 10-year renewable residency programme, was introduced in 2019 to encourage exceptional individuals and foreign investors to establish deeper ties to the country.

It is targeted at investors, entrepreneurs, skilled professionals who earn a monthly salary of more than AED30,000 (USD8,167), exceptional talents, scientists and professionals, outstanding students and graduates, property investors, humanitarian pioneers and frontline heroes.

To qualify under the property investment route, investors are required to acquire property in the UAE valued at AED2 million (c. USD550,000) or above. But for properties bought on mortgage or instalment plans, applicants were further required to make a minimum down payment of AED1 million, or 50% of the property’s value, to the bank or developer. This additional requirement has now been withdrawn.

Eligibility for a UAE Golden Visa is therefore now based solely on a real estate value of AED2 million or more, irrespective of whether the property is off-plan or completed, mortgaged or not mortgaged. Furthermore, joint ownership is acceptable, such as between spouses, provided that the applicant’s share is valued at AED2 million or more.

To meet this requirement, spouses or first-degree relatives can consolidate ownership for the application by effecting a transfer of ownership to the main applicant at the relevant land registry. Once the main applicant receives the Golden Visa, he/she can sponsor the other owner and dependents.

Benefits of the revised UAE Golden Visa property investor rules

  • Eliminating the minimum down payment requirement will increase accessibility to the real estate market in Dubai and across the wider UAE to a broader range of potential investors with varying capital levels.
  • Mortgage buyers will now be able to apply for the Golden Visa, which allows them to sponsor their family and domestic staff.
  • Broader access to the Golden Visa provides investors with greater stability and opportunity both in Dubai and across the wider UAE.
  • Increased investment will stimulate demand in Dubai and across the wider UAE, elevate property values and should ensure higher returns on investments.
  • The reduced initial capital requirement will enable investors to diversify their portfolios, fostering long-term capital appreciation and increased risk mitigation.
  • The change has the potential to act as a catalyst for the economy of Dubai and across the wider UAE, driving growth in various sectors.

How can Sovereign help?

In addition to the UAE Golden Visa property investor category, there are a number of alternative options through which individuals can obtain long-term residency in the UAE. Sovereign Group has decades of experience in the corporate services sector in the UAE and wider GCC, and can assess your eligibility for any Golden Visa option.

If you need assistance with Golden Visas in the UAE or with company formation, registration, PRO support or any other related service in the UAE, please complete the contact form below or contact us on +971 4 270 3400 or email us at We will be delighted to assist.

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