International Investment


Chinese investment in Dubai property

Once a thriving hub for Chinese investors, interest in the Dubai property market witnessed a temporary lull during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

However, as the dust settles, Chinese investors look overseas and Dubai’s 3rd growth cycle gathers pace, there are clear indications that Chinese buyers are poised to reclaim their prominent position in the UAE’s list of top property purchasers.

In recent years, Dubai has witnessed a surge in interest from Chinese businesses, with over 6,000 Chinese companies establishing operations in the UAE. The bilateral trade between the 2 nations is projected to reach a staggering $200 billion by 2030, a testament to the flourishing collaboration between the Gulf state and the world’s second-largest economy. The historical relationship between the UAE and China was primarily centered around oil, but it has since evolved into a multifaceted partnership, spanning various sectors like infrastructure, sustainable energy, finance, and fintech.

Amidst this backdrop, Chinese investors have historically been among the top 4 foreign nationalities investing in Dubai property, alongside Indians, Britons, and Pakistanis. However, during the pandemic and the ongoing Ukraine war, the pecking order shifted, with Russian buyers claiming the top spot in 2022, followed by buyers from the UK, India, Germany, and France.

Pent-up demand for Dubai property from China

Now, as the world recovers from the impact of the pandemic and travel restrictions ease, Chinese investors are showing renewed interest in Dubai’s property landscape. Investments are starting to pick up, with Dubai developers and agents witnessing a surge in property sales to Chinese buyers. Just this month, the company handled more than AED 64 million in property sales to Chinese investors, and this is just the beginning. Expectations are high, and transactions are expected to flourish in the coming months.

In a positive sign, China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism has announced that Chinese travel agencies will resume outbound tours from February, with the UAE included in the pilot list of 20 countries. This move is likely to further fuel interest from Chinese tourists and investors in Dubai’s property market.

Where are Chinese investors buying Dubai property?

Here’s an overview of the current real estate acquisition hotspots in Dubai, particularly appealing to Chinese investors:

Visas and Chinese investment into Dubai property

Dubai’s transformative government reforms link residency to investment, presenting a coveted ‘Golden Residence’ visa, an enticing draw for Chinese investors. Now, in a significant enhancement, residents owning property worth AED 2 million or above in the UAE are automatically eligible for the Golden Visa, simplifying the journey for investors. To secure this exclusive visa, investors need to acquire one or more off-plan properties valued at no less than $544,500 (AED 2 million), with the transaction overseen by an approved local real estate company. This streamlines the process, as the land departments of each emirate can identify eligible properties through the Integrated Commercial Platform (ICP) portal, ensuring a seamless transition to Golden Visa eligibility without the need for a formal application.

This ‘Golden Residence’ scheme bestows a generous long-term visa, allowing its holders to embrace the Dubai lifestyle as residents for a period of 10 years, cementing their ties to the city and its vibrant offerings. The introduction of automatic qualification for property owners enhances Dubai’s residency incentives, serving as a compelling factor for Chinese investors seeking not only profitable real estate ventures but also an immersive and enriching experience in one of the world’s most alluring cities. As the emirate continues to foster an investor-friendly environment, it cements its position as a prime destination for global investors and a magnet for those aspiring to call Dubai their home. Chinese investors, in particular, are seizing these improved opportunities in Dubai’s real estate market, contributing to its growth and solidifying Dubai’s appeal as a premier global investment destination.


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