Dhows against the backdrop of Doha's expanding skyline. Foreign inquiries about the country's property market have increased after the government announced new visa rules.
Dhows against the backdrop of Doha's expanding skyline. Foreign inquiries about the country's property market have increased after the government announced new visa rules.

Qatar property visas lure buyers



The Qatar government's recent move to issue long-term residency visas to international property owners is adding a new element to regional competition for buyers.

A report released yesterday by the property consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle said Qatar's policy would "increase the competitiveness of Doha and strengthen the call for similar measures in the UAE".

Investors and second homebuyers in the UAE routinely list visa policy as a key issue when considering a purchase, property executives say.

In a survey last year of 500 buyers, lawyers and brokers in the UAE by the law firm Hadef & Partners, 88 per cent listed "more flexible visa options for owners-investors" as one of the issues that could boost recovery in the property sector.

"The issue of visas is one of the major constraints for demand in residential in the UAE," said Craig Plumb, the Middle East and North Africa head of research for Jones Lang LaSalle. "Looking at the overseas market, it is very competitive."

Visa policy for property buyers has long been complicated in the UAE. At the height of the property boom, some developers promised buyers visas, often misleading them about the process.

The Government put an end to that practice in 2009 with a law that established procedures for property buyers to be issued with temporary residency visas.

But the law includes restrictions: the value of the property must be at least Dh1 million (US$272,264); the owner must have at least Dh10,000 in monthly income; and the visa must be renewed every six months at a cost of Dh2,000.

The six-month restriction is the element often cited as a negative factor by potential property buyers, industry experts say.

"Property is a long-term investment," said Michael Lunjevich, a partner in Hadef & Partners. "The buzzword among property investors is longer property visas."

Qatar's law offering residency visas to property buyers has been on the books since 2006, but the first visas were handed out only last month. Just two visas have been issued, to expatriates from Egypt and Pakistan, but more are expected.

The visas are "exactly what we needed", said Sam Youssef, the managing director of Better Homes in Qatar. "It's going to open up the real estate market, big time."

Buyers will receive a five-year visa that can be renewed. But they lose their status if the property is sold, Mr Youssef said. International inquiries about property have increased in the two weeks since the government announced the issuing of the first visas, he said, adding the law also allows companies and individuals to establish residency without a sponsor.

"This will open doors for multinational companies," Mr Youssef said.

Qatar is still relatively new to the international property market. The 2006 law made it possible for non-Qataris to own property, but only in certain designated projects. The first titles to overseas buyers were registered in 2009.

Offering residency visas will "help stimulate demand" in Qatar, said David Dudley, who covers the country for Jones Lang LaSalle.

"It's important to note that Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Dubai are competing for the same demand," Mr Dudley said. "Locations that make it more lenient to obtain a visa will capture more of the demand."

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

The Killer

Director: David Fincher

Stars: Michael Fassbender, Tilda Swinton, Charles Parnell

Rating: 4/5 

The 100 Best Novels in Translation
Boyd Tonkin, Galileo Press

Teams in the EHL

White Bears, Al Ain Theebs, Dubai Mighty Camels, Abu Dhabi Storms, Abu Dhabi Scorpions and Vipers

Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
On sale: Now

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

Squads

India (for first three ODIs) Kohli (capt), Rohit, Rahul, Pandey, Jadhav, Rahane, Dhoni, Pandya, Axar, Kuldeep, Chahal, Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar, Umesh, Shami.

Australia Smith (capt), Warner, Agar, Cartwright, Coulter-Nile, Cummins, Faulkner, Finch, Head, Maxwell, Richardson, Stoinis, Wade, Zampa.

RACE CARD

5pm: Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 1,400m
5.30pm: Handicap (TB) Dh70,000 1,000m
6pm: Maiden (PA) Dh70,000 2,000m
6.30pm: Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 2,000m
7pm: Maiden (PA) Dh70,000 1,600m
7.30pm: Al Ain Mile Group 3 (PA) Dh350,000 1,600m
8pm: Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 1,600m
 
Amith's selections:
5pm: AF Sail
5.30pm: Dahawi
6pm: Taajer
6.30pm: Pharitz Oubai
7pm: Winked
7.30pm: Shahm
8pm: Raniah

Roll of Honour, men’s domestic rugby season

West Asia Premiership
Champions: Dubai Tigers
Runners up: Bahrain

UAE Premiership
Champions: Jebel Ali Dragons
Runners up: Dubai Hurricanes

UAE Division 1
Champions: Dubai Sharks
Runners up: Abu Dhabi Harlequins II

UAE Division 2
Champions: Dubai Tigers III
Runners up: Dubai Sharks II

Dubai Sevens
Champions: Dubai Tigers
Runners up: Dubai Hurricanes

TEST SQUADS

Bangladesh: Mushfiqur Rahim (captain), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Liton Das, Shakib Al Hasan, Mominul Haque, Nasir Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Mehedi Hasan, Shafiul Islam, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman and Taskin Ahmed.

Australia: Steve Smith (captain), David Warner, Ashton Agar, Hilton Cartwright, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Matthew Wade, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Matt Renshaw, Mitchell Swepson and Jackson Bird.

Herc's Adventures

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Console: PlayStation 1 & 5, Sega Saturn
Rating: 4/5

Not Dark Yet

Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer

Four stars

UAE rugby in numbers

5 - Year sponsorship deal between Hesco and Jebel Ali Dragons

700 - Dubai Hurricanes had more than 700 playing members last season between their mini and youth, men's and women's teams

Dh600,000 - Dubai Exiles' budget for pitch and court hire next season, for their rugby, netball and cricket teams

Dh1.8m - Dubai Hurricanes' overall budget for next season

Dh2.8m - Dubai Exiles’ overall budget for next season

Martin Sabbagh profile

Job: CEO JCDecaux Middle East

In the role: Since January 2015

Lives: In the UAE

Background: M&A, investment banking

Studied: Corporate finance

HWJN

Director: Yasir Alyasiri

Starring: Baraa Alem, Nour Alkhadra, Alanoud Saud

Rating: 3/5

Turning waste into fuel

Average amount of biofuel produced at DIC factory every month: Approximately 106,000 litres

Amount of biofuel produced from 1 litre of used cooking oil: 920ml (92%)

Time required for one full cycle of production from used cooking oil to biofuel: One day

Energy requirements for one cycle of production from 1,000 litres of used cooking oil:
▪ Electricity - 1.1904 units
▪ Water- 31 litres
▪ Diesel – 26.275 litres

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

The line up

Friday: Giggs, Sho Madjozi and Masego  

Saturday: Nas, Lion Bbae, Roxanne Shante and DaniLeigh  

Sole DXB runs from December 6 to 8 at Dubai Design District. Weekend pass is Dh295 while a one day pass is Dh195. Tickets are available from www.soledxb.com

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

Other ways to buy used products in the UAE

UAE insurance firm Al Wathba National Insurance Company (AWNIC) last year launched an e-commerce website with a facility enabling users to buy car wrecks.

Bidders and potential buyers register on the online salvage car auction portal to view vehicles, review condition reports, or arrange physical surveys, and then start bidding for motors they plan to restore or harvest for parts.

Physical salvage car auctions are a common method for insurers around the world to move on heavily damaged vehicles, but AWNIC is one of the few UAE insurers to offer such services online.

For cars and less sizeable items such as bicycles and furniture, Dubizzle is arguably the best-known marketplace for pre-loved.

Founded in 2005, in recent years it has been joined by a plethora of Facebook community pages for shifting used goods, including Abu Dhabi Marketplace, Flea Market UAE and Arabian Ranches Souq Market while sites such as The Luxury Closet and Riot deal largely in second-hand fashion.

At the high-end of the pre-used spectrum, resellers such as Timepiece360.ae, WatchBox Middle East and Watches Market Dubai deal in authenticated second-hand luxury timepieces from brands such as Rolex, Hublot and Tag Heuer, with a warranty.

Command Z

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Stars: Michael Cera, Liev Schreiber, Chloe Radcliffe

Rating: 3/5

Results

2.30pm: Park Avenue – Conditions (PA) Dh80,000 (Dirt) 2,000m; Winner: Rb Seqondtonone, Abdul Aziz Al Balushi (jockey), Helal Al Alawi (trainer)

3.05pm: Al Furjan – Maiden (TB) Dh82,500 (Turf) 1,200m; Winner: Bosphorus, Dane O’Neill, Bhupat Seemar

3.40pm: Mina – Rated Condition (TB) Dh105,000 (D) 1,600m; Winner: Royal Mews, Tadhg O’Shea, Bhupat Seemar

4.15pm: Aliyah – Handicap (TB) Dh87,500 (T) 1,900m; Winner: Ursa Minor, Ray Dawson, Ahmad bin Harmash

4.50pm: Riviera Beach – Rated Conditions (TB) Dh95,000 (D) 2,200m; Winner: Woodditton, Saif Al Balushi, Ahmad bin Harmash

5.25pm: Riviera – Handicap (TB) Dh2,000 (T) 2,000m; Winner: Al Madhar, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

6pm: Creek Views – Handicap (TB) Dh95,000 (T) 1,400m; Winner: Al Salt, Dane O’Neill, Erwan Charpy

LOS ANGELES GALAXY 2 MANCHESTER UNITED 5

Galaxy: Dos Santos (79', 88')
United: Rashford (2', 20'), Fellaini (26'), Mkhitaryan (67'), Martial (72')

The National Archives, Abu Dhabi

Founded over 50 years ago, the National Archives collects valuable historical material relating to the UAE, and is the oldest and richest archive relating to the Arabian Gulf.

Much of the material can be viewed on line at the Arabian Gulf Digital Archive - https://www.agda.ae/en

SPEC SHEET: SAMSUNG GALAXY Z FLIP 4

Display: Main – 6.7" FHD Dynamic Amoled 2X, 2640 x 1080, 22:9, 425ppi, HDR10+, up to 120Hz; cover – 1.9" Super Amoled, 512 x 260, 302ppi

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, 4nm, octa-core; Adreno 730 GPU

Memory: 8GB

Capacity: 128/256/512GB

Platform: Android 12, One UI 4.1.1

Main camera: Dual 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.2) + 12MP wide (f/1.8), OIS, portrait, super slo-mo, hyperlapse

Video: 4K@30/60fps, full-HD@30/60fps, HD@30fps; slo-mo@240/960fps; HDR10+

Front camera: 10MP (f/2.4)

Battery: 3700mAh, 25W fast charging, 15W wireless charging, reverse wireless charging, 'all-day' life

Connectivity: 5G; Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC (Samsung Pay)

I/O: USB-C

Cards: Nano-SIM + eSIM; no microSD slot

Colours: Bora purple, graphite, pink gold, blue; Bespoke Edition in select countries

In the box: Flip 4, USB-C-to-USB-C cable

Price: Dh3,799 / Dh3,999 / Dh4,449

The specs: Taycan Turbo GT

Engine: Dual synchronous electric motors
Power: 1,108hp
Torque: 1,340Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic (front axle); two-speed transmission (rear axle)
Touring range: 488-560km
Price: From Dh928,400
On sale: Orders open

While you're here
How to get exposure to gold

Although you can buy gold easily on the Dubai markets, the problem with buying physical bars, coins or jewellery is that you then have storage, security and insurance issues.

A far easier option is to invest in a low-cost exchange traded fund (ETF) that invests in the precious metal instead, for example, ETFS Physical Gold (PHAU) and iShares Physical Gold (SGLN) both track physical gold. The VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF invests directly in mining companies.

Alternatively, BlackRock Gold & General seeks to achieve long-term capital growth primarily through an actively managed portfolio of gold mining, commodity and precious-metal related shares. Its largest portfolio holdings include gold miners Newcrest Mining, Barrick Gold Corp, Agnico Eagle Mines and the NewMont Goldcorp.

Brave investors could take on the added risk of buying individual gold mining stocks, many of which have performed wonderfully well lately.

London-listed Centamin is up more than 70 per cent in just three months, although in a sign of its volatility, it is down 5 per cent on two years ago. Trans-Siberian Gold, listed on London's alternative investment market (AIM) for small stocks, has seen its share price almost quadruple from 34p to 124p over the same period, but do not assume this kind of runaway growth can continue for long

However, buying individual equities like these is highly risky, as their share prices can crash just as quickly, which isn't what what you want from a supposedly safe haven.

TWISTERS

Director: Lee Isaac Chung

Starring: Glenn Powell, Daisy Edgar-Jones, Anthony Ramos

Rating: 2.5/5

Profile

Co-founders of the company: Vilhelm Hedberg and Ravi Bhusari

Launch year: In 2016 ekar launched and signed an agreement with Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi. In January 2017 ekar launched in Dubai in a partnership with the RTA.

Number of employees: Over 50

Financing stage: Series B currently being finalised

Investors: Series A - Audacia Capital 

Sector of operation: Transport

SPEC SHEET: APPLE M3 MACBOOK AIR (13")

Processor: Apple M3, 8-core CPU, up to 10-core CPU, 16-core Neural Engine

Display: 13.6-inch Liquid Retina, 2560 x 1664, 224ppi, 500 nits, True Tone, wide colour

Memory: 8/16/24GB

Storage: 256/512GB / 1/2TB

I/O: Thunderbolt 3/USB-4 (2), 3.5mm audio, Touch ID

Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3

Battery: 52.6Wh lithium-polymer, up to 18 hours, MagSafe charging

Camera: 1080p FaceTime HD

Video: Support for Apple ProRes, HDR with Dolby Vision, HDR10

Audio: 4-speaker system, wide stereo, support for Dolby Atmos, Spatial Audio and dynamic head tracking (with AirPods)

Colours: Midnight, silver, space grey, starlight

In the box: MacBook Air, 30W/35W dual-port/70w power adapter, USB-C-to-MagSafe cable, 2 Apple stickers

Price: From Dh4,599

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Clinicy
Started: 2017
Founders: Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman, Abdullah bin Sulaiman Alobaid and Saud bin Sulaiman Alobaid
Based: Riyadh
Number of staff: 25
Sector: HealthTech
Total funding raised: More than $10 million
Investors: Middle East Venture Partners, Gate Capital, Kafou Group and Fadeed Investment

Company profile

Company name: Leap
Started: March 2021
Founders: Ziad Toqan and Jamil Khammu
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Funds raised: Undisclosed
Current number of staff: Seven

Veil (Object Lessons)
Rafia Zakaria
​​​​​​​Bloomsbury Academic

The specs

Engine: 5.0-litre V8

Power: 480hp at 7,250rpm

Torque: 566Nm at 4,600rpm

Transmission: 10-speed auto

Fuel consumption: L/100km

Price: Dh306,495

On sale: now


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