With the recent updates to its coveted Golden Visa program, Dubai, the dazzling metropolis synonymous with ambition and indulgence, has once again opened its doors wider to the world. Initially launched in 2019, this long-term residency scheme has attracted a slew of investors, business owners, and talented professionals with its promise of stability, tax benefits, and a thriving business environment. Now, with revised criteria announced in October 2022, obtaining this golden ticket to Dubai’s future has become more accessible—and easier—than ever.

Key Changes for Investors:

  • Reduced Downpayment: Previously, property investors needed a minimum downpayment of AED 1 million or 50% of the property value. This hurdle has been eliminated, allowing investors to qualify with AED 2 million worth of property regardless of financing options. According to ImmigrationInvest, the minimum down payment for a 10-year Golden Visa through real estate purchase has been reduced from 50% to 20%. Mortgage options can also be utilised.
  • Public Investment Option: For those seeking alternative avenues, a new option allows investing AED 5 million in a government-approved public project. This opens doors for individuals who may not prefer traditional real estate investments.
  • Wider Scope for Entrepreneurs: Startup owners of SMEs generating at least AED 1 million annually can now qualify, fostering a dynamic business ecosystem. According to a 2023 Gulf News report, high net-worth individuals living in the UAE not only sought the country’s coveted Golden Visas but also applied for a second, and even a third, passport as economies brace for a rebound.

Expanding Eligibility for Professionals:

  • Increased Salary Threshold: According to the UAE Government Portal, 2003, the Golden Visa scheme has been a massive success, with over 80,000 visas issued in 2023 alone. 
  • Executives and highly skilled professionals now need a minimum salary of AED 50,000, up from AED 30,000, reflecting the rising cost of living and attracting top talent. 
  • Specialisation Recognition: Outstanding individuals in critical sectors like science, medicine, and engineering can apply with relevant achievements and qualifications, even if their salary doesn’t meet the standard threshold.

Additional Benefits and Eligibility:

  • Family Sponsorship: Spouses and unmarried children under 25 can be included in the visa, fostering family unity and stability.
  • Multi-Entry Permit: Unlike some previous visa categories, Golden Visa holders enjoy visa-free travel to over 95 countries, including Schengen area nations.
  • Renewal: The 5-year and 10-year visas are renewable, offering long-term security and peace of mind.

Golden Visa: A Thumping Success

Dubai’s Golden Visa program has been a booming success, attracting over 85,000 applicants in its first three years. According to a news report published in NationalNews.com, the UAE has cancelled the Dh1 million minimum down payment required for people to qualify for a golden visa through real estate investment.

Considerations and Next Steps:

While the updated rules simplify the path to acquiring a Golden Visa, careful planning and guidance are crucial. Consulting with visa experts and lawyers familiar with the latest regulations is highly recommended. Additionally, thoroughly researching various investment options and ensuring compliance with all requirements is essential for a smooth application process.


Dubai continues to be a focal point for global ambitions by virtue of its strategic location, vibrant economy, thriving cosmopolitanism, and progressive vision. The revamped Golden Visa program offers a unique opportunity to be part of this dynamic city’s future. This exciting program allows people from all areas of professional endeavour—business owners, investors, or highly skilled professionals—to embark on their journey to unlock the golden door to a plethora of opportunities the sun-drenched and vibrant city offers.  


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