Business / Economy

Dubai developers upbeat about easier visa rules for China

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-09-07 10:56

DUBAI - Executives of Dubai property firms and real estate analysts said Tuesday the decision taken by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government to grant visas on arrival to Chinese visitors to the Gulf state is expected to boost investments into the property market in the sheikhdom.

"The new visa rules for China are very good news for the property market here," said Josef Kleindienst, founder and CEO of Dubai-based developer Kleindienst Group, two days after the UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum announced the decision.

The Austrian entrepreneur told Xinhua that he sees constantly rising interest from Chinese investors in the Dubai real estate market.

Sales prices for residential real estate declined two percent from March to June in 2016, marking the sixth consecutive quarter of value losses, according to real estate research firm CBRE.

Simon Townsend, director strategic advisory at CBRE, said "the new visa rule is good news and CBRE will definitely reach out to potential Chinese investors who we expect will grow in numbers in the emirate."

According to Hakel Wen, international VIP service executive of China Foreign Trade Center which organizes the annual Canton Fair in southern China's Guangzhou city, bilateral trade between the UAE and China is expected to hit $60 billion by the end of 2016, up from $54.8 billion in 2014.

He said at a televised press briefing for the media in Dubai that the Gulf state is home of 4,200 Chinese firms, 356 trade agencies and 2,500 Chinese trade labels. Over 300,000 Chinese nationals already live in the UAE which has a total population of 10.5 million.

"The great thing about Dubai is that all major parties like tourism entities and ministries work closely together and we are ready to host more Chinese guests soon," said Noor Al Fardan, marketing communications manager of the seven-star hotel Burj Al Arab, the city's landmark resort.

Dubai welcomed 14.2 million tourists in 2015, a 7.5 percent increase year on year. By 2020, the emirate, known for its openness to foreigners and its dense network of luxury hotels and shopping malls, expects up to 25 million visitors with most of them to visit the six-month World Expo 2020.

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