Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Property visa changes - again

When foreigners were told they could buy property in designated areas of Dubai, a residence visa - subject to the usual DNRD requirements - was included as an added inducement to invest in the emirate.

But the goalposts were moved after the game was well under way.

The standard three year residence visa suddenly was no longer available. It was replaced by a six month visit visa - hardly fair to those who'd invested their money on the original basis. It was also a bad decision in relation to both confidence in Dubai being a good place to do business and in supporting the by-then crashed real estate sector.

Now that bad decision has been reversed, partially at least.

A three year visa is again offered, but it's still only a visit visa not a residence visa.

Gulf News quotes Maj. Gen. Nasser Bin Al Awadi Al Menhali, Assistant Undersecretary for Naturalisation, Residence & Port Affairs, as saying: "Investors who own property worth Dh1 million can get three year mutiple-entry visit visas. However, they have to exit the country every six months".

The Khaleej Times report adds that a property owner applying for the visa: "...also needs to open a bank account locally or aboard and is required to provide proof of a minimum monthly income of Dh10,000. The investor shall also get a medical insurance renewable every six months, apart from a valid medical fitness test every two years."

It's a step in the right direction but it still misses the target. It needs to be a true residence visa. And it needs to be simple.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Back again

Sydney was 21C, sunny, with crystal clear air when I left.

Dubai today will reach 44C the weather forecast said, and even with only 24% humidity the air is thick with 'haze' - cement dust and sand.

Some difference.

The fun story while I've been away was, I thought, the ENOC/EPPCO no petrol saga. It's just such a typical story from this part of the world.

No petrol available from two of the largest petrol station operators in one of the world's largest oil producing countries.

The demonstrably ridiculous 'reason' given by the companies - upgrades of the outlets which everyone could see wasn't actually happening.

Followed by the usual 'disappear and say nothing' PR strategy.

Under that policy, the Sharjah government deadline to explain the situation was ignored.

The Sharjah government shuts down the outlets.

Still no comment.

So what happens next?

Let me guess. ADNOC replaces them as the supplier in the northern emirates.

Being an Abu  Dhabi outfit they have government oil revenues behind them - unlike ENOC/EPPCO which have the Dubai government behind them - so the payment of the subsidies shouldn't be a problem. And EPPCO/ENOC get rid of the losses that were being racked up on every litre of petrol they sold in the northern emirates.

A conspiracy theorist would say that was the plan all along.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Christmas lunch flew in...

A wild turkey on my back fence this morning.

I'm getting ready to come back to Dubai, flying out of Sydney on Friday afternoon and due in at the usual unearthly hour of the morning.

We've got a lot of flight cancellations because of volcanic ash in the air, mostly domestic but some international flights have been diverted or delayed apparently. They're saying it will clear within 48 hours so hopefully I'll get away on time.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Then and now



Sunday, June 05, 2011

That's better!

I can't believe the weather we've been having. It's so un-Australian.

We're coming into winter so cooler temperatures are normal, but the wet certainly isn't par for the course.  

The last time I remember a period like this was way back in the mid-eighties. was sunny so I went for a walk. Blue sky. Crystal clear air. Sunshine.

I walked around the next bay to the one I live on...

That's how it should look, not wet and gray.

The forecast for tomorrow is sunshine all day. But then the clouds and showers are forecast for the rest of the week.