Visa change could help attract more people to stay longer in the United Arab Emirates, which is too often seen as a career transient location where expats are reluctant to buy property or retire.

The UAE would have a better chance of attracting longer term expats if visas did not have to be renewed frequently, according to lawyers and investment experts.

In particular, they believe that property investors could be more likely to buy in places like Dubai if more flexible visas were available.

For example, investors currently face strict regulations for property visas and have to meet several criteria to be eligible for a six month renewable multi entry visa. Additionally, those in Dubai can also apply for a two year renewable property permit through the Dubai Land Department.

But by introducing less stringent conditions, more people would be tempted to invest in Dubai’s real estate market, according to Nofi Mojidi, relationship manager at Fragomen’s Worldwide Private Client Practice.

He also pointed out that with longer term investor visas, retirees would no longer have to go through the constant hassle of renewing their visas every few years. ‘Most importantly, a longer term visa would give retirees long term security knowing they can retire in a country they can actually call home,’ he added.

Those working in the UEA usually have a residency visa linked to their job so when they retire they have to look at other options, but property visas are not linked to age. Those wishing to retire could continue to live if they have a property by applying for a property visas, but they would need to renew it every two years. Many do not want to risk buying a property and retiring and then find that their visa is not renewed.

According to Matthew Green, head of research and consulting at CBRE Middle East, Dubai is regarded as a transient destination, which means that people come with a short term view since they cannot retire in the emirate.

He also supports the idea of longer term visas for people buying property, as it would encourage more people to live in the emirate and down the line to retire there.