Following moves by the European Union and United Arab Emirates to allow more nations to travel without a visa, overseas property markets look set to benefit, say agents
The decision by Europe and the United Arab Emirates to allow more countries to travel without visas is set to benefit the overseas property sector, say experts.
The European Union (EU) has agreed that nationals from 16 small island nations in the Caribbean and Pacific regions, the United Arab Emirates, Peru and Colombia will no longer require a visa for short stays (up to 90 days) in the Schengen area from around 2015, when the law is expected to come into force.
In turn, the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that visitors from Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Hungary, Latvia, Estonia, Malta, Cyprus, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria will no longer have to apply for visas from Saturday 22 March.
The EU ruling, means that visitors from the nations given the exemption can now go to the Schengen for business, tourism or to visit families without needing a visa.
The move was initiated in November 2012, when the commission proposed to add five Caribbean Island Nations (Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago), along with ten Pacific Island Nations (Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu) and Timor-Leste to the list of third world countries and territories whose nationals are exempt from the visa obligation.
Following discussions with the European Parliament and the Council, it was agreed to add the UAE, Peru and Colombia to the original list.
The decision will help create closer ties between Europe and the Caribbean nations and increase business and investment. Granada has recently finalised its Citizenship by Investment programme, which open to those investing in Grenadian government supported developments, including hotel investment.
Ray Withers, CEO of agency Property Frontiers, which is active in the country, says, “We’ve been involved with Grenada hotel investments since 2005 and have sold more property here than any other agent. Hotel room investment is a perfect win-win investment in an emerging market such as Grenada, which is also experiencing a boom in tourism.”
“Now the EU Parliament has voted in favour of visa-free travel, we can see a whole new level of investment opportunity opening up. Bacolet Bay Beach Resort is selling like hot cakes right now and we’re already investigating more easily accessible, high yielding options in this gorgeous Isle of Spice.
“Grenada is a really exciting place for investors, allowing them affordable entry into the luxury Caribbean market. Prices on the island have traditionally been lower than on neighbouring islands and are now beginning to rise significantly, making it the perfect place to invest for those looking for strong capital growth as well as regular rental income.”
Investment in a luxury Bacolet Bay hotel suite starts at £248,500 and includes a three-year rental guarantee and four weeks’ personal use. For more details, go to www.propertyfrontiers.com.
The UAE ruling means citizens from all 28 EU member states holding an ordinary passport can now enter the UAE without having to apply for a visa before leaving.
Once the European Union decision becomes law, UAE citizens will be able to travel to more than 100 countries without needing a visa.
By Adrian Bishop, Editor, OPP Connect