Great news for citizens of the United Arab Emirates: travel visas for short-term stays in Europe have been abolished by the EU. This means UAE citizens can now stay in EU countries visa-free for up to 90 days in any 180 day period. What a difference it will make to families visiting Europe from UAE to take holidays or for business people to be able to travel freely without the usual red tape.
Phasing out the necessity for a visa is also positive news for EU countries, especially Spain, where tourism is expected to gain from the ease of travel for people from the Middle East. Places such as Marbella have been long-favoured by Arab citizens and now it is even easier to travel to Spain.
Another bonus for Marbella that comes with the new visa laws is that property sales are expected to rise across Europe and particularly in Spain. “Now that it is possible for UAE citizens to travel freely to Spain and stay for around three months without a visa, the expectations are that Marbella holiday homes will become an even more popular choice for Arabian buyers. The exchange rate from dollar to euro is extremely favourable at the moment too,” says Massimo Filippa, general manager of Greenlife Estates. “This means buying property in Spain is much more attractive now to people from the U.A.E than it was as little as a year ago.”
There are of course restrictions to these new laws with regards to travelling: visitors from the UAE must have travel insurance, proof of finance for living and they can’t earn any money during their stay, but they can travel for business purposes as long as they are not employed in Spain, one of the countries that is expected to benefit most from the new E11 ruling that is passing through final procedural scrutiny now — and within Spain, Marbella is one of the areas that will be most appealing to buyers from this region, giving the local property industry a further boost.