DIFC expands services to target Chinese property investment

Property investment by Chinese buyers accounted for 3% of total sales in 2017, according to DLD statistics

DIFC is keen to attract further Chinese property investment into Dubai [representational image].
DIFC is keen to attract further Chinese property investment into Dubai [representational image].

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is targeting Chinese investors through a direct outreach campaign aimed at investors that may wish to use its Wills service.

In a statement on Saturday, DIFC said that if more Chinese entrepreneurs started “setting up shop and putting down roots in Dubai” then the ability to pass on Dubai assets to business partners and families was the “next logical step”.

As such, DIFC said its Wills Service Centre has been actively reaching out to the Chinese community through Mandarin content, stakeholder meetings and a series of appearances of Chinese channels operating in the Middle East.

DIFC cited Dubai Land Department statistics that showed property investment by Chinese buyers is up from eighth- to sixth-highest in Dubai, accounting for 3% of all sales in 2017,

READ: Emaar to build Middle East's biggest Chinatown in Dubai

The recently issued Law No. 15 means Chinese nationals will not be subject to the fixed formula for inheritance as prescribed by Sharia law, and will be able to pass on their assets in accordance with their personal wishes.

“We are seeing the number of DIFC Wills registered by Chinese citizens doubling year on year,” said DIFC Wills Centre director, Sean Hird.

“Through our Wills people use their more familiar Chinese home country law, can draft their Wills in English as opposed to Arabic, and can choose beneficiaries for property, business shares and family heirlooms.”

READ: CSCEC ME's China HQ to bankroll Belt and Road projects

China is keen to deepen its economic and cultural ties with the UAE, most notably through its ambitious global Belt and Road Initiative.

Following Chinese president Xi Jinping’s three day state visit to the UAE two weeks ago, part of what he called China’s “express train of development” through the Middle East and Africa, 13 agreements were signed between China and the UAE, furthering international cooperation on the megaproject.

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