A boom in European investment from Saudi expats

High-earning expats in Saudi Arabia have started to take full advantage of some EU states offering residency to expat purchasers of upmarket properties, with some figures showing that 5% of the high-earning elite have purchased expensive properties in Europe in a bid to gain a residency visa.
Talal Samarqandi, a member of the Real Estate Committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), said European governments grant foreigners residence facilities after investing in real estate. “Many expats think it is expensive to own a house in the Kingdom. Add to that the fact that the future of expats in the Kingdom is uncertain since expats are tied to their sponsors. Most expats therefore prefer to invest in real estate in countries where they can settle permanently,” said Samarqandi.
Another reason for investing in property abroad, he believes, is that most foreigners working in the kingdom see Saudi property prices as being too high to be realistic. However, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar are seeing totals of expat property investment of around SR10 billion.
Nearby UAE recently placed third in the NatWest Quality of Life survey for expats and continues to be a strong destination for expats taking into consideration such factors as house prices, local communities, job satisfaction, school system and local culture.
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