Ajman, United Arab Emirates – “Buy villa in UAE, get family citizenship in Antigua & Barbuda,” the advertisements scream.
It may seem a strange proposition, but for the majority of the United Arab Emirates’ population – who enjoy visa-free travel to only a few dozen countries – attaining a passport with fewer visa restrictions is an attractive idea.
Passports issued by Antigua and Barbuda allow one to travel to 132 countries visa-free or visa-on-arrival, including the UK and Canada. In comparison, an Indian passport enables that ease of access to just 52 countries; for Emirati passports, the number is 77.
A Henley & Partners report issued last year ranks the Antiguan and Barbudan passport 24th worldwide in terms of visa restrictions.
Now, for the sum of “just” 1.4m Emirati dirhams ($380,000), UAE property developers Sweet Homes will sell a two-bedroom villa in the emirate of Ajman and include complementary Antigua and Barbuda passports for the buyer, his or her spouse, dependent children and parents over the age of 65.
The Ajman-based developer, whose offer applies to 600 units within the 1,500-villa Ajman Uptown development, signed an implementation agreement with the Antiguan and Barbudan government last November, and has begun to aggressively promote the deal.
“Ajman Uptown is the first project of its kind in the GCC region that allows the buyers … to be eligible for citizenship, subject to due diligence and approval from [the] government of Antigua and Barbuda,” Sweet Homes CEO Fahad Dero told Al Jazeera. (Al Jazeera)