UAE-based investors were once the most active foreign buyers in Lebanon. In 2009, UAE investment in Lebanon exceeded $1 billion (Dh3.67 billion), according to an Inter-Arab Investment Guarantee Corporation report. Dubai's Al Habtoor Group, Damac Properties and Planet Group, among others, launched various big-ticket projects in Lebanon, such as five-star hotels, high-rise apartments and malls in the early 2000s. According to estimates by Agaoglu, the largest developer in Turkey Istanbul, about 60% of foreign investors who purchased property real estate services in Turkey or Istanbul Turkey came from the Middle East last year, and analysts project a continued upturn in investor appetite.
In a bid to secure more foreign investors in 2013, Turkey passed legislation granting citizenship rights to those investing $1 million-plus into Turkish real estate, and opened up unconditional purchasing power to 129 nationalities. There has been talk in the local media there that this threshold may be lowered further.
Strategically located between Asia and Europe, offering a temperate climate with four genuine seasons, modern infrastructure, a rich culture and a liberal outlook, Turkey has become one of the more high profile and interesting options in the burgeoning economic citizenship sector.
While no one can be 100 per cent certain of what the future holds, synergies between the UAE and these two regional markets (Turkey and Egypt) right now are very strong and growing.