Area Information - Dominican Republic
Why consider a property investment in the Dominican Republic?
The Real Estate Market
- Property in the Dominican Republic is still very competitively priced compared to many Caribbean islands. Whilst many of the other Caribbean islands like the Bahamas have seen dramatic price increases over recent years, investment in the Dominican Republic has been largely overlooked by the real estate investment community. Recently however, there is a real upsurge of interest.
- The Dominican Government officially welcomes foreign investment. Law 158 on foreign investment enacted in December 1995 allows unlimited foreign investment in nearly all sectors of the economy. In October 2001 this was extended to make investment in business and upscale tourism exempt from income tax for ten years.
- The Dominican Republic does not charge stamp duty on purchases, tax on rental income or impose capital gains taxation.
Growth in Tourism
- The government is spending many millions of dollars on a marketing campaign to attract tourists from around the world and pumping pesos into tourism-related infrastructure.
- The Dominican Republic reported an 8.3% increase in foreign tourist arrivals during the first eight months of 2005. In 2004, the Dominican Republic attracted approximately 2.76 million tourists. The top five Caribbean countries for UK visitors are Barbados, Dominican Republic, Cancun in Mexico, Jamaica.
- Roughly one half of all tourists arrive from North America, with 43% from Europe. From Europe, France was the main tourist market, followed by Germany, Spain, Great Britain and Italy.
- Tourism in the Dominican Republic is also changing dramatically in terms of the type of traveller, moving from an all-inclusive type of visitor to amore up market visitor.
- Most hurricanes miss the Republic due to the Cordillera Central, a mountain range in the west which protects the coastal regions.
Opportunity for Rental Income
- Given the area’s hugely successful tourist industry, high rental returns are far more achievable than many other international destinations. Increasing numbers of tourists are demanding a higher standard of accommodation. This has been recognised by many international tour operators, most of whom are fighting to secure rental property for their pools. Given that the number of properties being developed in the area to date is relatively small and therefore up market properties to rent are few and far between, the competition is fierce to secure their long term rental. This is good news for property owners wanting consistently high returns from their investment.
- During the first 8 months of 2004, the hotels in the Republic received 86.6% average occupancy Source: the National Hotel & Restaurant Association (Asonahores)
Excellent Connections and Improvement in Infrastructure
- The Dominican Republic has seven international airports, more than any Caribbean island, which makes travel much easier than many similar locations. The airports receive hundreds of charter flights per week from all over the world but also an increasing number of scheduled flights from world cities such as New York, Paris, Madrid, Frankfurt, Miami, Chicago, Philadelphia, Toronto, Montreal, San Juan, Charlottesville, among others.
- Many improvements to the country’s infrastructure are linked directly to the pursuit of tourist income with many roads widened and paved and historic areas in major cities renovated.
A country of outstanding beauty
- The Republic boasts 1,288 km coastline including 300km of sandy beaches.
- The Dominican Republic has more diversity than many of its Caribbean neighbours, with around 20 distinct topographical areas. Five mountain ranges dissect the country from the northwest to the southeast. The largest is the Cordillera Central where the highest point in the Caribbean can be found: Pico Duarteat over 3,175m. In between are large fertile valleys, one of which holds Lake Enriquillo. Lush rain forests, tropical jungles, a cactus filled desert, astonishing canyons, rushing rivers, dramatic waterfalls, refreshing mountain pools and sunny meadow land can all be found within this unique country.
- The Dominican Republic has 16 national parks, nine natural monuments and six scientific reserves and a total of 67 protected areas (32% of all land).
How is the climate?
- The Dominican Republic enjoys a year round tropical maritime climate. Sea breezes refresh the insular territory, evening out temperatures to average 23°C in the early mornings to 32°C at mid-day.
- There is little difference between winter and summer temperatures with July averaging at 82ºF (28ºC) and January at 76ºF (23ºC).
- The months of May to November are regarded as the rainy season. View our selection of Property Investments in the Dominican Republic
What flights are available?
- The Republic has seven international airports which serve both scheduled and charter flights.
- American Airlines offer over 30 direct flights (no other country is served better by American Airlines).
- Flights from Europe are available from Paris or Madrid. Flights times are 11 hrs from Europe, 3 hours from New York and under 2 hours from Miami.
Whats visas do I require for short and long term stays?
- All nationalities require a valid passport (except nationals of Canada and the USA staying up to 90 days which require an appropriate ID such as a Birth Certificate or Driver's Licence).
- A Tourist Card permits a legal stay of up to 60 days for most nationalities including the UK. The tourist card (tarjeta del tourista) costs US$ 10 and is often included with the airline ticket, otherwise they can be obtained at the airport or at the border crossings.
- To become a legal resident in the Dominican Republic, foreigners need to obtain a residence visa, provisional residence card and finally a permanent residence card. An experienced Dominican migration lawyer can help with this time-consuming process.
- First, it takes about four to six months to obtain the provisional residence card. Provisional residences are granted for a year and only at the expiration of that year can the application for the permanent residence be filed. It takes two to three months to obtain the permanent residence card after paper work is submitted. Therefore, minimum time for a permanent residency = 4 months + 12 months + 2 months = 18 months.
- The benefits of becoming a resident include the right to work and do business in the Dominican Republic; a non resident cannot do so legally. View our selection of Property Investments in the Dominican Republic
What do the Analysts say?
- ‘Excellent value can be found in the Dominican Republic, which is seeing incredible investment in golfing, marina and resort developments.’ - A Place in the Sun, Channel 4
- ‘The Dominican Republic has been a fantastic introduction to the Caribbean for many, who would otherwise consider the region just too expensive. The all-inclusive packages in particular have been a massive hit for families who know they have to stick to a budget as everything is paid for upfront, but the destination also offers so much more for the British holidaymaker. Not only are there fantastic beaches and watersports on offer, but if you want to get away from the crowds, there is breathtaking scenery in the form of rainforests, mountains and waterfalls. The cities also offer a vibrant culture that has a Spanish colonial pastt.’ - Association of British Travel agents (ABTA)