In the past few years, Mauritius has turned into the ideal destination for foreigners seeking profitable investments in a thriving real-estate market. International investors are offered a blend of advantages and opportunities to establish viable investment projects.
Nowadays, referred to as Africa’s most competitive economy, Mauritius has a long history of political stability, a good governance record and an ideal marketplace for surrounding continents: Asia and Africa. To boost Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), the government has introduced the Integrated Resort Scheme in 2002 where luxury villas up to 1.25 acres can be purchased by a foreigner, and a minimum selling price of US $500,000 per unit makes foreigners eligible to obtain a Mauritian residency status.
“According to the latest statistics published by the Bank of Mauritius, FDI inflows into the Mauritian economy for period January to December 2016 witnessed an increase of 41% as compared to the previous year. Real estate and financial services remain the most attractive sectors which were the main recipients of FDI. Real Estate activities recorded FDI to the tune of MUR 9.9 bn of which IRS/RES/IHSaccounted for MUR 7.9 bn.” – Board of Investment (BOI), Mauritius.
In 2007, the Real Estate Scheme was introduced. It enables foreigners to buy more affordable properties with no minimum selling price. However, in case a RES unit exceeding US $500,000 is purchased, the buyer is eligible for a Mauritian Residence Permit. Under the RES, small landowners are able to build residential clusters with mixed-sized dwellings targeted at foreigners.
The 2015/2016 budget in Mauritius announced a new measure that restructures the IRS and RES under a single legal framework, the Property Development Scheme (PDS), resulting in the amendment of the Investment Promotion Act through the Finance Act 2015. The PDS allows non-citizens to acquire residential properties once they obtain an authorization from the BOI. They will no longer have to register as investors and there are no restriction on minimum price of PDS project acquisition. A project under PDS has a minimum of 6 residential units and can be a mix of luxury villas, apartments, and penthouses, all including management services and amenities. PDS projects will also include high quality public space and leisure/commercial amenities and facilities.
On the other hand, Invest Hotel Scheme is available for buyers looking to invest in a hybrid product between real-estate development and hotel property. Under the IHS, hotels are allowed to sell villas, suites or rooms to individual buyers, enabling them to finance refurbishment, reconstruction, alteration, conversion or upgrading their hotels. The owner is allowed to occupy the unit bought for a maximum of 45 days in any period of 12 months.
The most recent project announced in the 2015/2016 national budget is the Smart City Scheme. It will be developed on a land up to 21.105 hectares with a live, work and play concept. The development will include a mix of land use including residential, leisure, and commercial. The objective of the new project is to create an environmental friendly living, working and leisure space aimed at generating its own energy and other utilities.
Those who wish wish to put into practice their knowledge and experience in a foreign country are encouraged to move to Mauritius through the Scheme to Attract Professionals for Emerging Sectors (SAPES). Business activities qualified under the SAPES include Information Technology, Film Production, Freeport Operations, Agro-based industry, and Fishing and marine resources.
More than a tiny island in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius has turned into a significant trade and investment hub. A little paradise that has a little something for anyone’s taste and dream destination. Interested but not yet convinced? Discover our hand-picked selection of real estate projects available to foreigners in Mauritius.