Property Development Scheme

In recent years, Mauritius has opened to foreign investment by setting up schemes and incentives to encourage and facilitate Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Several initiatives have been taken to allow foreigners to acquire real estate in Mauritius. The first real estate investment scheme was the IRS (Integrated Resort Scheme) launched in 2002, then the RES (Real Estate Scheme) in 2006. In 2015, the authorities combined various elements from the IRS and the RES under a new scheme, the PDS (Property Development Scheme), which was then fine-tuned with some changes.

Terms and Conditions

The Property Development Scheme provides for:

  • The development of luxurious residential units, on freehold land of an extent of at least 0.4220 hectare (1 arpent) but not exceeding 21.105 hectares (50 arpents).
  • The development of at least six (6) residential properties of high standing.
  • High quality public spaces that helps promote social interaction and a sense of community
  • High-class leisure, commercial amenities and facilities intended to enhance the residential units.
  • Day-to-day management services to residents including security, maintenance, gardening, solid waste disposal and household services; and
  • Social contribution in terms of social amenities, community development and other facilities for the benefit of the community.
Eligibility Criteria

The following persons may acquire a residential property from a PDS Company:

  • A natural person, whether a citizen of Mauritius, a non-citizen or a member of the Mauritian Diaspora
  • A company incorporated or registered under the Companies Act
  • A société, where its deed of formation is deposited with the Registrar of Companies
  • A limited partnership under the Limited Partnerships Act
  • A trust, where the trusteeship services are provided by a qualified trustee; or
  • Foundation under the Foundations Act.
Type of Property

PDS Company may provide the following type of residential properties:

  • Luxury villa with attending services and amenities
  • Luxury apartment with attending services and amenities
  • Penthouse with attending services and amenities
  • Other similar properties used, or available for use, as residence with attending services or amenities
Extent of Property

The extent of land in respect of each residential property, other than for an apartment or a penthouse, is developed on land not exceeding 5,176 square metres (1A25P) excluding common areas.

Cost of Property

There is no restriction on the minimum price for the acquisition of a residential property under PDS. However. through an investment of a minimum of USD 375,000, the buyer and his family are eligible for a residence permit, allowing his/her expatriation or retirement in Mauritius.

Commercial and Leisure Amenities

Under the Scheme, the promoters must make provisions for setting up of high-class leisure and commercial amenities and facilities intended to enhance the residential units and shall be accessible to the community.

Promoters should ensure to promote inclusiveness through high quality public spaces within the development. The commercial/leisure component must be commensurate to the scale of the proposed development.

How are properties sold under PDS?

The PDS properties are sold initially off plan, under the legal framework VEFA (sale in the future state of completion). This allows the buyer to become the owner of his property in its future state of completion. As a result, payment of the price of the property will also be done progressively:

  • 25% upon signing of the deed of sale
  • 10% upon completion of the foundations
  • 35% at roof slab
  • 25% upon completion
  • 5% at delivery

The developer must provide buyers with a 2-year damage insurance and a ten-year structural guarantee.

In addition, one can also find PDS properties in ‘resale’. This means that an owner has decided to resell his PDS property. The owner can do so at no minimum price; however, he will need to inform the EDB as well as the PDS company (the developer) of his intention to sell at least 30 days prior to the sale. The owner of a PDS property may rent his property through the PDS company or a service provider appointed by the PDS company.

Premium Visa

Mauritius has introduced a new Premium Travel Visa for foreign nationals who intend to stay in Mauritius for a maximum period of one year as a tourist, retiree or a professional, and is willing to come with his/her family and carry out his/her business or work remotely from Mauritius in a Covid-safe destination.

Applying for a Premium Visa is a simple online process. An application will be processed within 48 hours and the e-visa will be issued via email. The Premium Visa is issued free of charge and there is no processing fee.

The Premium Visa is valid for a period of one year and is renewable. A Premium Visa is required by those who intend to stay in Mauritius for a period exceeding 180 days in a calendar year. For those staying for less than 180 days, a tourist visa can be granted on arrival to Mauritius. Foreign nationals staying in Mauritius under a tourist visa can apply for a Premium Visa during their stay in Mauritius.

In order to qualify for the Premium Visa, the applicant must have proof of his/her long stay plans and sufficient travel and health insurance for the initial period of stay. The following criteria should also be met:

  • The applicant should not enter the Mauritius labour market;
  • The main place of business and/or source of income and profits should be outside Mauritius;
  • Documentary evidence should be provided to support application such as purpose of visit, accommodation etc.;
Other basic immigration requirements.

A holder of a Premium Visa is permitted to apply for an Occupation Permit if he/she intends to work or invest in Mauritius or a Residence Permit as a retired non-citizen. Foreign nationals may also acquire a residential property developed under the Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS), Real Estate Scheme (RES), Property Development Scheme (PDS) or Smart City Scheme (SCS). A foreign national is also allowed to acquire an apartment located in a building of at least ground plus two floors.

  • Money spent in Mauritius through the use of foreign credit or debit cards is not liable to tax in Mauritius. A person becomes a tax resident and therefore liable to tax in Mauritius if he/she spends 183 days or more in the country.
  • All prospective passengers (including children and infants) travelling to Mauritius for the month of November and December 2020 must possess the following documents:
  • A certificate of a negative Covid-19 PCR test administered not more than seven days prior to the date of boarding at the last point of embarkation;
  • A valid air ticket to Mauritius; and
  • roof of purchase of a travel package including accommodation, on a full-board basis, at a designated hotel for a mandatory 14-day in-room quarantine.

Any arriving passenger will have to undergo PCR tests on the day of arrival, and after seven and 14 days after arrival. If a PCR test reveals that a person is Covid-19 positive, he/she shall be transferred to a public medical institution for treatment.

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FACTS ABOUT MAURITIUS
  • POPULATION: (2020 est.) 1,271,000
  • TOTAL AREA (SQ KM): 2,049.5
  • GNI (U.S.$ BILLION): (2019) 16.32
  • GNI PER CAPITA (U.S.$): (2019) 12,9000
  • Real GDP Growth rate (2019): 3.2%
  • World Bank Doing Business 2020: Global rank 13/190 countries; 1st in Africa
  • MO Ibrahim Index of African Governance: 1st
  • Tourist Arrival: 1.93 million
  • Top arrival countries: UAE, Reunion Island, France, South Africa, UK
Culture

Any arriving passenger will have to undergo PCR tests on the day of arrival, and after seven and 14 days after arrival. If a PCR test reveals that a person is Covid-19 positive, he/she shall be transferred to a public medical institution for treatment.

Leisure activities

Each year, an increasing number of tourists arrive in Mauritius. Whether alone or with their families, for a short time duration or an extended stay, these people have chosen Mauritius to immerse themselves in a new culture and have unique experiences. Mauritius has something for everyone – from amazing beaches and gardens to hiking trails, national parks, museums, leisure parks, and other activities, there is something for everyone!

Sports

Mauritius offers a large selection of sports and recreational activities for those enjoying outdoor activities. The list includes but is not limited to: diving, surfing, water-skiing, big game fishing, sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, kite surfing, canyoning, stand up paddle boarding, football, tennis, squash, archery, jogging, horseback riding, trekking and hiking, mountain biking and golf.

Shopping

In recent years, a handful of shopping malls have opened across the island. These malls offer a wide range of products and services to meet your needs.

Activities around nature in Mauritius

With a focus on family, Mauritius stands out for its unmatched conviviality. For your holidays, enjoy the various activities you will find around the island.

Swimming with dolphins

One of the most popular activities in Mauritius which appeals to all members of the family is swimming with wild and free dolphins. You will have the opportunity to swim with these elegant creatures.

An unforgettable day on a paradise island

Catamaran cruises, from different departure points around Mauritius, will offer an unparallel experience to witness the crystal turquoise clear water.

Why invest in Mauritius?

Comforted by the waters of the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is renowned for its tranquil landscapes, white sandy beaches and beautiful lagoons. But the Island is not only ideal for a sunny holiday but also has serious assets that make it a popular destination for investors. Its economy, diversified, is rather prosperous and dynamic. And for several years, the Mauritian government has been implementing a policy of opening up the property market to non-Mauritians, foreigners and expatriates.

In this way, you can invest in a property on the Island while benefiting from a really attractive tax system. Among the programs currently in effect is the PDS or Property Development Scheme.

Advantages to invest in Mauritius

The advantages of investing in Mauritius are:

  • Social and political stability
  • A strong and diversified economy
  • An educated and bilingual workforce
  • A pool of skilled and qualified professionals
  • A business-friendly environment
  • Preferential access to international market
  • A modern and reliable infrastructure
  • A comprehensive and forward-looking legal framework
  • A growing international business and financial hub
  • A safe and enjoyable place to work and live
  • A competitive business environment

Mauritius offers a low tax jurisdiction and an investor-friendly environment to encourage local and foreign companies to set up a business.

  • Harmonised corporate and income tax of 15%
  • Tax free dividend
  • No capital gains tax
  • 100% foreign ownership
  • Exemption from customs duty on equipment
  • Free repatriation of profits, dividends and capital
Political and Social Stability / Excellent Living Environment

Since its independence in 1968, Mauritius, as opposed to most African countries, has been enjoying political stability. The political structure of the island takes place in a framework of parliamentary democracy. Mauritius has a multi-party system with general elections held democratically every 5 years. All the successive governments have shown a strong commitment to a market-driven economy where free enterprise can flourish and foreign investment prospers. Mauritians approve democratic norms and practices.

Convenient Economic Conditions for Investors

Investor protection has always been one of the major advantages of Mauritius. The country is signatory of several treaties and multilateral agreements assuring the protection of the foreign investors:

  • The International Court of Justice of the Hague
  • The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency
  • The International Centre for the Regulation of investment disputes
  • The 1958 New York Convention
No exchange control

Mauritius is a free market economy. There is no limit on transferring profits, dividends and capital out of the country. The 2012 Index of Economic freedom, published annually by the Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation, ranked Mauritius 8th in economic freedom in the world, ahead of the United States, U.K, Japan, Germany and France.

Offshore Asset Protection, Double taxation treaties and OECD White Listed Jurisdiction

Mauritius benefits from a vast network of double taxation treaties which grant protection of wealth against uncertain political, economic and family conditions. Due to its strategic geographical situation, the island positions itself as a gateway to benefit from the exponential growth in the emerging Africa and Asia trade potential.

Convenient Time-Zone

Thanks to its strategic geographical location, Mauritius is now a vibrant trade, investment and tourism hub, connecting the emerging continent of Africa to Asia and to the rest of the world. Benefiting from a very convenient time zone (GMT +4) Mauritius positions itself as a leading business and financial center, open for business before the markets close in the Far East and in time to catch up with opening markets in the US, in the same day.

Foreign Trade Zones / Free Ports

The Mauritius Freeport (free-trade zone) established in 1992 is a customs-free zone for goods destined for re-export. The government’s objective is to promote the country as a regional warehousing, distribution, marketing, and logistics center for Eastern and Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean rim. Through its membership in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC). Companies operating in the Freeport are exempt of corporate tax

Investment in rental property in Mauritius

Mauritius is a popular tourist destination that welcomes more than one million tourists every year. Rental investment is an opportunity to make one’s property available to tourists in order to generate substantial and short-term rental income.

Having a home is a primary need, and the increase in purchasing power has seen the growing interest in quality accommodation. Real estate investment has long been considered a valuable asset that remains profitable through time.

Real estate investment is not subject to economic fluctuations, unlike the stock market. Real estate is therefore significantly less likely to depreciate over time.

Real estate offers attractive rental income, and capital gains at resale – especially if the property is located in a popular and fast-developing region. Investing in real estate in Mauritius is also a method of securing your assets, and eventually of passing them on to your successors.

Tourist advantages and a context favourable to investments.

Mauritius being a touristic destination, the rental demand is elevated, especially in high season. If you buy an apartment or a villa to invest in, you will easily find renters, especially if you choose the right geographical location.

Why Mauritius is attractive to South Africans?

General:

Mauritius – The Global Wealth Hub of Africa

With its enviable strategic location between Africa and Asia, out in the Indian Ocean in peaceful seclusion, Mauritius has worked hard to position itself as a service hub for the affluent in Africa. It has a good business environment it is ranked as the best sub-Saharan economy for its political and economic stability.

The strength of its governance and regulatory institutions is very relevant and encouraging. Mauritius has all the right elements to be a world-class destination. It meets the highly sought after lifestyle and business aspirations of HNWIs.

The reasons that make Mauritius a growing wealth destination
  • A thriving and growing financial services sector, particularly in offshore banking, fund management and private banking
  • A real estate investment hotspot, due to the absence of any capital gains tax, estate or inheritance tax
  • An attractive Property Development Scheme that takes luxury residences to another level and allow for a residence permit if one invests more than US$375,000
  • Secure and strong ownership rights, encouraging investment in property and businesses on the island
  • The concept of ‘Smart Cities’, positioning Mauritius as a homeland for a global economic hub and a preferred destination for HNWIs
  • A convenient base for investing and doing business on the continent, Mauritius is ranked 1st in Africa in the World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business Report
  • Low taxes which encourage business formation and appeal to retirees
  • A fiscal regime with corporate and income taxes at 15%
  • No foreign exchange controls, motivating individuals living in Mauritius to invest overseas while using the country as a business and investment hub
  • A safe, avant-garde and highly sought-after lifestyle economy, aligned with the concept of ‘Sun, Sea and Golf’
  • Access to the world’s most desirable brands in the country through high-end shopping malls and premium restaurants
Future Outlook

Global wealth is expected to rise by 50% over the next decade, reaching US$321 trillion by 2027, driven by a strong growth in Asia. The Asian continent is evolving due to a fast growing and attractive wealth region, particularly China, Japan, India and Vietnam. On the other hand, even though the United Kingdom has had the biggest HNWI outflow, there’s a projected wealth growth of 10% by 2027. Mauritius however remains an ascendance story to watch. It is an attractive destination for HNWIs for the next ten years, and as the region grows, investment flows into the country will increase.

Economic structure

Mauritius has gone through a tremendous economic transition, from a low income agricultural based economy to a diversified upper middle-income economy with strong growth in the industrial, financial and tourism sector. Agriculture occupies nearly half of the island nation’s land area, and sugar cane cultivation remains the main agricultural activity. The manufacturing sector is dominated by sugar milling, food processing, and textiles, but the government has adopted numerous initiatives to support the diversification of the sector. As a popular tourist destination, the country has attracted considerable interest from foreign property buyers, which has not only resulted in a construction boom in recent years, but also in notable development in the real estate sector. The island nation chiefly depends on imported petroleum products to meet most of its energy requirements since no oil, natural gas or coal reserves are available locally. The country has a very sophisticated banking system with several foreign banks operating in the local economy and one of the most advanced telecom sectors in Africa.

Recent economic developments

Following a period of swift growth, Mauritius’s tourism industry has been in the doldrums in 2019. The number of tourists visiting the island nation’s shores between January and September declined by 2% compared to the same period in 2018, according to latest figures from Statistics Mauritius. Tourists visiting Mauritius are primarily European, accounting for 60% of all tourists. Looking at the regional breakdown for arrivals, declines in some of the traditionally large tourism partners, namely China, India, the UK and South Africa have weighed heavily on total arrivals. The slowdown in arrivals from these countries reflects their respective weaker disposable incomes and currencies. Meanwhile, travellers from some wealthy European countries such as France, Italy and Switzerland have been more resilient to the global economic slowdown. Furthermore, arrivals from Saudi Arabia have soared thanks to new direct flights from this country. The decline in travel services will narrow the surplus on the services balance of the current account and will also bite into real GDP growth and government revenue.

Foreign investment

The vast majority of inflows in 2019 were into the real estate industry. France accounted for 33% of total FDI inflows in 2019, followed by South Africa with 20% and United Kingdom, Switzerland and China. Mauritius is expected to maintain FDI interest in real estate over the medium term, and attract increased future investment in nascent industries, such as ICT, renewable energy and the maritime economy.

South Africa is a mere 3 500km from the paradise island of Mauritius, and it takes just under 4 hours to get there on a direct flight. It doesn’t take much convincing to draw you to Mauritius, and the potential prospect of owning property on this magical island is an utter dream.

Mauritius is politically and economically stable and has one of the most secure economies in all of Africa. It is a melting pot of cultural diversity, breathtaking natural beauty and laid-back island life. The tourism industry is thriving, and the island draws investment from the world over but predominantly from Europe and the United States. There is plenty to love here, and the government is making it even easier for foreign nationals to invest.

The Lay of the Land

In the last few years, the Mauritian government has put time and energy into developing investment schemes that create the opportunity for foreign nationals to own residential and commercial property. These schemes are designed to facilitate and foster foreign direct investment.

Foreign nationals wishing to invest, work, live or retire in Mauritius have many attractive opportunities afforded to them through the Property Development Scheme (PDS), Real Estate Scheme (RES) and the Integrated Resort Scheme (IRS).

Notable changes were made to the Non-Citizens (Property Restriction) Act in 2017 and investors (non-Mauritian) subject to security clearances, can now buy apartments and commercial properties that don’t form part of the rules in the IRS, PDS, and RES schemes.

The latest amendments are incredibly positive for South African investors as the amendment carries with it a much lower minimum investment amount than other more costly schemes. So how exactly can South Africans max out all there is to offer and invest in property in Mauritius?

The steps required are simple and straightforward, but what are the various investment schemes on offer?

U.A.E among the top 5 import partner

1. Where to go in Mauritius

Mauritius is a paradise as it offers surf, sand, and sun under one roof. Anyone visiting Mauritius will experience a memorable trip as there are varieties of things to do in Mauritius. Being the number one spot for honeymooners, the beaches, islands, forts, parks, museums, shopping hubs, and monuments will keep everyone on their toes. Here are some picks:

  • Trou Aux Biches – A Place Where You’ll Lose Yourself
  • Belle Mare Plage – Enjoy Sunrise Amidst Greenery
  • Ile Aux Cerfs – Perfect Weekend Getaway
  • Pereybere – Water Sports And More
  • La Cambuse – Swim Your Heart Out
  • Le Morne – Water Sports And Nature
  • Ilot Gabriel Beach – Go On A Cruise
  • Chamarel Coloured Earth – Witness The Seven-Colored Sand
  • La Cuvette Beach – Nature And Local Food
  • Flic En Flac Beach – Longest Beach
  • Mont Choisy Beach – Natural Wonder Near Airport
  • Poste Lafayette Beach – Admired For A Variety Of Activities
  • Black River Gorges National Park – Breathtaking Beauty
  • Casela World of Adventures – Enter The World Of Wildlife
  • Parc Francois Leguat – Turtles And More
  • Trou Aux Cerfs – For Jogging Amidst Lush Greenery
  • Tamarind Waterfalls – A Sight To Behold
  • Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden – Enter The World Of Flora
  • Rochester Falls – Bathe Under The Gush Of Water
  • Mauritius National Botanical Garden – Witness The Huge Variety Of Plants
  • La Vallee Des Couleurs Nature Park – For A Great Exploration Experience
  • La Vanille Crocodile Park – Witness The Breathtaking Creatures
  • Casela Nature Park Segway Tour – A Great Fauna Tour
  • Chamarel Waterfalls – Largest Waterfall
  • Blue Bay Marine Park – Behold The Underwater World
  • Le Pouce – Ideal Place For Nature Lovers And Adventurers
  • Eureka House – Greenery And More
  • Photo Museum – For All The Photography Lovers Out There
  • Sugar Museum – A Great Learning Experience
  • Blue Penny Museum – Learn The Historicity
  • Light House of Albion – One Of The Best Attractions
  • Mahebourg – For Food And Architecture
  • Grand Bassin – For A Religious Experience
  • Mauritius Photography Museum – Learn The History Of The Island
  • Rodrigues – For A Recreational Time
  • Aapravasi Ghat – A UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Chateau De Labourdonnais – Reflection Of Victorian Era
  • L’Aventure du Sucre – Historicity Of Sugar Production
  • Champ de Mars Racecourse – Experience The Adrenaline Rush
  • Grand Baie Bazaar – Endless Variety
  • Port Louis Market – From Dining To Shopping
  • Moka – For A Fun Lifestyle Shopping
  • Flic En Flac – Clothes And Clothing Accessories
  • Mahebourg Market – For A Great Flea Market Experience
  • Le Craft Market – For All The Crafty Stuff
  • Quatre Bornes Market – Numerous Options
  • Flacq Market – For Clothes And Food
  • Bagatelle Mall – One-Stop Shopping Place
  • Tamarin Beach – Impeccable Beauty
  • Le Plate Island – Leisurely Escape
2. Mauritius: One of the most beautiful islands

Mauritius, the 7th Most Beautiful Island in the World.

The beautiful island is known for its gorgeous turquoise blue sea with silky sand beaches, beautiful mountains, waterfalls, rainforests, and even the wildlife. With a great weather most of the time, our island is also known as a paradise island.

A very special attribute of the island is the diversity of cultures living together. Mauritius, among only ten other countries, was featured as one of the safest place on the planet on the 2016 Global Peace Index. The Institute of Economics and Peace had reported that the island could be considered as a nation that is truly at peace.

Mauritius is also the leading golf destination in the Indian Ocean. It has to date nine 18-hole golf courses which are at international and championship level. In 2016 we had the honor of having the Heritage Golf Club which was awarded the Best Golf Course of the Indian Ocean at World Golf Awards. The Avalon Golf Estate was nominated as Best New Golf Course 2016. Golfers will definitely not be disappointed when choosing Mauritius as their next golf destination.

3. Why Mauritius is not only beaches?

Mauritius is not only well known for its beautiful beaches. Part of what makes Mauritius such a perfect destination, is the mix of classic tropical island atmosphere with a rich cultural backdrop of art, history, street food, creole cuisine and endemic flora and fauna, to name but a few.

Black River Gorges National Park

With over 17,000 acres of undulating valleys, plunging waterfalls and thick green forest, this protected wilderness harbours some of the finest views in the country and is a haven for all manner of endangered species.

Delicious street food

You will find the widest choice of delicacies in and around the island’s markets. The best selection of favourite local snacks like dhal puri, roti chaud, gajak and sweet potato cakes.

Gorgeous historic buildings, temples, mosques and churches

Visitors to Mauritius are often surprised to discover the rich breadth of historic buildings, temples, mosques and churches scattered across the island, many of which add a colourful and cultural depth.

Fabulous fine dining

Visitors will not be disappointed with the variety and quality of fine dining options on offer, particularly in the island’s high-end resorts.

A world of art

Mauritius has a thriving art scene, with galleries around the country displaying works from both homegrown and international artists.

Authentic Creole cuisine

There’s no better insight into local Creole culture than visiting an authentic restaurant serving traditional dishes passed down through the generations. Seek out down-to-earth venues like Chamarel’s Palais de Barbizon or the all-organic Escale Creole in Moka to get a genuine flavour of Mauritian Creole cuisine.

World-class golf courses

It’s not difficult to see why Mauritius has become renowned as a topflight golfing destination over the past decade or so. Not only are many courses designed by some of the world’s best golfers, they’re also set in exceptional surroundings and present both the amateur and professional with a genuine challenge.

Sumptuous spas

With an emphasis on holistic wellness combined with a love of slightly more unusual treatments such as caffeine-rich chocolate massages and 24-karat gold facials, it’s little wonder Mauritius is considered one of the best spa destinations on the planet.

Adrenaline and adventure activities

Adrenaline experiences are fast becoming part and parcel of many mainstream vacations, with plenty of hotels offering their own tailored adventure sport packages, for activities such as kitesurfing and diving. Beyond the resorts, other pursuits like canyoning, abseiling, kayaking and mountain biking can also be arranged for those seeking an extra challenge.

4. Indian Ocean’s Leading Airport

Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport has been awarded the title of Indian Ocean’s Leading Airport 2020 by the World Travel Awards.

This international recognition highlights the hard work and dedication of the authorities by providing the best services to the passengers, on a daily basis and despite of the challenging circumstances, deserve to be commended.