List of Special Designated Areas in Malta

Situated in the heart of the Mediterranean and enjoying a fabulous climate, a relaxed pace of life, excellent flight connections, favourable tax structures and full EU membership, Malta is a popular place to invest in property.

The property market in Malta is stable and has produced excellent investment returns and with no tax on ownership or wealth, it’s not hard to understand why many expats are attracted to Malta.

Read on for the complete list of Special Designated Areas

What are Special Designated Areas?

In order to ensure that locals were not priced out of the market by incoming investors, the Maltese government introduced the Immovable Property (Acquisition by Non-Residents) Act Chapter 246 to restrict foreign ownership in certain ways.

The Act designates various developments and areas as exempt from many restrictions and allows, in general terms, foreign nationals to buy and rent out properties they own in an SDA. We give more details in our guide to Buying Property in Malta.

Special Designated Areas in Malta.


  • Portomaso Development plus Extension I, St. Julian’s, Malta
  • Cottonera Development, Malta
  • Manoel Island/Tigne Point, Tigne/Gzira, Malta
  • Tas-Sellum Residence, Mellieha, Malta
  • Madliena Village Complex, Malta
  • Smart City, Malta
  • Fort Cambridge Zone, Tignè, Malta
  • Ta’ Monita Residence, Marsascala, Malta
  • Pender Place and Mercury House Site, plus Extensions I, II, III, IV and V, St Julians, Malta
  • Metropolis Plaza, Gzira, Malta
  • Quad Business Towers, Mriehel, Malta
  • Southridge, Mellieha, Malta
  • Mistra Heights, Mellieha, Malta


  • Fort Chambray, Ghajnsielem, Gozo;
  • Kempinski Residences, San Lawrenz, Gozo
  • Vista Point, Marsalforn, Gozo

You can rent out property you own in SDAs

Probably the biggest benefit for investors is that fact that properties in SDAs can be leased, which is not the case if the property is not within a Special Designated Area.

You don’t need to be a resident to buy property in Special Designated Areas

Another key positive of purchasing property in SDAs – you don’t need to be a resident and you don’t need to apply for an AIP permit.

Here are the summarised list of requirements for Immovable Property in Malta – for full details please see the government’s Conditions for Buying Immovable Property page

Maltese and EU Citizens – both with 5 years continuous residence in MaltaMaltese and EU Citizens – without 5 years continuous residence in MaltaNon-Maltese and Non-EU citizens
Primary Residence​No restrictions​No restrictions​AIP required *
Secondary Residence or any other immovable property​No restrictionsAIP required *AIP required *
Property in a Special Designated AreaNo restrictionsNo restrictionsNo restrictions
Immovable Property required for the person’s business activities’ or supply of services by such person​No restrictionsNo restrictions​No permit granted unless required for an industrial or touristic project or as a contributor to the development of the economy of Malta  
  * An AIP permit should be applied for

Premium locations

Properties located in Special Designated Areas are developed to a high specification and offer luxury amenities and facilities such as spas, swimming pools, shopping malls, marinas, bars, restaurants and supermarkets.

Owning a property in SDAs is likely to qualify you for residency

Malta offers various residency programmes which we cover in more detail in our Malta residence guides. Many of these options require you to purchase a property of a certain value and by purchasing a high quality property located within an SDA, you’ll almost certainly be able to use this as a qualifying property purchase to help with your residency application.