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What a foreigner needs to know about buying a property in UAE

What a foreigner needs to know about buying a property in UAE

The United Arab Emirates is among the best countries for buying real estate as an investment or for a living. The country offers a comfortable climate, almost zero income taxes for individuals including no property taxes as well as the stable economic situation. What do you need to know about buying a property in the UAE? In this article, we answer this question.

So what do you need to know before buying a property in the UAE? Let`s try to find out below.

Our catalogue offers the very latest luxury property in Dubai.


Cultural mindset

The UAE is a country with traditional Islamic values that may seem too strict to foreigners. Before buying a property in the UAE, you need to know the laws and customs there to avoid getting into trouble.

This is especially true for potential foreign residents.

The following acts are prohibited in the UAE or are openly opposed by the society:

  • Public display of affection
  • Wearing revealing clothing
  • Smoking or drinking alcohol in a public place
  • Being drunk on the street
  • Harassment of women (including unwanted conversations). 

You need to keep in mind that drinking alcohol in public is a criminal offense.

What a nonresident should know about buying a home in the UAE

Dubai is one of the largest cities in the country. The authorities have developed a rational system for selling property to foreigners. Owning and reselling a property directly depends on the area. In some parts of the country, foreigners cannot own property, they can only rent it via a long-term lease agreement. You can buy an apartment or house with the possibility of later inheritance, resale or donation in the following areas.

  • Dubai Marina
  • The Greens
  • Business Bay
  • Dubailand
  • Lakes
  • Arabian Ranches
  • Jumeirah.

These are the most popular parts of the city for those looking for luxury homes. Dubai is home to over 60 freehold areas. New residential projects are located in these areas. Close proximity to the beach attracts tourists, therefore properties of any value are always in demand.

Choosing location

Coastal areas are not the only place where you can buy a luxury home. The fundamental difference between remote districts and the center is that it is much easier to realize unusual architectural projects there. The central part of the city is already developed, and there are almost no new houses.

One of Dubai’s innovative urban communities is an area located near the Expo 2020 venue in Dubai South in the south of Dubai Investment Park. This area has large shopping venues and a lot of entertainment options. It is a human-centric living and working space. It will emerge from Expo 2020 and transform into one of Dubai`s hottest business hubs.

Advantages of owning a property in the UAE

Purchasing a property in the UAE can provide the buyer with a residency permit. However, this should not be confused with citizenship. The latter is extremely difficult as it opens up many advantages to the owners. However, the quality of life in the country is not affected by non-citizenship. With a residence visa, you can also use all public services, including medical services; it is only enough to take out insurance. You can get a residence visa can when purchasing real estate worth more than $205,000. According to GDRFA-Dubai, in 2020 it was issued over 7,000 Golden visas.

Property types

The UAE has a wide selection of elite homes. Villas and large mansions are often the most popular options because they go with land, making life more enjoyable and comfortable. They can feature gardens, swimming pools or can be landscaped according to owners’ liking. Other luxury properties can be purchased in various residential buildings.

They include:

  • condominiums
  • penthouses
  • apartments.

Some people do not want to own a house with land because it needs to be landscaped and maintained. Living in residence towers implies few contacts with neighbours. Luxury apartments and especially penthouses are often isolated and take up the entire floor.  

Participatory construction in the UAE 

Buying an off-plan property is also a popular investment option. Purchasing off-plan developments from reliable real estate agencies is not a cause for concern. The primary requirement is that the project is registered with the Dubai Land Department (DLD). It is better to choose trusted developers who have already completed several projects.

Among government-owned companies, the following developers are credible: Dubai Properties (DP), Meraas Development and Imar Properties (PJSC). Major developers not only erect buildings but also develop surrounding areas. Over 2021, 2,530 off-plan property sales worth of AED 5.1 bln were registered in the UAE.


Real estate agents inform a potential buyer about the documents needed to complete the transaction. The home buyer must be at least 21 years of age and must have a foreign passport. Further registration procedure includes several stages:

  • Preparing a home purchase agreement
  • Making a deposit to a seller that represents a buyer's good faith to buy a home
  • Final settlement using cash or bank cheque
  • Getting a title deed
  • It is crucial to check that a property is free from encumbrance before the transaction is closed. 

Settlement plan

There are no restrictions on the payment scheme. You can pay in cash or using mortgage lending funds. Local banks set specific conditions; they also regulate the mortgage rate. The list of credit institutions cooperating with foreign citizens is limited. On average, the rate ranges from 4 to 7%.


One of the major advantages of buying a property in the UAE is the absence of property tax. Buy-to-live or buy-to-let property is exempt from taxation. This allows you to make more profit when you are renting out legally.

What you need to know about utilities

Villas and mansions have the highest utility prices as they come with land. However, owners of apartments in residential buildings also have additional costs. Well-developed infrastructure goes with higher annual utility bills. In other cases, utility charges are determined by the property management company and directly depend on the premises area and meter readings.

Finding your dream home is a breeze

Often, those who want to buy overseas property think that finding a home and executing a purchase transaction is a daunting process. But it is much easier in reality. You do not have to leave the country to get a general impression of the real estate market in the United Arab Emirates. We provide a full range of real estate services that meet a broad range of our clients’ needs. You will find the following properties in our portfolio:

  • apartments
  • penthouses
  • villas.

All the listings contain current prices. Take advantage of the best offers before they disappear!

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