How to Buy a Property in Dubai?

by Zaara 20, Sep 2019

Making a deal on a property in Dubai is not an easy task. Although buying a property in Dubai is the most significant investment aspect that you will be making and enjoying your whole life. It is a fact that people from various parts of the world want to buy a property in Dubai so that they can enrich their respective portfolio with such a quality and beneficial asset.

Thanks to the fantastic beaches, huge malls and thousands of restaurants including the and the growing real estate sector in Dubai due to which both resident as well as the visitors are finding it hard to miss the significant advantages provided to them in the middle eastern city.

If you are planning to invest in one of the properties in Dubai, be it for the world or to start a business in Dubai or to chill and enjoy life, you are taking a proper decision, and you will be surely going feel secure in future.

Property Market in Dubai

In recent past years, the property market in Dubai has suffered a rise and fall,  although when talking about the market as a whole, it is generally considered as steady. Between the year 2014 and 2016, the prices for the houses feel up to 17%. However, since then the prices never fell and rose up. With the coming World Expo 2020, many sectors in Dubai are going to get benefited due to the increase in foreign visitors and expats from different parts of the world in Dubai. This period is an excellent period to buy property if you are planning to. The properties will be hugely impacted after 2020. It has been provided by various experts.

Can Foreigners Buy Property?

Yes. The legal changes in 2002 made it clear that foreigners can now also buy property in Dubai. They can rent, buy, sell the property without taking any special permissions or approvals from the authorities.

Research is the Key

Dubai has a huge real estate market. To buy one should be through with the latest regulations imposed on such real estate. Even if you feel that specific area may be beneficial for you to buy still, you should be sure about it and research to the core of it. There might be places or buildings that are perfect for you, but you are not aware of those.

Approximate Cost

In case, you are planning to buy property in Dubai it is better if you have a general idea on the prices for the properties in Dubai, below provided are the approximate costs for the properties in Dubai:


Property Type

Average Cost

Dubai Marina

Two bedroom apartment

AED 2450000

Dubai Marina

Three bedroom villa

AED 3850000

Al Barsha

Two bedroom apartment

AED 1250000

Al Barsha

Three bedroom villa

AED 3000000

Al Barsha

1200 m2/ 12000 ft2 plot

AED 4000000


Two bedroom apartment

AED 1580000


Three bedroom villa

AED 3200000

Culture Village

1850 m2/ 18500 ft2 plot

AED 28000000

These prices serve variations. Depending on the market rate, there can be significant rates of variation in the properties. Depending on the type of amenities provided and the area the prices differs. In such case, the price can up or down by -AED 500000 for a villa or an apartment of the same size.

Steps to Buy Property as a Foreigner

To buy property in Dubai, the proper procedure should be followed for hassle free buying process. Below mentioned are some steps which will help you in buying the property in Dubai:

  • Determine the type of property you want to buy: villa, apartment, plot or commercial space in Dubai.
  • Plan proper research for all the properties available
  • Prefer contacting a real estate agent for more know how.
  • Ensure your eligibility to purchase land as per the Dubai rules and regulations according to your nationality.
  • Chose the respective property.
  • Pay the deposit and other amounts initially.
  • If required, get a mortgage or a loan from a reputable bank.
  • Transfer the deeds
  • Pay the taxes for the land registry.

Legal Aspects

Generally, individuals from all nationalities, whether based overseas or in Dubai itself, can avail a property in Dubai in the designated freehold areas provided by the Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai. To buy the property, you are not required to hold any residency or permit. Generally, two types of properties are available in Dubai:

  • Leasehold Areas
  • Freehold Areas

In case of an expat, only the freehold areas are available to buy a property. These freehold areas are the best in Dubai.

Taxes and Fees

To buy a property in Dubai, you should have a clear idea about the type of taxes that will be imposed in Dubai. The below-given table does a good job concerning all the fee that you will be encountering in purchasing the property:

Dubai Land Department transfer fee

4% plus AED 540 administrative fee

Abu Dhabi transfer fee

1% to 2%

Registration Fees

AED 2000 for a property below AED 500000

Registration fees count

AED 4000 for the property above AED 500000

Mortgage registration fee

0.25% of loan + AED 10 fee

Mortgage processing fee

Up to 1% of the loan amount

Estate agency fee

2% of the purchase fee

Conveyancing fees

AED 6000 TO AED 10000

Valuation fee

AED 2500 to AED 3500

Oqood fee, (off-plan properties)

4% of the purchase price


25% of property cost


The procedure for acquiring a property in Dubai is mentioned below:

  • Seller and buyer agreement.
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to be signed and a deposit which is usually 10% is to be paid.
  • Both parties are required to meet at the office of the developer to apply for a NOC to sell the property.
  • After the NOC is issued, the parties are required to go to the office of the Dubai Land Department to officially transfer their ownership on payment of the purchase price in the form of a manager's cheque payable to the respective seller on the respective date of transfer.
  • A new title deed will be issued after all the formalities in the name of the buyer.
  • In case the buyer is having a mortgage for the purchase, then the bank's involvement is a must. In case the seller is having a mortgage on the property, the buyer should first settle the mortgage on such property before the NOC process. Otherwise, it would lead to a significant risk to the buyer.
  • The individual buyer would be required to have an original passport for the acquiring process. 

Purchasing a perfect property in Dubai is a difficult task as it involves many aspects which are to be complied with. One should be through with every legal aspect of it. It is advisable to get an agent who can help you with the legal framework as well as concerning the various taxing and fees structure. If you have any questions in relation to starting a business in Dubai and other such services do feel free to contact us.


What are the two types of properties available in Dubai?

The two types of available properties are as follows:

  • Leasehold Areas
  • Freehold Areas.

Which property type can be bought by an expatriate in the city of Dubai?

An ex-pat can only buy the properties in the freehold areas of the city.

What are the agreements required to buy a property in Dubai?

The agreements required are as follows:

  • The Buyer and the Seller Agreement
  • The Memorandum of Understanding.

Does an individual buyer require an original passport for buying a Dubai property?

Yes, an original passport is required for an individual buyer.

Does an expatriate require a resident VISA for buying a property in Dubai Emirate?

No, a resident VISA is not required for an ex-pat.