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Can Foreigners Buy Property in Dubai?

Posted by Kelt&corealty on May 23, 2024

Foreign nationals can purchase property in Dubai. Yes, you read it right. Unlike many other countries, Dubai allows foreigners to buy properties in designated areas dubbed freehold areas. Non-residents can own exclusive ownership rights over their purchased properties in Dubai, and they do not require Dubai citizenship in order to buy or purchase real estate in this metropolitan city.  

If you are a foreign national, you can purchase property in several popular areas in Dubai that include but are not limited to such as Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Marina, Downtown Dubai, and Jumeirah Beach Residence. An expat does not need a residency visa or local sponsorship to buy properties in freehold zones of Dubai.

Understanding The Real Estate Landscape Of Dubai:

Dubai dazzles with sophisticated infrastructure, modern cum ultra-luxurious projects, Island-based developments and unparalleled skyscrapers. Over the years, It has established its reputation as a global business and tourist hub. Additionally, it extends an ultra-modern lifestyle that captivates luxury enthusiasts and incites them to choose Dubai for their living.

Property investors are flocking to Dubai because of its incomparable offerings. It is deemed one of the fastest-growing cities in the world, increasing the scope of its property sector and creating a range of commercial and residential investment options. Local and foreign investors seem to be interested in Dubai’s real estate sector to capitalize on its market. 

Can Foreigners Buy Property In Dubai?

Given the untapped potential of the real estate market of Dubai and the interest of non-residents in Dubai’s property sector, the government of Dubai allowed foreign nationals to purchase real estate in Dubai. Expats can invest in some designated areas of Dubai. Those areas are commonly called freehold zones. A foreign national can purchase commercial, residential, off-plan, and ready property with 100% ownership rights in those specified areas.

Benefits Of Buying Property In Dubai As A Foreigner:

Real estate investment in Dubai offers significant advantages. Local sponsorship is not required to purchase property in Dubai as a foreigner. Let’s explore the benefits of property investment in Dubai for foreigners.

Competitive Prices

Like Dubai, several developed countries offer luxury real estate, such as Singapore, Australia, Japan, Germany, etc. However, the cost of real estate or prices of properties in Dubai is deemed quite competitive as compared to other luxury real estate hubs. Competitive prices of properties in Dubai offer more value to investors. Considering that, Dubai’s property sector offers multifaceted advantages. Investors not only enjoy the excellent offerings of Dubai and live a lavish life but also reap the benefits of competitive property prices. 

Value Appreciation

The demand for properties in Dubai is increasing exponentially. Rapid economic growth, the status of the city, relentless development, and stable returns are proliferating Dubai’s property sector. Locals and non-residents both invest and generate ROI, increasing the demand for properties and raising their prices. 

High ROI

Some people invest to find a place to call home. However, the purpose of many investors is to generate high ROI. Dubai’s property sector offers high returns in the shape of value appreciation and rental yields. Whether you want to start a rental business in Dubai or earn profit by reselling your purchased property, your investment in Dubai can generate your desired returns. The average annual ROI in Dubai remains somewhere between 7.98 to 9.04%. 

Tax Advantages

The government has introduced investment-friendly policies to promote local and foreign investment. Dubai offers a tax-free environment with no property or capital gain tax. Property owners do not have to pay taxes on income generated through rented properties, making it one of the best places for real estate investment. 

Residence Visa

Dubai offers residence visas to foreign investors. If a non-resident or foreign national purchases a property or invests around AED 5 million (USD 1.36M), he can apply for a residence visa in Dubai, which is also called a golden visa in the UAE. So, foreign investors can also obtain residency visas in Dubai by investing in Dubai’s property sector.

Ownership Rights

Many countries do not offer ownership rights to non-nationals. However, Dubai has established numerous freehold zones. Expats or non-locals can invest in these freehold zones and enjoy exclusive ownership rights over their purchased properties. They can also use those properties as per their own desires without breaching local laws.

Secure Place To Invest

Political and economic stability are crucial for real estate investment because they ensure a conducive environment for real estate development and also minimize the risks associated with political instability and economic volatility, such as inflation and currency fluctuation. Given the political and economic stability of Dubai, it is a safe and secure place for real estate investment.

Requirements To Buy A Property In Dubai For Expats:

Buy A Property In Dubai For Expats

Dubai’s real estate sector is also open to non-locals. Expats or foreign nationals do not require a residence visa or sponsorship to buy real estate in Dubai. There are no specific age and visa limitations for expats to buy property in Dubai. However, it is necessary to have a valid passport to confirm your identity in order to buy property in Dubai as a foreigner. 

  • Foreigners can only buy properties in freehold areas of Dubai
  • They  do not need residence visas or sponsorship to buy real estate
  • Non-locals are required to have a valid passport  to ensure their identity
  • They also need to provide proof of financial stability

Documents For Buying Property In Dubai For An Expat:

If you are a foreigner in The UAE and intend to buy real estate in Dubai, then you need to have the following documents.

  • Passport
  • Residence Visa or Permission Letter
  • Sale and Purchase agreement
  • NOC from Developer
  • Power of Attorney (If an agent buys property on your behalf)
  • Mortgage Approval (In case of a home loan)

Understanding The Process Of Foreign Property Ownership In Dubai:

  • First of all, you need to choose a property. Licensed agents can assist you in finding the most suitable option based on your requirements and financial means
  • Signing the sale and purchase agreement that includes the location, size, and cost of the property.
  • Obtaining the No-Objection Certificate from a bank if you are buying a property with a mortgage
  • After signing the contract, both buyer and seller are required to register the deal with the Dubai Land Department 

Top Areas To Buy Property In Dubai For Expats:

Expats seeking to live a lavish lifestyle in Dubai or looking for a property to start or expert their business voyage in Dubai can find properties in several prominent areas of Dubai.

The Palm Jumeirah:

The Palm Jumeirah is the largest manmade island on Earth. Built in the shape of a palm tree, this neighborhood is home to spacious apartments, luxurious and sophisticated villas and townhouses, and world-class hotels. The Palm Jumeirah lifestyle is one of a kind. Residents not only live an extraordinary lifestyle here but also enjoy breathtaking views of the Arabian Sea. Foreigners can invest in apartments or villas for sale in Palm Jumeirah based on their specific interests.

Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina by Emaar Properties is deemed one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Dubai because of its prime location, numerous modern projects, and high-end offerings. This waterfront community is located near Sheikh Zayed Road (E11). Foreign nationals can purchase properties in Dubai Marina.

Downtown Dubai

Downtown Dubai is a mixed-use development of Emaar Properties located along Sheikh Zayed Road (E11). The Burj Khalifa, Dancing Fountain, Dubai Opera, and Dubai Mall are also located in this neighborhood. Non-locals can choose to buy villas, penthouses, apartments, and commercial properties that are available for sale based on their financial means and requirements.

Business Bay

This district is located alongside the Dubai Canal. Business Bay is a leading business hub that features several residential and commercial real estate investment options for both locals and foreign nationals. It is one of the most popular destinations in Dubai, offering an advanced living ambiance and sophisticated facilities.

Dubai Creek Harbour:

This is a sustainable and self-contained mega city located along Dubai Creek. It is divided into 9 districts. This community offers state-of-the-art living facilities to its residents, and its development status exudes a sense of sophistication, deluxe, and luxury. It is a decent investment option for expats in Dubai because it offers lavish living and allows residents to enjoy stunning views and high-end amenities.

Types Of Properties That Expats Can Buy In Dubai:

Foreign nationals can buy a range of properties in freehold zones of Dubai, including luxury apartments, spacious villas, townhouses, penthouses, Duplexes, and serviced apartments. They are allowed to purchase both residential and commercial properties. Whether there are ready-to-move-in and off-plan properties in these designated areas, foreign nationals are allowed to buy any kind of property based on their specific requirements, needs, and preferences.

Tax Requirements To Buy Property In Dubai:

There is no property tax in Dubai, and property owners do not have to pay income from rented properties. However, they are liable to pay property registration, property knowledge, and property transfer fees.

Requirements To Buy Property In Dubai

Property registration fee normally ranges from AED 2,000 to AED 4,000 based on the value or price of the property. Dubai Land Department (DLD) has regulated the property registration fee which the buyer pays. 

AED 430 for a plot, AED 40 for an off-plan property, and AED 580 for apartments and offices are paid as property knowledge fees to the Dubai Land Department (DLD). Furthermore, 4% of the purchase price of the property is paid as a property transfer fee in Dubai.

Can Foreigners Get A Mortgage For Buying Property In Dubai?

Yes. Foreign nationals can obtain home loans or mortgages in Dubai to buy real estate. However, there is a specific criterion that needs to be fulfilled before getting a mortgage in Dubai as a foreigner. An applicant must have been doing a job in Dubai for at least six months to a year to secure a mortgage. Entrepreneurs and business owners must have been working for at least two years to ensure financial stability.

The Final Thought:

Unlike many other countries, Dubai allows foreign nationals to buy properties in freehold zones. There are some specified areas in Dubai known as Dubai freehold areas where foreign nationals can buy property. These areas include but are not limited to Downtown Dubai, Dubai Marina, and Business Bay. These are some of the top areas to buy property in Dubai as a foreigner. Buying a house in Dubai for expats is now possible as the government has allowed it. As a foreign national, you can buy both ready-to-move-in and off-plan properties in Dubai.

Want To Explore Dubai’s Real Estate As A Foreigner? 

If you want to invest in Dubai as a foreigner then you do not need to be worried about anything because Kelt & Co Realty has got you covered. Our professionals are adept in buying and selling real estate in Dubai. They also understand and deal with involved legalities. Kelt & Co Professionals can analyze your eligibility and find the most suitable investment option based on your specific requirements and needs.


Can you own 100% property in Dubai, UAE as a foreigner?

Yes. As a foreigner, you can buy property in Dubai and enjoy complete ownership rights without any restriction. Foreign nationals can purchase real estate in some designated areas of Dubai called freehold areas in Dubai. 

Can I buy property in Dubai and get residency?

Yes. You can buy property in Dubai and get a residency visa. If you buy property worth AED 5 million (USD 1.36 M), you become eligible to apply for a residency visa called the Golden Visa in Dubai, UAE. However, an expat or foreign national can only buy property in freehold zones such as Downtown Dubai, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Marina, Business Bay, etc. 

Is it worth buying a property in Dubai?

Dubai’s property market is one of the most lucrative. It offers high ROI, and investors enjoy value appreciation. Furthermore, several taxes have been eliminated to promote real estate investment in Dubai and make it an investment-friendly area.

How long can you stay in Dubai if you own a property?

If you purchase a property in Dubai, you become eligible to apply for a residence visa that will be for up to 2 years. This residency visa is renewable as long as you still own the property and you visit Dubai at least once every 6 months or 180 days.


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