Finding property

Dubai properties available to foreigners

Finding property

If you are a national of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, you can purchase freehold property anywhere in Dubai. Other nationals can only purchase property in designated areas.

Developments where foreigners may buy property include Emaar Towers, Jumeirah Gardens, International City, Burj Dubai Downtown, and Al Hamra Village. Many of these areas have luxury apartments and buildings, so expect high prices. For information about areas where foreigners may purchase property, consult the Land Department's website .

When purchasing property in Dubai, you should seek the advice of a licensed professional on all contracts and purchase procedures. Property purchase procedures for foreigners are still new in Dubai, and a lawyer or real estate agent will have the most up-to-date information about procedures, contracts, and payments.

New properties in Dubai

The housing market in Dubai is not old enough to have much of a resale market. As a result, most of the properties you will look at are new, and many properties won't even be built yet. In these cases, you will be buying a property off-plan.

Although buying a property off-plan is common in Dubai, many luxury developers have been hard-hit by the economy. As a result, they have slowed down or stopped construction. If possible, make sure your property is built or nearly complete before you sign any contracts.

Finding a property

There are three types of residential properties in Dubai: apartment, townhouse and villa. Villas are typically the most expensive type of property in Dubai, followed by townhouses and apartments. You should keep in mind that the maintenance costs in some developments, such as tower buildings, are going to be much higher than what you are probably used to.

You should start your search for Dubai property online. Websites such as Better Homes  and Bayut  will give you an idea of the resale market.

Newspapers like the Gulf News  and the Dubai Chronicle  have classified property listings. However, if you look at properties listed in these newspapers, be sure that they are in areas where you can purchase.

If you want to buy a new property, you should contact a real estate developer. Top national companies Nakheel, Dubai Properties, and Emaar will meet with you and show you their developments and available properties.

Before signing any contract, you should make a pilot trip to Dubai and see properties in person. If your property has not been completed, you should ask the developer to show you units which are similar to your prospective property.

Residence permits

When you purchase a property in Dubai, you are also allowed to apply for a residence permit. Developers and real estate agents may assist you in this process.

Further reading

Does this article help?

Do you have any comments, updates or questions on this topic? Ask them here: