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A Foreigner’s Guide to Buying Real Estate Dubai

A Foreigner's Guide to Buying Real Estate Dubai

Expats and other foreign nationals out of the UAE can now purchase residential real estate Dubai properties in freehold and leasehold areas. The purchasing process is fairly candid.

In 2002, the Dubai government opened up the residential market to foreigners, and since then thousands of overseas buyers and expats alike have invested in the real estate market. Foreigners can own properties in leasehold areas that are near the city center or freehold areas, that is a little far but spread out within the City.

Over time, the number of units that foreigners can purchase has increased considerably with numerous apartments, townhouses, villas, and penthouses available for sale.

The tax-free status of the Emirate is one of the core factors that attract foreign investments. Even with the enactment of the UAE Value Added Tax in 2018, Dubai residential properties have remained tax-free. Most of the real estate are either exempted from tax or zero-rated completely.

When you purchase a real estate Dubai property as a foreigner, you are also entitled to a residential visa. To qualify for the visa, however, you must invest at least AED 1 million in acquiring a freehold property. Note that this does not apply to off-plan property buyers.

Here are the available residential visa options:
For investment worth at least 1 million AED: 3-year renewable visa.
For investment worth at least 5 million AED: 5-year renewable visa.
For an investment of at least 2 million AED: 5-year renewable visa for individuals aged 55 and above.

The buying process is simple. You must have a valid passport. You can work with a reliable local real estate Dubai Broker to help you find the perfect investment and finalize all the required formalities.

On average, a real estate transaction takes approximately 30 days to conclude from the date of the signing of the Agreement for Sale.

Criteria for Real Estate Dubai Property Offer
Dubai has a wide range of residential property types, including townhouses, villas, and apartments with numerous communities to choose from. Here are criteria to following while shopping for a property in Dubai:

Townhouse, Villa, or Apartment
Sheikh Zayed Road tends to house a huge concentrate of residential apartment buildings. Other key areas include Dubai Marin, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Jumeirah Lake Towers, and Greens. A handful of villas stand along with the cost, but only a few, and most are not readily available for sale.

Inner communities such as Emirates Hills, Springs Meadows, Jumeirah Village Circle, Dubai Sports City, and Arabian Ranches have a lot of townhouses and villas. Some of these communities also have a good number of apartments.

Off-plan Versus Ready-to-Move In
All residential property types can be purchased as off-plan investments at reasonable rates. Normally, a developer would display floor plans or an overview of the community for the units that are available.

Others will have models of their villas or apartments to describe the type of space and fit-out that clients should expect. However, there is a risk to off-plan projects.

There are usually delays in construction and handover, but rarely would a project be canceled or stalled at the same time. Also, payment is made while construction is still underway with different schemes offered by different developers.

Family Home vs. Investment Property
If you are looking to acquire a property for investment purposes, take into account the current return on investments in different neighborhoods. Additionally, consider the age of the property because this affects the resale value considerably.

If you intended to buy the home for personal use, you may have to consider the location, and when choosing a location, consider aspects such as nearness to school, proximity to the workplace, traffic.

Parking Space
Communities such as Jumeirah Lake Towers and Dubai Marina treasure parking lots. Confirm the number of parking spaces available for you as well as the availability of free parking and paid parking within the neighborhood.

Service/ Maintenance Fees
such fees cater to the salaries and expenses of the cleaners, security guards, and maintenance team – normally calculated per square foot.

Chiller Fees
Charges for air conditioner usage. Some units charge minimum monthly fees irrespective of whether AC services are used or not.

Closeness to Public Transport
Public transport encompasses Dubai Tram, Dubai Metro, and bus network.

Amenities & Qualities
The quality of maintenance and cleanliness of the amenities and communities. Community and shared amenities such as swimming pool, gym, ballroom, kid’s playground, and so on.

Community Rules and Regulations

Some apartment buildings and communities may exert rules such as usage of lifts or rules about independent handymen. Others have restrictions on the kind of renovations and maintenance that can be conducted.

Why You Should Invest in Dubai
Dubai offers high returns on rental investments compared to other property markets in the world. In aggregate, you can achieve an ROI of between 5-10%.

Lower Price Per Sqft
Real estate prices per square foot are cheaper than other major cities across the globe, making the Emirate a cheaper option for real estate investment.

Friendly Residence Laws & Visa
As mentioned early, new visa laws allow real estate investors to secure residence visa subject to attaining certain investment requirements.

Fair Tax Conditions
Dubai has always and is still one of the best tax favorable countries in the world. There is no stamp duty or property tax that are common in other real estate markets in the world, making UAE a reliable investment environment.

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