Dubai is attractive to foreign investors for many reasons. You can get a hefty return on investment if you decide to buy property here. However, before you dive into this adventure, there are a few things you need to know. This guide for non-resident foreigners buying a property in Dubai should help you on your mission.

Can foreigners even buy a property in Dubai?

Dubai is a modern country that relies heavily on foreigners. Dubai’s government is successfully shifting from natural resource extraction and refinement to real estate and foreign investments. 

So, in short – yes, you can buy a property in Dubai even if you’re not a resident or a citizen. However, you have to keep in mind that buying a freehold property in Dubai is allowed only in designated zones. The government of Dubai outlines those zones.

Skyscrapers in Dubai
The government of Dubai encourages foreigners to buy property.

Where can you buy property in Dubai?

As previously mentioned, foreigners can only buy property in designated zones. Those zones are commonly known as freehold areas. 

In 2020, the most popular areas for investment were Downtown Dubai, Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC), Dubai Marina, Dubailand, Arabian Ranches, and famous Palm Jumeriah. Naturally, those designated zones offer a mix of affordable and luxury properties. Not everything in Dubai is reserved for multimillionaires and billionaires.

What is the price range?

People from all over the world buy property in Dubai. And they come from different financial backgrounds. This means that you can find everything from properties that are affordable for most citizens of developed nations to properties only a few in the world can afford. 

For example, you can find a one-bedroom apartment in Jumeirah Village Circle for only $89,000. However, the prices can go up to tens of millions if you are willing to spend that much. After all, Dubai is one of the most luxurious places in the world

What doesn’t have to be expensive is moving to Dubai, especially if you are already relatively close. For example, many Kuwaitians leave Kuwait in order to settle in Dubai, and they don’t have to spend much on relocation. Moreover, if you want to move to Dubai from far away, you can do that for a surprisingly small amount of money.

What are some of the benefits of buying a property in Dubai as a foreigner?

Dubai today is one of the biggest hotspots in the world. Naturally, when you have that much development and resources in a relatively small space, you can expect to have many benefits.

Real estate in Dubai is relatively affordable

The first benefit is that Dubai is relatively cheap compared to other popular places. For example, the average price per square foot in Shangai is around $1.600. In Paris, it is about $2.000, while in London the average square foot is around $3.000.

Guess how much it is in Dubai! It sounds unbelievable, but the average price per square foot in Dubai is just $650! It’s no wonder why Dubai is one of the best places in the world for buying a luxury property.

You can get high rental yields in Dubai

Non-resident foreigners buying a property in Dubai can benefit from high rental yields. Our friends from Easy Move KW say that most people invest in Dubai real estate precisely for that reason.

For instance, the average ROI for villa properties in Dubai stands at a healthy 6%, while the average return on investment for apartments stands at a comfortable 7.5%.

However, you shouldn’t expect prices in Dubai to go up too quickly. Dubai has a stable economy, and this brings security to investors and residents. Investing in Dubai’s real estate is not risky, so don’t think of it as a way to get rich quickly.

Taxes in Dubai attract foreign investment

At the moment, UAE does not place any taxes on the purchased property. Also, you won’t get taxed on your rental income. This allows foreign investors to earn healthy returns.

Money and taxes.
Taxes are not a problem in Dubai!

Non-resident foreigners buying a property in Dubai

But the question remains – how can you, as a non-residential foreigner, get your hands on a property in Dubai?

Have valid documents

First of all, you have to have a valid passport. This is required for traveling, Dubai immigrants, and for buying a property. Thankfully, you don’t have to have a visa.

At first, buying a property as a non-residential foreigner can be confusing

There are some, at first glance, weird rules and laws regarding buying a property in Dubai as a foreigner. Article 4 of the property ownership law says that non-UAE nationals are allowed to own and get freehold properties in designated zones of Dubai for up to 99 years. So, in a way, you’ll be renting a property in Dubai for almost a century. 

It would be smart to find a lawyer or realtor who is familiar with these rules. Respecting the laws is imperative when buying property as a foreigner.

The process of buying a property in Dubai

You have to work with land developers in Dubai, and it is recommendable to work with a real estate agency. Also, make sure to have a law consultant with you at all times since UAE laws can get confusing.

If you hire a realtor to help you look for available properties, you’ll have to pay up to 2% of the acquisition price to the agent. Once you choose a property, you have to get in touch with the developer to make a deal. 

After that, you’ll sign a personal purchase agreement. We recommend that you bring a passport if you are going by yourself. And don’t forget to read the contract carefully.

Signing of a contract.
Make sure to read the contract thoroughly! Have a law consultant at all times with you when purchasing a property.

When you sign the contract, you will pay up to 10% of the acquisition price, depending on the developer’s terms. 

Thankfully, there is no tax on the acquisition price, but if you decide to transfer it to somebody, you’ll have to pay up to 7% tax. The fee to urge your property registered with DLD is about 4% of the acquisition price. And that is all you need to know about non-resident foreigners buying a property in Dubai. Good luck!


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