An investor's guide: Can foreign investors get a property in Dubai?

An investor's guide: Can foreign investors get a property in Dubai?

Wednesday 14 June 2023Wed 16 Feb
An investor's guide: Can foreign investors get a property in Dubai?

If you’ve been keeping track of Dubai’s real estate market in 2023 - you’ll be up to date on all the incredible deals taking place and how brilliantly the market is performing.

And as Dubai is turning into an investment haven for foreign real estate investors, it comes as no doubt that the market is showing signs of growth and signalling a healthy market. With a diverse choice of properties, upcoming developments, and a strong ROI - the city has made itself a global investment hub!

A city that’s revolutionised itself, welcoming the world’s tallest tower, star-studded skyscrapers, the world’s largest mall and becoming home to some of the world’s biggest record breakers. This is only the beginning of what a life in Dubai can look like.

So, have you been thinking about investing in Dubai?

It comes as no surprise investors are flocking in from all over the world to buy a property in Dubai. Here’s your breakdown on foreign investment in Dubai.

First things first - Can foreigners be eligible to buy property in Dubai?

Yes, foreign investment in Dubai is applicable to most citizenships. Although foreign property ownership can only be done in freehold places.

This allows foreign nationals to buy, sell or lease their property. However, bear in mind that buying property in Dubai as foreigners on a freehold basis is allowed only in designated zones, as outlined by the government.

What designated zones can foreign investors get a property in Dubai?

Foreign property owners can buy property in Dubai in freehold areas, which are currently areas that are also the most-sought after as most foreign property owners are interested in getting their properties there.

Based on our May 2023 market snapshot, the top performing areas in Dubai are Dubai Marina, Downtown Dubai, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Emirates Living and Dubai Hills. All of these areas are freehold areas where foreign property owners can purchase property. These areas have a mix of townhouses, villas, and apartments at affordable and luxurious prices; thus, investors will find properties available at all price points.

Apart from residential properties, foreign property owners also have the opportunity to purchase commercial properties under freehold areas.

While the price points in Dubai may seem competitive for foreign property owners in Dubai, compared to the global prices for properties, Dubai still stands at affordable prices. Dubai also does not have income taxes, apart from corporate tax which is applicable on foreign investments is still the lowest globally which is just 9%.

Properties in London for instance could cost you AED 10 million for a two-bed in a popular district such as Leicester Square, whereas in Dubai you could purchase a two-bedroom apartment in Business Bay for AED 1.5 million. Business Bay stands right beside Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall being a prominently famous neighbourhood with great rental appreciation and high ROI.

Another benefit - Golden visas

Foreign property owners in Dubai who invest in property that has a value of more than AED 2 million are entitled to getting the ten-year golden visa. And for those who plan to retire in Dubai over the age of 55 can also get their hands on the five-year retirement visa.

Eligibility criterias

Foreign investors are eligible for investments in Dubai only after meeting certain criterias such as:

Financial Capacity - Foreign investors must have the financial capacity to purchase property in Dubai and must demonstrate their bank statements, company records and shareholder or employment documentation. The reasoning for this involves demonstrating the ability to pay the property's purchase price, associated fees, and other costs such as taxes and maintenance.

Identification - Investors must provide valid identification documents, such as a passport, national IDs to verify their identity. More documents can be requested by banks but that depends case to case.

Legal Compliance - Foreign investors must adhere to all legal and regulatory requirements set by the Dubai government and the Dubai Land Department. This includes complying with property ownership laws, following proper procedures for property registration, and fulfilling any necessary documentation and fee obligations.

If you are looking for a mortgage - then take a look at our guide to foreign investment mortgages in the UAE!

And if you are searching for your next investment, we’ve got a great list of places you can consider investing in.

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