Expat Motives to Own a Property in Dubai, UAE – Foreigner Investor’s Prospective


Dubai is known for its iconic skyscrapers and luxurious living spaces, making it an ideal city for living. There are many reasons to Own a Property in Dubai.

  • A top global tourist destination offers excellent infrastructure, transport links, and incredible job opportunities. 
  • Tax-free status makes it an attractive proposition for investors looking to save money. 
  • UAE’s vibrant culture and diverse community make it an ideal place to live for those seeking adventure and exotic experiences.
  • Dubai’s booming real estate market offers lucrative investment opportunities with plenty of growth potential. 

Owning a property in Dubai means personal and family safety and security due to the city’s advanced security standards. All these factors combined make it easy to see why so many people invest in a property in Dubai as foreigners. But the first question that comes to mind is can an ex-pat own a property in the Emirates of Dubai?

Can foreigners buy properties in Dubai?

It is a common question that can i buy a house in Dubai as a foreigner. The answer is yes, foreign nationals can buy freehold properties with the ownership rights of the property land ownership, and the property can be sold, leased, or occupied as per the owner’s rights. Also, an ex-pat can have Leasehold property rights fixed for a period of 99 years, and one does not own the property’s land. Property ownership for expats as freehold property in Dubai is the most popular option. As freehold property ownership provides complete rights of ownership in Dubai.

Now let’s look at the biggest motives of an expatriate to own a Property in Dubai, UAE.

Competitive Property Prices

In October 2022, Dubai ranked fairly valued on the UBS Global Housing Bubble Index, which analyzes residential prices in 25 cities to highlight those with the greatest housing bubble risk. This fair valuation and promising outlook are attracting international investors to take advantage of Dubai’s housing market.

Obtain Dubai Property Owner Visa

Foreigners of any nationality can obtain a residence visa by investing in Dubai real estate. According to Bayt Statistics, if they meet all other criteria, real estate sector investors with properties worth at least AED 5 million (USD 1.36 million) may be eligible for a five-year resident visa. In contrast, Dubai Tourism and the General Directorate for Residency and International Affairs (GDRFA) have introduced the Retirement in UAE program, which enables foreign nationals over 55 to get a five-year residency visa provided they buy property market worth AED 2 million.

Provide Safety

Dubai is regarded as being among the safest cities in the world. One of the reasons people feel safe and desire to live in Dubai is the Al Ameen Service, an online platform that allows for the anonymous reporting of all crimes, and Smart Police Stations, which watch over the entire city. Safety Comes First, Always!

Continuous Technological Development

Due to its advancements in key segments like Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, 5G networks, etc., Dubai has emerged as one of the world’s top smart cities. Investment boosts demand for ICT goods and services to enhance human resources and draw in foreign companies in sectors like healthcare, transportation, retail, financial services, hospitality, and those related to the UAE’s economic growth.

Off plan Options to Buy Property in Dubai

Those who are attempting to purchase property as foreigners have the option of investing in a rent-to-own plan, which involves renting a property for a set period with the option of purchasing a home before your contracts expire. A rent-to-own arrangement can be a perfect choice if you want to become a homeowner but aren’t ready to buy a house but instead intend to invest in a property. These are the final five benefits of being a foreign property owner in the UAE.

Relatively low Cost of Purchase property in Dubai

The buying cost will vary depending on the size, location, and type of property you want to buy in Dubai. Generally, you can expect to pay around 10-15% of the purchase price as a down payment, with the remaining balance due in monthly installments over the years. Additional costs such as stamp duty (2%), registration fees (1%), and other miscellaneous fees may also be payable.

Evaluate Additional Costs of Purchase

  • Dubai Land Department (DLD) Fees 4% of the purchase price
  • Registration Fee: Below AED 500,000 Valuation fee is AED 2,000 +5% VAT, and above AED 500,000 valuation is AED 4,000 + 5% VAT
  • DLD Mortgage Registration Fees 0.25% of the loan amount,
  • DLD Transfer registration fees: Seller and Buyer each pay a 2% fee on the property value
  • Bank fees (property valuation, mortgage fee, life insurance)
  • Real Estate Agent Fees: 2%,
  • Real Estate Agency Conveyance Fee: around AED 6,000 to AED 10,000

Property Carrying Cost

  • Dubai Municipality Fee 
  • Electricity, Water, and air-conditioning costs
  • Maintenance cost (private pool, garden, etc.)
  • Building management fee
  • Home Insurance cost
  • Charges of residential communities

Considerations for Buying a Property in the UAE

There are some critical factors and cons to consider when investing in real estate properties, even if you have something like a 99.9% chance of profiting from owning a house.

When buying rental properties in Dubai, one aspect to consider is the initial investment and additional costs involved.

For instance, individuals who purchase property directly from a developer must pay the Dubai Land Department (DLD) the necessary fees. This includes the processing price, the fee for establishing the legal title, and the upfront payment of the DLD charge, which is equal to 4% of the property’s worth.

Reasonable real estate sales charges, affordable service fees, and persuading pricing estimates are further factors that support the decision to buy a property. It’s your time to settle in Dubai’s real estate market because everything is offered in one complete bundle, which is the buyer’s favorite.

In 2022, interest rates in UAE are rising. Higher mortgage interest rates and the higher loan-to-value ratio are making mortgage the property in UAE a bit expensive.

Expatriates buying property in the following popular areas in Dubai.

  • Business Bay
  • Dubai Sports City
  • Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO)
  • Dubai Hills Estate
  • Dubai Creek Harbour
  • Dubai South
  • Dubai Production City
  • Dubai Studio City
  • Dubai Science Park
  • Dubai Marina

Among expatriates buying a property within the above area is due to many attractive factors, including multicultural food options, close to famous landmarks & attractions, and high property management quality among residential properties in these neighborhoods.


There are many things to know before buying property in Dubai. You must know before buying property in Dubai pros and cons, risks of buying property in Dubai. Living in the UAE and buying real estate is a dream for many. Property ownership in Dubai is perceived as prestigious for foreign nationals. Selecting a freehold property gives ownership rights over property expatriates or foreigners. Freehold ownership is popular in Dubai by foreigners interested in buying property. Buying options in the UAE for foreigners are also unlimited. If you are interested in buying real property in the Emirate as a foreign nationals in the UAE, you must get in touch with a professional real estate agent to guide the property buying process and understand the real estate market in Dubai.

Also Read:- Can Foreigners Buy Property in Dubai, UAE?

About author

Over seven years in UAE, living in Al Ain and Dubai has inspired my lifestyle, and I admire the beautiful country. I like to read, write and research about improving the quality of life for success.
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