Buy Property in Dubai as a Foreigner: Step-by-Step Guide

Buy Property in Dubai as a Foreigner: Step-by-Step Guide

We’re going to break down the entire process step by step, so you will have a clear roadmap if you are considering to buy property in Dubai as a foreigner. Without further delay, let’s get started.

Step 1: Eligibility

The first thing you need to know is about property eligibility. As a foreigner, you have the opportunity to buy property in certain areas known as Freehold areas. These areas are specifically designated for foreign ownership. However, keep in mind that in some areas, you might only be able to acquire leasehold rights for a period, usually 99 years.

Step 2: Choose the Right Property

Now that you know where you can buy, it’s time to decide on the right property for you. You have two options: off-plan properties, which are still under construction, or ready properties. When making your decision, consider factors like location, proximity to amenities, future development plans in the area, and potential rental yields.

Consider Off-Plan Properties

Off-plan properties can often be cheaper and offer payment plans, but they come with the risk of construction delays or changes in the market.

Look at Ready Properties

Ready properties allow you to move in or start renting out immediately. You can inspect these properties fully before making a purchase.

Step 3: Hire a Real Estate Agent

Moving on to step three, it’s a good idea to hire a registered real estate agent to guide you through the entire process. This can be incredibly helpful in navigating the ins and outs of buying property in a foreign country.

Step 4: Property Inspection

Now it’s time to get up close and personal with the property. If you are considering any off-plan property, make sure to visit the developer’s show home or take a look at their previous projects. It is always a good idea to see things in person before making any big decisions.

Step 5: Reservation Deposit

If you have found a property that feels right for you, it’s time to secure it. Typically, this involves paying a reservation deposit, usually around five to ten percent of the property’s value. Alongside this, you will also need to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the seller, which outlines all the terms and conditions of the sale.

Step 6: Securing Financing

If you are not buying the property outright, you will need to secure a mortgage. Foreigners can obtain mortgages from banks in Dubai, but keep in mind that the loan-to-value ratio might be a bit different for non-residents. Make sure you have all the documents in order, including proof of income, bank statements, and identification.

Documents Needed for a Mortgage

  • Proof of income
  • Bank statements
  • Identification documents
  • Proof of residency (if applicable)

Step 7: Property Evaluation

When you are getting a mortgage, the bank will usually require a property valuation to determine its current value. This is a standard procedure to ensure that everything is in order.

Step 8: Sales Agreement

Once all the terms are squared away, a sales agreement will be drafted. This document lays out the property’s price, payment plan, and other conditions that need to be met.

Step 9: No Objection Certificate (NOC)

Before moving forward, the seller needs to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the developer. This certificate confirms that there are no outstanding dues on the property.

Step 10: Land Department

Now we are getting close to the finish line. The final sale takes place at the Dubai Land Department. Both parties need to be present. The buyer pays the remaining balance, and the property is officially transferred into the buyer’s name. This is when a title deed is issued, officially making you the proud owner.

Step 11: Registration Fee

Remember, there are a few costs involved beyond the property price. Buyers typically need to pay a four percent registration fee to the Dubai Land Department (DLD) based on the property value. Don’t forget, there might be some additional admin fees as well.

Step 12: Connect Utilities

Once you are officially the owner, it’s time to get things set up. This means connecting utilities like water, electricity, and the internet. You will need to go through the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) to get everything sorted.

Step 13: Property Management

If you are buying the property for rental or investment purposes, it is a smart move to think about property management. You might want to consider hiring a property management company or an agent to handle tenant-related matters and keep things running smoothly.


Buying property in Dubai as a foreigner can be a rewarding investment, but it requires careful planning and understanding of the local market and regulations. By following this step-by-step guide, you can navigate the process smoothly and make an informed decision. Always consider consulting with a local real estate expert or legal advisor to stay updated on any changes in property laws and ensure a seamless buying experience.


1. Can foreigners get a mortgage in Dubai?

Yes, foreigners can get a mortgage in Dubai. However, the loan-to-value ratio may be different for non-residents, and additional documentation may be required.

2. What are Freehold areas in Dubai?

Freehold areas are specific zones in Dubai where foreigners are allowed to buy and own property outright. These areas are designated for foreign ownership to encourage investment.

3. How long does it take to Buy Property in Dubai as a Foreigner?

The property buying process in Dubai can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on various factors such as securing financing, obtaining necessary documents, and finalizing agreements.

4. Are there additional costs involved in buying property in Dubai?

Yes, besides the property price, buyers typically need to pay a four percent registration fee to the Dubai Land Department, along with other potential admin fees.

5. Do I need a real estate agent to buy property in Dubai?

While it is not mandatory to hire a real estate agent, it is highly recommended. A registered agent can provide valuable guidance and help navigate the complex process of buying property in a foreign country.

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