Profitable Investment: Property in Dubai For Foreigners

8:13 pm  |  03.08.2023

Many consider Dubai the city of the future, and upon visiting the biggest city in the UAE, it’s evident that this statement isn’t an exaggeration. You’ll find the tallest building globally, the Burj Khalifa, the most extensive shopping center, and stunning fountains. 

Is It Possible to Purchase Property in Dubai?

Applicants for housing in Dubai are attracted by the developed infrastructure, the liquidity of property, and the absence of annual taxes for apartment owners. Foreigners are allowed to purchase different types of properties in Dubai, as long as they follow the legal norms during the transaction process.

Freehold Zones

There are currently over 60 Freehold Zones in Dubai, and this number is continually increasing. These zones refer to specific areas within the city where foreigners who purchase property become full owners of that property. As the owner, they have the right to do whatever they wish with the property, such as renting it out, selling it, or passing it down to their heirs. The ownership of the property remains with the foreign citizen until they choose to sell it. Additionally, if the investment amount is 750 thousand dirhams or more, the foreigner can obtain a two-year resident visa.

READ: Prices Are Rising: Why Dubai Real Estate Brings Obscenely High Income

Leasehold Zones

In the Leasehold zone, tenants can rent real estate for up to 99 years. Compared to the Freehold zone, this type of ownership is less attractive to foreign investors.

What Kind of Property Can a Foreigner Own in Dubai?

In Dubai, many developers currently charge high prices for rental properties in 2025-2026. Hence, it’s more advantageous to purchase real estate from direct sellers who rent out their properties in the near future or opt for pre-built apartments in 2023.

Apartments in Elite Residential Complexes

Meera Tower

The residential Meera Tower complex can be found in Habtoor City, surrounded by three luxurious five-star hotels – Habtoor Palace, V Hotel Dubai, and Hilton. The cost of apartments in this complex starts at $479,000. The building offers a remarkable city view, with sights of Dubai Canal, Downtown, Sheikh’s stables, and Burj Khalifa. The complex also features various facilities such as restaurants, cafes, swimming pools, and playgrounds. Tennis enthusiasts will be glad to know that the Tennis Academy is available for Meera Tower residents, offering a 30% discount. The apartments are spacious, with panoramic windows and fully-equipped kitchens. Additionally, Post Handover Payment Plan is available for buyers.

READ: Real Estate & Credit: Mortgages in Dubai

Affordable Prices in Dubai

Al Wasl Plaza

Dubai is not only home to luxury apartments worth around $1 million. There are many options available for housing, with prices starting from $200,000. The city is constantly building new residential complexes that cater to the budget segment of the real estate market. One such development is The Nook Dubai, which is situated between the Palm Jebel Ali and the EXPO 2020 exhibition center. There residents can find a metro station, shopping center, cafes, restaurants, and even an IKEA store. The micro-district is also planned to have kindergartens, schools, playgrounds, and parks. For $222,000, buyers can purchase a finished apartment with furniture, as well as a parking space. 

READ: Dubai Property Market: Results and Prospects for Mid-2023

Rights of Property Owners in Dubai

In 2006, Dubai adopted the “Property Law” which grants the citizens of the UAE and GCC states, as well as their enterprises and organizations, the right to own real estate across the Emirate. Foreigners are also allowed to purchase property in specific areas:

  • for an unlimited period – in freehold zones;
  • use for 99 years with the right to renew – the usufruct format of property ownership. This is a kind of leasehold ownership, with the difference that no modification of the object is allowed (re-planning, reconstruction, rebuilding, etc.).

Responsibilities of Property Owners in Dubai

As an owner in Dubai, you do not have to pay an annual tax for your apartment or other real estate. However, it is your responsibility to pay a fee for the maintenance of the building and surrounding area. The amount of this fee varies depending on the location and developer of the property, typically ranging from $14.6 to $58.7 per square meter. These funds are used to maintain cleanliness in the micro-district or residential complex, carry out renovations, and upkeep amenities like gyms and playgrounds. 

What Gives Property Ownership in Dubai?

As a foreign homeowner in Dubai, not only do you have the right to freely dispose of your acquired property, but you also have the opportunity to obtain residency in the Emirates. By purchasing real estate worth 750,000 dirhams or more (which is equivalent to 204,000 US dollars or 14 million rubles), you can obtain a visa that is valid for two years. If you invest 1 million dirhams (272,000 US dollars or 18.7 million rubles), the visa will be valid for five years. If you invest 2 million dirhams (545,000 US dollars), you can obtain a “golden visa” that is valid for ten years.

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