A Complete Guide To Buying a House in Dubai For Expats – Prices & Process

Ahh Dubai… The land of opportunity, growth, and scenic beauty. This wonderful Arabian city is home to some majestic skyscrapers and stylish property holdings, which are a must-have, considering the country’s booming economy.
As of 2022, the Dubai Land Department recorded the sales of 10,941 real estate transactions in November only, with a monetary value of 30.49 billion.
Thus, we have strong evidence that the country’s property sector is robustly strong and continuously growing.

Ring any bells?

Are you starting to think about buying a house in Dubai? If so, then this blog is for you, particularly if you’re an expat looking to make a fortune in this bustling property sector.
Today’s blog is a comprehensive guide on how to buy a property in Dubai.

Options in Dubai’s Property Market

Dubai is a continuously growing property marketplace, a paradise for investors, and those looking to immerse themselves in glamor and luxury. So, you’ll find different types of property in Dubai, ranging from furnished and intricately designed villas to two and three-bed luxury apartments, studio apartments, commercial apartments, villas, and much more.

Now, let’s explore each of these options in detail.

1. Studio apartments

If you’re a Bachelor and looking to buy a flat in Dubai, then studio apartments are a cost-effective fit for you.

In a studio apartment, your amenities and utilities aren’t guarded by brick and mortar, which is why you can also call it a simplified version of a one-bedroom apartment.

So, you’ll get a large room, with your TV lounge, sleeping space, closet, and kitchen, all housed in one. What’s good about this layout is that it helps improve accessibility.

Typically, studio apartments in Dubai have an average area, ranging from a minimum of 330 square feet, and maxing out to 500 square feet.

Thus, if you’re a bachelor here for their studies or work, studio apartments are a great low-cost accommodation for you.

Now, let’s look at the investment you’ll require to buy a studio apartment in Dubai.

The prices for studio apartments range from AED 350,000, all the way to the upper scale to AED 650,000.

If you’re looking for a reputable real estate developer providing pocket-friendly accommodations, then Prescott’s Elevate is a great place to start looking.

Elevate is one of our emerging projects, providing studio, and one and two-bedroom luxury apartments. We have a total of 223 units available for sale, fully equipped with top-of-the-line amenities.

2. One and two-bedroom apartments

Moving from bachelorhood into family life spells the need for more living space. Thus, if your family is looking for new accommodation or upscaling its living standard, then one and two-bedroom apartments are the best fit for you.

Unlike a studio apartment, you have more free space and a segregated floor plan. Thus, whether you have a life partner or dependents, one and two-bedroom apartments provide the necessary footing and coverage area to live a decent lifestyle.

Moreover, you have a comparatively greater expanse for a TV lounge and a queen-sized bed, setting the perfect stage for movie nights and family moments.

In Dubai, the average coverage area for one-bedroom apartments in Dubai ranges from 600-1200 square feet. Depending on the location and the coverage area, the prices for one-bedroom apartments in Dubai range from AED 550,000 – 3,000,000.

Now, If you’re a couple with one or two children, then two-bedroom apartments are your “cup of tea”

A two-bedroom apartment is an ideal accommodation that promises privacy and living space for both your spouse and other dependents.

So, as a couple, you get a separate room to share and cherish moments together, while your children can play, sleep, and study in their room.

So, it’s a win-win situation for both. Moreover, depending on the coverage area and the amenities offered, you’ll also have a vast expanse in your TV lounge, allowing you to set up your home theatre, ideal for family moments, movie nights, and sleepovers.

When you’re looking for two-bedroom apartments in Dubai, you’ll find varying coverage areas ranging from 1000- 1600 square feet. So, you can choose depending on your preferences.

Now, for the Million Dollar Question. What’s the price range? So, price ranges for two-bedroom apartments range from AED 970,000 – 5,850,000. Once again, the prices depend on various factors, such as the coverage area, amenities being offered, and the location.

Nevertheless, if you’re looking to become the first owner of a newly designed and lavish two-bedroom apartment, then Presoctt’s Elevate is the ideal project for you.

3. Villas and Luxury Houses

Dubai is a mania for villas and luxury houses, intricately designed with diverse styles, colors, and textures. Thus, having a villa or a  house in Dubai is the epitome of luxury.

But that’s not all, you get to experience Dubai’s scenic beauty in the form of seaside views, a stroll down the neighborhood, or by stepping into a jacuzzi and enjoying the calm in the air.

Moreover, you can go on a shopping spree, and explore the shops for souvenirs, apparel, and some quick munching delights. Furthermore, you can hit the gym for an invigorating workout session, all within the confines of a secure, gated community.

So, these are the communal benefits of buying a house in Dubai for expats.

But, that’s all for the additional amenities, let’s talk about life within the house. So, when you’re living in a villa, you have an extensive coverage area at your disposal, accompanied by a garage and a garden.

So, if you’re a car enthusiast, the space is good enough for you to park multiple vehicles. Moreover, if you have a passion for experimenting and tweaking your ride, then your garage is the right place.

If you have a taste for nature’s beauty, then the garden is the ideal place for you. Create your greenhouse, or craft the corner or the walkway into a beautifully elevated pond with fountains of colorful fishes. It’s your world now.

When it comes to the inside of your house you have a huge covered area to use as you like. So, whether you want to set up a 65-inch LED TV in your lounge with a home theatre, or add a king-size bed to your room, it’s all up to you.

Dubai’s villas exemplify comfort and luxury, so if you’re looking for a carefree lifestyle for your family, which brings you close to nature and provides nurturing in a gated community, then villas are the perfect choice for you.

The coverage size for villas ranges from anywhere between 1550- 6400 square feet. Once again, there’s no common thumb rule for prices, as they are based on location, and the amenities being offered. Nevertheless, the current prices for three-bedroom villas start from anywhere between AED 1,600,000 and hit a maximum of AED 7,500,000.

If you’re looking for a World Class accommodation, nestled in the heart of the Dubai Sports City, then Prescott’s Prime villas are a great place to look. We have a limited range of 31 villas, with swimming pools and fully functional, top-of-the-line amenities.

4. Commercial Accommodations

Dubai’s continually booming economy paves the way for the emergence of new enterprises, resulting in the increasing demand for office accommodations. As a result, Dubai has some of the most notable office skyscrapers, housed by various businesses that specialize in different walks of life.

Amenities in business avenues mainly comprise parking floors, additional basement floors, lifts, and spacious office accommodations.

The outer look is a sight to witness, providing the ultimate corporate experience, amplified by the textured glass, and diverse office layouts, suitable for different business needs.

Furthermore, there’s an increased emphasis on co-working spaces, which facilitate collaboration to promote flexibility and sharing of ideas.

So, which one’s the best fit for you? Well, the answer greatly depends on your needs. For example, if you’re a budding entrepreneur, with only a small team of employees, then a co-working space might be the best fit for you.

However, if you’re a large corporation with segregated departments and an intricate organizational structure, then a fully functional office block is right for you.

Also, when choosing an office, the location matters. For example, if you’re a merchant who ships merchandise, you’ll prefer an office location with a clear road infrastructure and accessibility to merchandise.

Now, let’s talk about what’s available in Dubai’s real estate market for office accommodations.

Dubai’s commercial real estate market provides office spaces for small, medium, and large enterprises. The coverage area for these accommodations starts from 350  square feet and closes in at  2200 square feet.

And, the price range starts from AED 350,000 and ends at AED 2,900,000. So, you can choose from the available options based on your needs, number of employees, and operating requirements.

In conclusion, these are the types of real estate investments available in Dubai. Next. we’ll look at the procedure of buying property in Dubai. So, keep reading to find out.

Buying a House in Dubai For Investment

Dubai’s real estate sector is on the boom, with the emergence of new projects, and property values appreciating. Thus, you can buy a lavish home either as your luxurious abode or as an investment opportunity.

Since we’ve already covered what you should consider while looking for a home, let’s see how you can invest to earn a decent income or a handsome return on investment.

1. Buy to Let

Buy-to-let is a great option to generate a steady monthly flow of rental income, which serves as a great backup for uncertain times. Now, let’s look at how much rental income you can generate, depending on the size of your property.

If you have a small property, such as a 700-square-foot studio apartment, you can generate a monthly income ranging from anywhere between 7- 7.5k AED.

But, when we move up the ladder and look at the income scale of a one-bedroom apartment, we can see that the rental income bracket rises to somewhere between 9.5k to 20k. Thus, putting your property up for rent generates good income.

2. Flipping

If the word “flipping” is new to you, let us explain. Flipping is the art of generating profit, by buying depreciated properties, renovating them to improve their value, and then selling them for a profit.

Yes, it’s a great business opportunity. However, know that it isn’t as simple as it looks. Rather, this business model requires a more hands-on approach.

Why’s that? It’s because you need to fetch the most cost-effective vendors for the renovation, which requires extensive search, feasibility analysis, and a cost comparison. Furthermore, you must also ensure that you procure good quality materials for the project.

Nevertheless, it’s a  profitable approach to invest in property.

3. Capital Gain

With the rising trend in Dubai’s property sector, it’s evident that property values will continue to rise in the foreseeable future. So, it’s a golden chance to blow off some steam with a capital gain.

All you have to do is invest in a developing project, or wherever you feel that the iron is hot. Next, you just have to hold on to the property and wait until the price shoots up in your favor. As soon as you get a good offer, you sell the property. Easy, isn’t it?

But, there are some cons to this method as well. Firstly, you need to take calculated risks. You must carefully evaluate the project that you’re interested in. Also, you should consider the accessibility that it provides, the nearby vicinity, and the level of security that the location provides.

Because, if either one of these things is a bit off track, it could lead to a downfall in the property’s value. So, make your decision carefully.

To sum up, these are three ways you can invest in Dubai’s property sector.

Now, let’s look at the requirements and process for buying a house in Dubai if you’re an expat.

Process and Requirements for Buying a House in Dubai For Expats

Keep in mind that if you’re an expat in Dubai, the law states that you can only buy property in designated Freehold or Leasehold areas. So, what’s the difference between the two?

A freehold area is one where you receive complete ownership of your property. Whereas, in a leasehold area, you gain a possession lease of the property for 99 years.

Now that we’re clear with the concept of free and leasehold property, let’s look at the process of buying a house in Dubai.

1. Prepare a sale and purchase deed

Once you’ve decided to buy a property in Dubai, the first things to prepare are the sale and purchase deeds, which are a set of documented papers that indicate the sale of property from one party( the seller) to another party ( the buyer). So, have them prepared by a legal expert beforehand.

2. Download, prepare, and sign the sale contract

You can find the sale contract, also known as the (Memorandum of Understanding) on the official website of the Dubai Land Department. Although it’s a readymade contract, feel free to add any terms and conditions that you deem necessary.

3. Obtain a No-Objection certificate

To obtain a No-Objection Certificate  (NOC), you must reach out to your developer before the transaction takes place. The developer will then cross-check to identify whether you have any outstanding bills or service charges on your end.  If everything is good to go, you’ll be granted a No-Objection Certificate.

4. Transfer of ownership

Once you have prepared the sale contract and obtained the no-objection certificate, now is the time to have the ownership transferred to you. To do this, all you need to do is to visit the registrar’s office with a few required documents.

Don’t worry, it’s simple. A few steps and you’re all set and done. So first, let’s discuss the documents needed to complete the transfer.

  1. A cheque for the value of the property
  2. ID documents of both the buyer and the seller
  3. Your No-Objection Certificate
  4. The sale contract ( Form F)

Now, once you have submitted the documents, your data will be verified, and you’ll receive a receipt for the payments, along with an email that verifies the transfer. Next, let’s discuss the additional costs associated with buying a house in Dubai.

Additional Costs Incurred When Buying a Property in Dubai

Here is a breakdown of some fixed and variable costs to remember when you’re finalizing a property deal in Dubai.

1. No-Objection certificate:

ranges from anywhere from AED 500-5000, based on the loan amount and the bank’s policies.

2. Valuation for the mortgage:

This fee is required pre-mortgage approval and ranges from 2500-3500AED+ 5%VAT.

3. Real estate agency fees

Generally, it’s 2% of the property value, including 5% VAT (Value added tax).

4. Title Deed Fees

You’ll have to pay $520 for the new titled deed named after you.

So, here’s a guide on the steps, list of documents, and administrative fees that you’ll need when buying a property in Dubai.

Key Takeaways and Conclusion

Buying a property in Dubai requires you to consider the various options available. You can choose from studio apartments, one and two-bedroom apartments, villas, and commercial accommodations.

Once you have decided to invest in property in Dubai, consider whether you want to rent it out, flip and sell, or wait for prices to rise and make a decent capital gain.

Also, as an expat, you can only invest in properties in freehold and leasehold areas.

When you finalize a property, you’ll need to prepare the necessary paperwork and pay the required administrative fees to transfer the property to your name.

Nevertheless, before making a decision, remember to choose wisely and consider the long-term implications of your decisions.

*All Prices Taken from Bayut.com

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