Frequently Asked Questions
You can get a two-year visa when you purchase a property in Dubai that is:
- Completed and handed over to you.
- Worth a minimum value of one million dirhams.
This one million does not include the closing cost. You can read about the closing cost and other fees of buying a property in Dubai in this article.
If you decide to get a visa after few months from buying the property, then the purchase price will not be considered. You should conduct a property valuation, and the result of this valuation should be AED 1,000,000 or more to be eligible to get the visa. The valuation considers few factors e.g, the value of the last 10 sales transactions within last 3 years, the current market property listing prices, the condition of the property, and others…
With the new long-term visa, for investors who invest in property value of AED 5 million or more, a 5-year visa is granted. The renewable 10 year-long visa is for investors setting up start-ups, businesses or branches of their companies of valued AED 10 million or more as long as non-real estate investments are not less than 60% of the total investment. It also applies to spouses and children, with conditions. The UAE announced a new law that provides a 5-year residency visa for retired expatriates with the possibility of renewal for those who wish to stay longer.
Expatriates over 55 years of age are eligible if they have an investment in a property worth AED 2 million, have a minimum of AED 1M in savings, and an active income of at least AED 20,000 per month.
Developers reserve the right to cancel the property reservation agreement and re-possess the title of the property in case of default from the property purchaser. In such a case, the property purchaser typically stands to lose the instalments paid already and 30% of the property value.
If the property purchaser delays his installment payment beyond a grace period of normally 30 days from the date when the payment is due, they are usually charged interest at the rate of approximately 6%, and the developer typically reserves his right to cancel the contract.
a) Liberalisation of the real estate sector – expats can now own property
b) High tax-free yields on freehold property rental
c) Globalisation and its effects on property prices in metropolitan cities worldwide
d) Favourable interest rate environment
e) Mortgages & homeowner finance available
f) Granting of “permanent” residency upon purchase of freehold properties
g) Great Value – Real estate land & apartment valuations are cheap compared to international prices
h) Conducive lifestyle: safe, tax haven, secondary and tertiary home for international buyers
i) Dubai’s robust economic growth p.a.(GDP)
j) Dubai’s robust population growth p.a.
k) Large mid-income population bracket with high disposable income
l) Dubai is the regional entrepôt & tourism center
m) UAE is an open, welcoming & tolerant state with investor-friendly business policies
Freehold property is any estate which is “free from hold” of any entity besides the owner. Hence, the owner of such a property enjoys free ownership for perpetuity and can use the property for any purposes however in accordance with the local regulations.
The owner of a freehold title of real estate enjoys the most superior form of private property ownership. A freeholder is considered to be the absolute owner of the land and buildings comprised in his title; he has the right to occupy, use and enjoy his property forever (“in perpetuity”) or until he transfers the title to a new owner, and his heirs are entitled to inherit his title upon his death.
Service charges, AC and sinking fund is charged per sq. ft. with rates starting from AED 2 per sq. ft. As for parking, it is paid yearly per bay/slot and starts from around AED 1,000.
Most studios and one-bedroom units are the same size. Some units have balconies and some do not. Sometimes the ones located on the corners of the building are slightly bigger. Retail shops on the ground floor vary in size and are priced accordingly.
- Studios – Size approximately 480 Sq. ft.
- One Bedroom – Size approximately 716 Sq. ft.
- Shops – Size varies, upwards and downwards of approximately 500 Sq. ft.
The buyer of a freehold property in Dubai only needs to provide a copy of his passport papers to purchase a property in the primary market, i.e., directly from a developer. A company purchasing a property must provide the developer the company’s registration documents (Articles of Incorporation, Registration Certificate, POA of the person signing on behalf of the company, and Board of Directors Resolution).
Either entity, i.e., a person or a company, needs only to sign a property reservation contract with the developer to purchase a property. On handover of the property to the property purchaser, the property purchaser will have to register his property at the Govt. of Dubai Lands Dept. to obtain a title deed.
The property purchaser would be responsible for paying the fees to the Govt. of Dubai Lands Dept. to obtain a title deed (this normally amounts to 2% of the property value). The property value must be fully paid up so as to obtain a Title Deed from the Govt. of Dubai Lands Dept.
a) Can all family members get a UAE residence visa: i.e. Father, Mother, Father, and children under 18 and unmarried daughters?
Yes. Expatriate employees or employers can obtain a residency visa There are three ways they can change their status from an entry permit holder to a resident visa holder: official employment, company registration, and real estate acquisition.
Once they have a valid residency permit, male residents can sponsor his spouse and children (under 18 years of age) and any unmarried daughters above the age of 18 years.
Expatriate employers are issued residency visa for three years, while expatriate employees are issued residency visa for 1 to 2 years, depending on their labor contract.
The UAE cabinet granted long-term visas to certain expatriates such as entrepreneurs, specialized talents and researchers in the knowledge and science field, and outstanding students, with some conditions.
Find out more here.
b) Who issues the residence visa and is it guaranteed?
The Government of Dubai issues it and it is guaranteed as long as the property purchaser owns the property, clears all security and medical tests, and is not rejected by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.
c) If the property purchaser is not living in Dubai but plans to in the future, what will be the procedure to obtain a residence visa?
The type of residency visa you’re entitled to depends on the value of the purchased property. Once the property purchaser buys a property, he/she is automatically entitled to obtain a residence visa.
Applying for residency visa can be done either on the website of Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA), which is the eChannel for citizenship and residency, or the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), which works under the UAE ministry.
d) If the property purchaser is not living in Dubai can they get a visa in a different person’s name such as their employees or other family members etc.?
No, only the principal property purchaser gets a residence visa but may sponsor his/her dependents.
The above mentioned are indications and may vary depending on the location and quality of the project.
Buying an off plan property means you commit to purchasing a property either before or during the construction phase. It has significant advantages:
Plan and save money – It allows investors to get a purchase at the earliest and lowest possible price and buyers to pick the very best apartments in a specific development. In return, there’s a high chance of gaining the maximum return on their investment.
Sell before the completion date – Investors can sell off their off-plan property contracts prior to the completion of the projects and at a considerable profit (assuming the market is well-performed and proved popular.
Lower up Front Costs – Off plan property payment plans can and do vary from different types of developers in Dubai. Some of the developers only require a 10% down payment and the rest linked to constructions the required expenditure is relatively low.
Freehold means outright ownership of the property. While leasehold, it means the holding of property by lease for a period of more than 10 years up to 99 years and can’t be purchased outright.
The city has grown exponentially throughout the years and continues to maintain its status for investment among foreigners and nationals. Dubai’s properties offer best long-term returns averaging 7-10% in several areas. Also, Dubai has strong regularity authority and draws interest in investments for its open and free system which attracts Foreign Direct Investment, giving it plenty of reasons to invest in local properties.
The first step is to contact the developer and find out how much must be paid off of the property in order to obtain a sale No Objection Certificate (NOC). The exact percentage or figure is usually somewhere around 30-40% but will vary for different developers in Dubai.
The emirate’s RERA has introduced numerous measures that needs to be met by developers to make sure the off plan project is completed. Of those measure, the developer must own 100% of the land belonging to the project. Additionally, they must either deposit 20% in escrow account, make a down payment of 20% as bank guarantee, or at least 20% construction completion before selling the off plan property. The regulatory arm of Dubai Land Department than requests contractors to submit a 10% performance guarantee.
It’s crucial that buyers do through research and advise looking the developer’s track record as well as reputation. Make sure the developer, project and project’s Escrow account are all registered in the Dubai Land Department’s Real Estate Regulatory Arm (RERA).
Hotel apartments are under the category of commercial property.
Off plan property sales developers collect the 5% VAT on property price from the buyer and the same will be paid to Federal Tax Authority (FTA) on the buyer’s behalf.
Secondary market deals are 5% VAT applicable upon purchasing the property and payment receipts issued by FTA must be submitted to trustee’s office upon property transfer.
The potential risks when purchasing an off plan property are:
Delayed Completion Time – There are usually delayed handovers of off plan properties and there are have been cases of projects being completed after scheduled completion dates. In this case, it’s highly advisable and important to do research on the project developer and look into their track record, Make certain any signed sale agreement ensures you are compensated for any unexpected or unscheduled delays.
Change in Market Conditions – The real estate market fluctuates all the time. If there’s a downward move in property prices, the property can be worth less than what the buyer has actually paid. It can affect off plan properties more as it may be harder to liquidate than ready-to-move-in properties.
What are the required documents?
Original Title Deed
Evaluation certificate from Land Department
No objection certificate (NOC) from Developer
The owner has to attend in person or POA (Power of Attorney translated in Arabic and attested).
Passport copies (Visa page, Emirates ID).
Marriage certificate (for gifting to wife or husband) or Birth certificate (for gifting to children). All these documents should be translated in Arabic and attested from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Land Department Fees:
0.125% from evaluation value (it should be not less than AED 2,000).
AED 560 (if apartment, villa) + AEd 410 (if land)
Registration Trustee Fees:
AED 4,000 + AED 200 (5% VAT) if the price of the property is equal to more than AED 2 million.
AED 2,000 + AED 100 (5% VAT) if the price of the property is less than AED 2 million.
Here is the list of freehold areas where you can buy and own a property in Dubai:
- Business Bay
- Discovery Gardens
- Down Town
- Dubai Festival City – Badia Phase 1 & 2
- Dubai Festival City – Hillside
- Dubai Festival City – Marsa
- Dubai Investment Park
- Dubai Marina
- Dubai Silicon Oasis
- Dubai Sport City
- Green Community DIP
- IMPZ (Int. Media Produc. Zone)
- International City
- International City CBD
- JBR (Jumeirah Beach Residence)
- JLT (Jumeirah Lake Towers)
- Jumeirah Village
- Jumeirah Village ( Triangle )
- Layan Community
- Old Town
- Palm Jumeirah
- Barsha Heights (Tecom)
- The Lakes
- Ibn Battuta Gate
- Jumeirah Village ( Circle )
- Sky Court Tower – Dubai land
- The Views
- Burj Khalifa Tower
- Jumeirah Heights
- Green Community Motor City
- Masakin Al Furjan
- Dubai Outsource Zone
- Up Town Motor City
- Warsan Fourth
- DIFC-LIMESTONE HOUSE
- DIFC-LIBERTY HOUSE
- DIFC-Sky Gardens
- DIFC-INDEX TOWER
- DIFC-Park Tower
- Ritaj Project – DIP
- Queue Point ( Dubai Land )
- Ewan Project – DIP
- Wadi Al Safa 3
- Project ( Golden Mile Palm Jumeirah )
- Dubai Residence Complex – Dubai Land
- Dubai Festival City – Badia Phase 3
- City Walk
- Dubai Culture Village
- Badrah Project
- Al Waha Project
- Damac Hills
- The Polo Residence (Meydan)
- Palazzo Versace
- D1 Tower
- Dubai Studio City
- Town Square
- Al Barari
- Arabian Ranches 1
- Falcon City
- Jumeirah Islands
- The Villa (Dubai Land)
- Emirates Hills
- Jumeirah Park
- Al Furjan
- Jebel Ali Village
- Jumeirah Golf Estate
- Mudon Projec
- Arabian Ranches 2
- Project ( Dubai Sustainable City )
- Project ( Mira )
- Warsan Village
- Veneto Project
- Al Thanyah First
(a) If the Agency sees that the Management Company is incompetent, inefficient or unable to manage and maintain the Common Areas of the third category of real estate projects provided for in paragraph (a) of Article (18) of this Law, the Agency shall appoint an alternative Management Company to manage the Jointly Owned Property, provided that the Agency shall follow the following procedures: (1) Informing the Owners’ Committee about the violations committed by the Management Company and requesting its opinion thereon; (2) Issue a written warning to the Management Company indicating the errors and negative practices committed by it in the management, operation, maintenance and repair of the Common Areas, and the Management Company may respond to this written warning within fourteen (14) days from the date of being notified thereof; (3) Appointing a legal auditing office to audit the Service Charge account, verify the Management Company’s compliance with the Service Charge budget approved by the Agency; and (4) Giving the Management Company a time limit to hand over the management of the Jointly Owned Property to the alternative Management Company within a period not exceeding thirty (30) days from the date of the issuance of the Agency’s decision to appoint the alternate Management Company. (b) If the replaced Management Company’s actions result in damage to any part of the Jointly Owned Property or the Common Areas, the value of repairing such damage shall be charged to the Management Company, provided that such value is deducted from the bank guarantee of this company, referred to in paragraph (a) of Article (36) of this Law.
Dubai rental market has seen fluctuations over the years as any other market would. It would cost the following to rent an apartment in Dubai –
Rent Per Month
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre AED 4,500 – 8,000
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of City Centre AED 3,000 – 5,000
Apartment (2 bedrooms) in City Centre AED 6,900 – 9,000
Apartment (2 bedrooms) Outside of Centre AED 5,500 – 7,500
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre AED 8,000 -16,000
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of City Centre AED 7,000 – 14,000
In some cases, studio and one-bedroom apartments are of the same size. Some units have balconies while some do not. The average apartment sizes in Dubai are –
Studio – 330 sqft – 700 sqft
One bedroom – 750 sqft – 1300 sqft
Two bedrooms 1350 sqft – 2000 sqft
Three bedrooms 2200 – 6000 sqft
- Minimum 5 million (fully paid, not mortgaged) worth property (more than one property also will accept) under the applicant name .
- Person must be inside UAE
Steps of Procedure :
- Medical fitness test .
- Hold the family visa / Cancel the family visa .
- Cancel the visa for the applicant.
- Visa Stamping (For 5 Years) .
- Emirates ID (For 5 Years).
- Un hold visa for family .
- Title deed .
- Passport .
- Old Emirates ID .
- Photograph .
- Health insurance .
- Medical (VIP) – 753 AED .
- EID (5 Years) – 572.50 AED .
- New (5 Years) visa – 888.75 AED .
- Management Fees – 100 AED .
Total – 2314.25 AED
File Opening for Dependent Visa – AED 318.75
Note: The fees doesn’t include health insurance