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Key facts every expat should know when buying a property in Dubai.

Published on April 2, 2018

FAQ’s by Expats when considering buying property in Dubai

Where can I buy as an expat?

In Dubai, Expats are only permitted to buy property in designated areas known as “freehold” Zones. Popular Freehold Zones include:-

Dubai Marina – Jumeriah Lake Towers – The Palm Jumeriah – The Springs – The Greens – Jumeriah Golf Estates – Arabian Ranches – Business Bay – The Lakes – Emirates Hills.

What is the difference between Freehold and Leasehold?

Freehold allows an individual to buy, sell, and lease a property located within one of the designated Freehold Zones at their own discretion. As such, any individual with a Freehold Zone property has absolute ownership of that property, including the land on which the property sits.

Leasehold allows an individual to take on a lease over a property from a freeholder for a maximum period of 99 years. Ultimately an individual is buying the right to occupy the property however at the end of the lease period, ownership of the property remains with the freeholder. Leasehold only includes a right to the property itself, and not the land on which the property sits.

Can I obtain a mortgage?

Yes, as an Expat you can apply for a mortgage over your Dubai Property. As with any mortgage, the amount which an individual can borrow is dependent on their personal circumstances and the type of property they wish to purchase. There are a number of various reputable mortgage brokers in Dubai who will be able to assist you in securing the best deal with the bank.

Will I receive a residency visa?

The purchase of a property in Dubai by an Expat allows them to apply for one of two types of visas however, the issuance of such visas are not guaranteed.

Property Investor Visa – 2 year renewable visa issued by the Dubai Land Department. With this type of visa you become a resident of the UAE whereby you can sponsor dependents and apply for an Emirates ID or driver’s license. This type of visa is only applicable to Dubai based properties.

6 month Residency Visa – 6 month multi-entry visa, which is effectively a visitors visa. This type of visa is applicable to the purchase of properties in any of the 7 Emirates of the UAE.

Please note that the issuance of these visas are subject to a number of requirements being met, and costs vary depending on the type of visa chosen.

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