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What is the Real Cost of Buying Property in the UAE?

Published on 2018

Purchasing property in the UAE isn’t cheap. However, do you know the real cost? Buying property in this part of the world is more expensive than you think. When you factor in the added costs, you may end up spending 10 percent more than the agreed purchase price. If you’re selling a property, you’re likely to be hit with extra costs too.

The extra costs

So where do the extra fees come from? These include a registration fee of AED 2,000 on properties below AED 500,000 and AED 4,000 on properties over AED 500,000.

Furthermore, the estate agency fee is 2 percent of the property price with conveyancing fees costing up to AED 10,000 and a valuation fee of up to AED 3,500. There are also lenders’ fees to consider and a developer’s fee which may amount to 5 percent or more of the property price.

Mortgage fees vary depending on whether you decide to take out a regular loan or Islamic finance. You may need to pay legal fees too, that’s if you decide to consult a lawyer regarding the transaction. However, this is a personal preference and not a requirement.

In October 2014, the Dubai Land Department increased its transfer fee to 4 percent whereas it’s between 1 to 2 percent in Abu Dhabi. What about fees after purchase? Well, you’ll need to pay AED 11 per square foot every year if you’re residing in an apartment for the developer’s annual service fee as well as maintenance charges.

The down payment                                                                           

You’ll need to make a deposit of approximately 25 percent on your purchase price and if you take out a mortgage, you’ll need to consider interest fees.

That means it may be worth considering whether buying a property is really worth the investment of whether renting would be a wiser option.

ServiceCost (AED)
Dubai Land Department transfer fee4% plus AED 540 administrative fee
Abu Dhabi transfer fee1% to 2%
Registration feesAED 2,000 for property below AED 500,000
AED 4,000 for property above AED 500,000
Mortgage registration fee0.25% of loan + AED 10 fee
Mortgage processing feeUp to 1% of loan amount
Estate agency fee2% of purchase fee
Conveyancing feesAED 6,000 to AED 10,000
Valuation feeAED 2,500 to AED 3,500
Oqood fee, for off-plan properties4% of purchase price
Down payment25% of property cost *


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