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How to Buy a Property in United Arab Emirates as a Foreigner

The United Arab Emirates is a unification of seven emirates; Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Kaimah, Sharjah, and Umm Al Quwain. Abu Dhabi Emeer is the president and Dubai Emeer is the prime minister of the country. The other emeers are the ministers of the government. As of 2022, there are approximately 8.92 million expatriates in the UAE, which constitutes about 90% of the total population. Emiratis make up roughly 10% of the total population, making the UAE one of the countries with the highest percentage of expatriates in the world. For welcoming expats, the UAE has adopted a liberal approach towards certain cultural and religious norms. While the country deeply respects its Arab-Islamic heritage, it ensures that foreign residents do not feel the weight of cultural or religious pressures. There is a balance between modern lifestyle with traditional touches.

The government has facilitated easy residency acquisition to attract intelligent, high-profile individuals who can contribute to the nation's growth. While the local Emiratis often hold managerial and executive roles, the workforce's bulk is sourced internationally. The country's tax structure is also favorable, with a mere 5% income tax and no other significant taxes, making it an attractive destination for professionals and investors alike.

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Visionary Country: Finance & Tourism Rather Than Oil

Visionary Country: Finance & Tourism Rather Than OilThe United Arab Emirates (UAE) has long been recognized for its vast oil reserves, one of the world's most valuable fossil fuels. The UAE believes that the current price of oil is undervalued. They anticipate that in the future, fossil fuels will become an extremely valuable resource, and they want to conserve it for that time. With projections indicating that their oil reserves could be depleted in 20 to 30 years, the UAE is contemplating a strategic shift. Their ambitious goal is to significantly reduce oil production in the near future and conserve their valuable oil reserves for the next decades.

To achieve a sustainable economic model, the UAE has turned its focus towards becoming a global hub for tourism and finance. This visionary approach is evident in their grand projects, such as the construction of artificial palm islands and the world's tallest tower Burj Al Khalifa, all designed with a perspective to transform the country into a major tourist attraction center.

In order to be a big tourist hub, the UAE established a large airline fleet. Emirates Airlines stands as a testament to the UAE's commitment to this vision. The airline is rapidly evolving, aiming to become one of the world's largest and most prestigious carriers.

To further bolster its position as the financial hub, the UAE has implemented policies to attract investors and High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI). These policies are designed to fascinate affluent individuals, offering them enticing benefits and opportunities to live and invest in the country.

Real Estate Market in the United Arab Emirates and Dubai

Dubai, a gem of the UAEDubai, a gem of the UAE, has been a magnet for international investors for years. The city's real estate market has seen a significant surge. Dubai's real estate market offers a plethora of properties, attracting individuals globally. Dubai's real estate sector is a significant contributor to the UAE's economy, accounting for nearly 5.5% of the total GDP. The city's post-Covid recovery has been robust, with the real estate market playing a pivotal role. The government's initiatives, such as the golden visa, have significantly attracted foreign investment, boosting the issuance of new business licenses by over 50%. Dubai plans property investment as the main growth sector for its economy.

While Dubai has long been a magnet for tourists and investors, Abu Dhabi, its neighboring emirate, has often felt overshadowed. In an effort to compete and attract more visitors, Abu Dhabi has implemented similar programs and initiatives as Dubai. However, one distinct advantage Abu Dhabi offers is its real estate market. Property prices in Abu Dhabi are nearly half of what they are in Dubai.

Why is the UAE, particularly Dubai, gaining traction among foreign buyers?

  • Economic Growth and Profitability

The property market has skyrocketed due to the tourism boom post-Covid. Dubai aims to double its economy's size with its 10-year economic plan and become one of the top four global financial centers within a decade. Dubai's stable political climate and business-friendly policies have created a secure environment for investors. The high rental yields, around 5-7%, are attracting investors, offering better rates than the other financial hubs around the world.

  • Visa Programs by Real Estate Investment

The UAE wants to attract high-net-worth individuals (HNWI). They have designed specific visa programs for every type of investor which makes getting a visa very easy if you have the money. These policies offer incentives to HNWIs. One key incentive is linked to property investments. The UAE aims to bring in wealth this way. They also want to attract expertise and innovation. The golden visa is a major initiative. It allows talented people to live in the UAE. Investors can also benefit from this visa. This program has attracted many foreign investors. The UAE is committed to a diverse economy.

  • Luxury Lifestyle

Dubai offers a comfortable and modern lifestyleDubai offers a comfortable and modern lifestyle. The city skyline is marked by structures like the Burj Khalifa. Shopping enthusiasts frequent places like the Dubai Mall, known for its vast size and an indoor aquarium, and the Mall of the Emirates, which features the unique indoor ski resort, Ski Dubai. The Palm Jumeirah provides houses with beach access, while the Dubai Marina is a popular spot with its restaurants and boats. High-end cars are a common sight on the streets. For evenings out, there are various clubs and lounges with city views. With a range of hotels, diverse dining options, and shopping destinations, Dubai caters to both residents and visitors.

For those considering purchasing a home in the UAE, the advantage lies in the promise of an enhanced quality of life. Dubai offers world-class infrastructure, top-tier residential and commercial properties, business and shopping centers, and a safe environment, making it an ideal place for people to reside. The substantial expat community, including a significant Indian population, adds a sense of familiarity and comfort for investors and residents.

In conclusion, the UAE's real estate market, especially Dubai, is poised for growth, driven by government initiatives, economic recovery, and foreign investments. With no income or capital gains taxes, Dubai presents itself as an attractive destination for investors, promising a bright future for the real estate sector.

Popular Property Destinations in UAE

  • Popular Property Destinations in UAEDubai Marina

One of the UAE's most desired residential areas, known for its breathtaking views and social amenities. This luxurious beachfront property district offers a cosmopolitan lifestyle, right in the heart of Dubai. The area is bustling with a variety of restaurants, cafes, and shopping outlets, including flavors from world cuisines. Key landmarks such as the Dubai Marina Walk, Dubai Marina Mall, and the iconic Cayan Tower further enhance its appeal.

  • Palm Jumeirah

Known as the world's largest man-made island, Palm Jumeirah is a top choice for property investment. It is one of Dubai's most luxurious areas. It offers stunning ocean views, private beach access, and a range of public amenities. The island is home to several landmarks, including Atlantis, The Palm, Nakheel Mall, and The Pointe. Here, you'll find a collection of luxury hotels, townhouses, apartments, and villas.

  • Downtown Dubai

The city's beating heart, blending modern skyscrapers with traditional charm. It's an area where the past meets the future. The iconic Burj Khalifa Tower is located here, and it's renowned for its iconic landmark structures like the Dubai Mall. Downtown Dubai is surrounded by remarkable retail spaces, entertainment spots, and dining venues, making it a luxurious community with apartments for sale.

  • Business Bay

This district is one of the first names that come to mind when thinking about Dubai. This vibrant district is considered a business and trade oasis, housing a beautiful combination of residential towers and commercial complexes. Business Bay hosts a variety of lifestyle apartments and multinational offices, with new properties being developed at a significant pace.

  • Dubailand

The district is one of the fastest-growing areas in Dubai, spread over a vast area. Leading developers in the region have added innovation with both villas and different types of apartment projects. Dubailand is also gearing up to host theme parks, recreation centers, shopping malls, and more. It is an ideal choice for real estate investors regardless of their budgets.

  • Jumeirah Beach ResidenceJumeirah Beach Residence (JBR)

This area offers a blend of city and beachfront living in Dubai. Consisting of 6 clusters with 40 high towers, JBR residents can enjoy beautiful views of the Arabian Gulf, Green Courtyards, and the Dubai Marina. JBR is known for its avenues filled with entertainment options. Landmarks like The Beach, Bluewaters Island, and Ain Dubai are very close to this district. The district is perfect for those seeking luxury residences with direct beach access.

  • Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT)

Developed with a visionary architectural plan around four artificial lakes. With a wide variety of lifestyle apartments spread across 79 towers, JLT is an ideal place for investors looking for properties in Dubai. It offers not only living opportunities but also significant investment prospects with high rental yield potential.

  • Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC)

One of the most inquired-about regions in Dubai, offering villas and apartments for sale. Close to schools, healthcare facilities, parks, and markets, it's a perfect choice for living and being socially active. It's also an ideal option for investors seeking short-term rentals.

  • Al Reem Island

An icon of modern architecture, offering waterfront living in the capital city, Abu Dhabi. The island is dotted with contemporary residential towers, commercial spaces, and recreational areas. Notable places include The Bridges, Reem Central Park, and Shams Boutik Mall. The island is not just about residences; it's about creating a community where people can shop, dine, and enjoy the ocean view.

  • Saadiyat Island

It's a cultural hub of Abu Dhabi. The island offers luxury living with a unique touch of art and culture. It houses the world-renowned Louvre Abu Dhabi, the relaxing Saadiyat Beach Club, and the cultural center, Manarat Al Saadiyat.

  •  It is a residential district in DubaiInternational City

It is a residential district in Dubai, inspired by countries from around the world. It is divided into themed clusters such as China, England, and Morocco. International City offers residents a taste of global architecture and lifestyles. The area is known for its affordability, making it a popular choice for expatriates. It has a range of retail outlets, restaurants offering international cuisines, and Dragon Mart which is one of the largest trading hubs for Chinese products outside China. It's a bustling community perfect for those seeking a cosmopolitan lifestyle on a budget.

  • Arabian Ranches

Nestled in the heart of Dubai, this gated community is renowned for its lush landscapes, polo fields, and world-class golf course. The villas and townhouses here are designed with an Arabian touch, offering residents a blend of oriental charm and contemporary comfort. With a dedicated shopping center, fine dining restaurants, and schools, Arabian Ranches is a self-contained community ideal for families.

  • Dubai Hills Estate

This master-planned community is set around a magnificent 18-hole championship golf course. It offers a mix of elegant villas, townhouses, and apartments. The community boasts vast green spaces, parks, and a vibrant boulevard lined with upscale retail outlets and gourmet restaurants. The district has state-of-the-art healthcare facilities, schools, and sports complexes.

  • Dubai Silicon Oasis

It stands as a center for technology enthusiasts. This technology park offers residential and commercial properties. It ensures residents have everything they need within reach. The DSO Community Park, Silicon Oasis Mall, and the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Dubai are some of its standout features. Beyond its tech appeal, the area offers shopping, recreational activities, and community events.

How to Buy Property in the United Arab Emirates

How to Buy Property in the United Arab EmiratesPurchasing property in the UAE can be a lucrative investment or a dream come true for expatriates. The process of buying an overseas property always starts with finding the right real estate company. The right company will help make the whole process easy, guiding you from the beginning to the end and making sure that moving to your new place goes smoothly. TEKCE, as a reputable global real estate company is committed to 100% happiness of its customers when finding their dream property. TEKCE team consists of experienced agents and company lawyers who work together to give you the best service in 20 offices in 5 countries. Our Dubai office is located just behind the Emirates Mall at Al Barsha.

Upon finding your ideal property, the buying process with TEKCE is well-defined:

Our first step is to guide you with our company lawyers to finalize the terms of the sale. We assist in clarifying the selling price, payment methods, and other essential details. The following steps are basically, signing the sale agreement (MOU), obtaining a No Objection Certificate (NOC), and finalizing the ownership transfer with the Dubai Land Department (DLD). The visit to the Dubai Land Department office with all the requisite documents makes the property transfer official. The entire process, from signing the agreement of sale, typically takes no more than 30 days to become a legal homeowner.

For a detailed buying guide, please visit the step-by-step property purchase in UAE page.

The dedicated team of TEKCE ensures strict attention to every detail, aiming to make your property-buying experience in the UAE not only straightforward but also delightful.

Legal Aspects of Property Ownership and Registration

Downtown-Dubai-The city-s-beating-hearIn UAE, foreigners can own properties in designated freehold areas. There are two main types of property ownership: Freehold allows the buyer to have complete ownership of the property and the land it stands on. Areas like Dubai Marina, Palm Jumeirah, and Downtown Dubai are popular freehold zones. Leasehold gives the buyer to use the property rights for a set period, typically between 10 to 99 years. After the lease expires, the property reverts to the landowner. Leasehold is not a chosen property ownership type by expats.

When buying a property in UAE, there is some official documentation that should be prepared. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or Form F is the official sales agreement. This document, once endorsed by both parties at the Registration Trustee’s office, seals the transaction. Before transitioning to the ownership phase, acquiring a No Objection Certificate (NOC) is crucial. This certificate, sourced from the property's developer, ensures there are no pending dues on the property.

Property Financing & Mortgage in UAE

It is easy to reach mortgage and loan possibilities in the country. The loan is accessible for ready-to-move-in properties and close-to-finish buildings. Foreigners may get 60% up to 75% loans for freehold property purchases. Banks search payroll or relevant income documentation from borrowers whose mortgage amounts do not exceed their seven years of income. Our team will guide you to find the correct banks.

If you can not afford to pay at once, many people choose to buy off-plan projects. As the construction period takes 3-5 years time, many developers give installment options. The launch period of the big developments 50% of the sales is completed.

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