Step by Step Property Purchasing in United Arab Emirates
The answer to the question "Can foreigners buy property in the UAE?" A turning point for the property sector came in 2002 when the Dubai government established legislation permitting foreigners to buy freehold properties.
Here are the requirements and tips about buying property in the UAE for expats. You can learn more about the process by conducting TEKCE experts from the Contact page.
- Finding the Perfect Property
- Property Viewing and Negotiation
- Reserving the Property
- Mortgage Application
- No-Objection Certificate (NOC) and Sales Contract
- Registration with the Dubai Land Department (DLD)
- Obtaining a Residence Permit
Detailed Real Estate Buying Process in UAE
1. Find the Perfect Property with a Professional
First, we recommend working with a real estate professional. We can say that it is a step that will determine the fate of your process. The main reason is that buying property in the UAE and getting a visa has different aspects than other countries, and there are occasionally changes in the transactions in favor of investors.
It will be pretty difficult to keep track of these regulations and find the most up-to-date necessary documents on the internet by yourself. However, if you work with a real estate company with corporate lawyers, they will allow you to manage and follow the entire process flawlessly.
You should decide what type of property you are interested in once you find a real estate agent. Foreign buyers frequently decide to buy apartments, townhouses, or villas, which are typically situated in guarded complexes with shared leisure facilities like tennis courts, swimming pools, and gyms.
Another significant factor is where you will purchase it. The regions you will buy are one of the rules for foreigners buying a property in the UAE. It is legal to buy property and take full ownership in specific areas known as freehold zones. Anywhere else in the UAE, only a tenancy over real estate for 50–99 years is permitted; the land on which it is built is not. So, if you choose the most suitable location to buy, you will not waste any time.
After your sales consultant has created a list of the best options for you, it is time to inspect the properties in person.
2. Property Viewing Tour and Negotiate the Terms of Sale with the Seller
After your agent has presented you with all of your options, you go to see the properties. Asking your agent and the landlord or the developer any questions you may have during the viewing tour is crucial to avoiding any potential problems.
After viewing the property and making the decision if you like it, the next step is to find out how much it will cost and submit an offer via your agent. Prices may occasionally be negotiated, which could greatly benefit you. If there is room for bargaining, your agent will inform you.
Meanwhile, the lawyer determines whether the property is fit for sale, has a valid title, and is free of debt.
3. Reserve the Property
In some sales, the property is reserved so that it cannot be sold to anyone else while the purchasers' paperwork is being prepared before the final sales contract is signed. You sign a preliminary agreement and pay a portion of the sales price as a deposit to the seller.
4. Apply for Mortgage
Foreigners purchasing property in Dubai can also obtain a mortgage from UAE-based banks. Depending on the bank, many factors, including the applicant's country of residence, monthly income, and more, are taken into account when determining eligibility for non-resident mortgages in Dubai. Bank statements and verification of work status will be also required for non-residents to secure a Dubai mortgage.
5. Apply for a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) and Sign the Sales Contract
A buyer receives an NOC from a governmental entity or previous owner to ensure that the property has a valid title deed. In the UAE, an NOC is usually required from a developer for off-plan properties as proof of full ownership and that all utility bills have been paid. The NOC confirms that a title deed transfer can be done and that there are no remaining debts.
After that, the final sales agreement is prepared by a lawyer. It consists of details on the cost, the schedule of payments, and other terms and conditions. Then, it is signed by the buyer and the seller.
6. Registration with the Dubai Land Department (DLD)
As a last step, you must register the property with the Dubai Land Department (DLD). It is the principal institution for all transactions involving freehold and leasehold purchases. When buying property in the United Arab Emirates through a developer, you will do it with the developer's support.
For the transaction, you need your original passport and its copy, original title deed, original NOC from the developer, the sales agreement, proof of mortgage settlement (in the case of a mortgage buyer), and the document showing payment has been made.
You are also required to have completed all payments at this point. The Property Purchase Costs in UAE page offers comprehensive information about the costs.
Congratulations! You are an official property owner in the UAE now.
7. Obtain a Residence Permit in the UAE
Your lawyer and sales consultant will be especially helpful at this phase. Applying for a residency permit is necessary if you plan to stay in the UAE permanently.
There are various options for a permanent residence permit in the UAE, such as the Golden Visa. Depending on the options, you need to invest a certain amount. For example, you can choose to invest in residential property worth at least AED 1 million, with a maximum mortgage of 50% of the property value. The minimum amount changes according to how long the visa has been issued.
If you want to buy real estate to start a business, you can get a Dubai Investor Visa by investing a certain amount. The Dubai investor visa grants the holder the right to live in the UAE, and to come and go as they wish for the duration of the visa.
If you are over 55, then you can benefit from a retirement visa. The minimum investment amount is different from the others.
The cost of the visa varies according to the applicant. Contacting TEKCE professionals will allow you to obtain the correct details. You can also grant power of attorney through the TeleProperty service to finish the entire purchasing procedure from the comfort of your home.
What are the Required Documents to Buy a Property in the UAE?
Depending on the details of the property sale, the list of documents may change. The following documents are required for all investors to purchase real estate in Dubai:
- Current residence visa or permission to stay in the UAE.
- The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), or Contract F. It is the name of the sales and purchase agreement in Dubai.
- No Objection Certificate.
- Power of Attorney (if any)
Legal Tips on the Property Purchase Process in UAE
To prevent fraud and related problems, there are a few legal points you should think about before buying real estate in Dubai.
- Power of Attorney: Buyers can give a power of attorney to manage the entire buying process on their behalf in the UAE. But, the transactions should always be assigned to qualified lawyers, and at this stage, you should only grant your lawyer the authority s/he needs to act as your proxy. Otherwise, unpleasant outcomes might happen. The TEKCE professionals will assist you through the process correctly and ensure that your process is completed with no failures.
- Region Restrictions: You must keep in mind that only specific areas of the UAE allow foreigners to purchase real estate. A knowledgeable property professional will point you where to buy a house. So, you will not waste time or money.
- Processing Time and Documentation: After signing the sales contract, you have only 60 days to register the transactions with the Dubai Land Department. You should manage this process well and not be late. Additionally, the documents must contain up-to-date and necessary information. All documents must be in Arabic. That’s why you should check all documents with your lawyer.
- Visa Duration: If you want to apply for a permanent residence permit, you must spend the right amount on real estate. If the amount is not met, you cannot apply. You should not forget to inform your sales agent and lawyer about this.
- RERA: We advise you to only work with real estate agents who are RERA registered. Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) is an organization recognized by the state. It provides a transparent and effective legal framework for everyone involved in Dubai's real estate business. TEKCE is a member of RERA.
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