Who can buy property in Dubai?

Anyone can buy a property in Dubai, providing they have the funds. You don’t need to live in the emirate or work here, and there is no age limit. Freehold properties can only be purchased in designated areas for foreign investment. This is not limiting, however, since there are many freehold areas across Dubai.

What type of property will be considered and for what value? 

The property or properties should be 100% ready, not on a construction plan, and most importantly, not subject to a dispute. The purchase value (not the current market value) of your property needs to be at least AED 1,000,000 or above, and you have paid off a 50% mortgage (you should be mentioned as the property owner). The Dubai Property Visa can be issued against residential properties purchased in a freehold area (Apartment, Serviced Apartment, Villa, Townhouse) and/or commercial properties (Hotel Room, Hotel Apartment, Office, Warehouse).
You are eligible for a UAE investor visa as long as your total investment is AED 1,000,000 or above in one of a maximum of three properties. If multiple people own the property, everyone can apply for a Dubai investor visa as long as they have a share of AED 1m or above in purchase value.
If the property is owned jointly by husband and wife, both can apply for a UAE investor visa even if the property’s total purchase value of AED 1m is divided between both of them. An attested marriage certificate has to be presented in this case.

What are the types of property visas available in Dubai?

Six Month Multiple Entry Dubai Property Visa: 

This visa costs less and can be obtained quickly. However, you will not be issued an emirates ID, so it is technically similar to a tourist visa. The six-month visa can also be used to facilitate the completion of obtaining a golden residency.

Three Year Dubai Property Visa: The visa is issued for three years tenure and can be renewed before or upon expiry at a nominal cost.

Five Year Dubai Property Visa: If you have invested at least AED 5 million in properties (can be split across three properties) and have no mortgage on any of the properties, you can qualify for a five-year Dubai property visa. Unlike the 10-year visa, you do not need to make additional investments.

This visa is a resident visa which means you or your family members will not be allowed to work on that visa. If you or any of your family member wish to work, the visa status will have to be changed, and the organization which offers the job will have to issue a sponsoring visa.

Ten Year Residency Visa (Golden Visa):

This visa is available to any individual who invests at least AED 10 million into the UAE. It is stipulated that a maximum of 40% of the investment, or AED 4 million, can be in real estate. This may be split across up to three properties to a total value of AED 4 million. The other 60% of the investment must be made in other sectors. A six-month multiple entry visa can be issued for the applicant and used to facilitate obtaining a golden residency. This visa can be extended to facilitate the completion of the process.

UAE Retirement Visa:

This visa offers resident expatriates and foreigners over 55 years of age the opportunity to stay in the emirate even after completing work. can get a long-term residence visa for 5 years with the possibility of renewal if they meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Invest in a property worth AED 2 million.
  • Have financial savings of no less than AED 1 million.
  • Have an active income of no less than AED 20,000 per month.

The Advantages of Having A UAE Residency Visa

  • Being able to spend as much time in Dubai as you like during the visa’s valid period and to come and go as you please.
  • Having access to UAE bank accounts and financial services.
  • Being able to apply for a UAE driving licence.
  • Possible visa-free travel to certain countries.
  • Being able to sponsor your spouse and dependents. If you are successful in obtaining a 10-year residency visa, you can extend your sponsorship to an executive director and one advisor, in addition to your family.
  • Both the 5-year and 10-year visas can be easily renewed, provide you continue to retain your investment.

Dubai’s property market is booming, and this fast-growing city is becoming one of the most desirable places to live in the world. Offering premium quality accommodation at a reasonable price, along with brand new facilities that have been carefully planned and designed to provide the best of everything, it’s particularly popular with young professionals and young families. Here’s our quick guide to buying property in Dubai.

Where to start looking

A villa or apartment in Dubai is a big investment, so you’ll need to choose carefully. Looking at developer’s websites can give you a good idea of what’s available, but nothing beats being ‘on the ground’ and looking at villas and apartments in person.

Ask yourself what kind of property you want – do you want to be in the very heart of the city (for example, at the stunning Emaar Property’s Grande complex in downtown Dubai), or are you looking for a more family-friendly property in a suburban setting such as the ever-popular Ranches development? Is a beachfront property with an uninterrupted sea view an absolute must? If that’s the case, a look at Emaar Beachfront should tick all the right boxes. Or does the thought of being surrounded by green open spaces and the friendly neighbourhoods of Dubai Hills Estate feel more homely?

Dubai’s property boom has been extraordinary and since foreign nationals were given the right to buy property in Dubai, the building bonanza has resulted in some exceptional properties for sale in the UAE.

Take a look at websites, book viewing appointments, and make sure you thoroughly research what’s on offer before you think about putting in an offer.

The legalities of buying a house in Dubai

Having a realtor you can trust is absolutely paramount when you’re buying property in Dubai. They’ll take you through the process step by step, whether you’re buying off-plan, or putting in an offer for an existing villa or apartment.

Anyone of any nationality can buy property in Dubai, as long as those properties are in designated areas as authorised by the Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai. You don’t have to be a fully-fledged resident to buy property, so if you live abroad you can still buy property to rent out or use as a private residence when you’re in the UAE.

Should you consider freehold or leasehold when buying property in Dubai?

As with many other cities around the world, there are two main types of property available – freehold (where you own the property outright) and leasehold (where you buy the lease of a property for a set period of between 30-99 years).

Bear in mind that if you do go for a leasehold (which may be slightly less expensive than freehold properties, especially in the heart of Downtown Dubai), you will have to factor in additional costs such as ground rent, service fees, and maintenance charges.

How long does it take?

Once the Agreement of Sale has been signed, it usually takes around 30 days to complete the transaction, so timeframes are very similar to buying property in other countries such as the UK.

Once you’ve found a property or villa in Dubai that you like, a Memorandum of Understanding is signed, and a deposit is paid (usually around 10%). That gets things moving, and the next stage is for the buyer and seller to meet and apply for a No Objection Certificate so that the property can be sold. The developer will be happy to issue this on payment of a fee, and if they are certain that the buyer has the correct funds to buy the property. So if you do need finance to buy a property in Dubai, make sure you have it in place before you start the process. Otherwise you may be refused the NOC and the sale will fall through.

Once you’ve obtained the NOC, you can then go to the Dubai Land Department and transfer ownership of the property. You will need to pay the purchase price in the form of a manager’s cheque payable to the seller on the transfer date.

Once all that is completed, you’ll be issued a land deed in your name for the property.

Buying property with a mortgage in Dubai

If you’re buying property in Dubai with a mortgage, then the NOC won’t be issued unless your bank or lender has sufficient funds set aside to pay for the property. If you’re buying with a mortgage, the timeline may be slightly longer and more protracted than if you’re doing a straight cash buy.

The cost and fees when buying a house in Dubai

As well as the cost of the property you’re buying, you’ll need to budget for a raft of other fees and charges.

 NOC fees – the cost of the No Objection Certificate is between AED 500-5,000, depending on the value of the property. These are usually paid by the seller to the developer. You may also be subject to an additional charge from the developer, but this is a refundable deposit which is repaid once you present the new title deeds and they update their records.

 Estate Agent’s commission – this is usually around 2% of the purchase price

 Transfer fees – approximately 4% of the purchase price, and an additional fee of not more than AED5,000 payable to the Dubai Land Department.

 Mortgage Registration Fees – If you are buying with a mortgage then you may be subject to mortgage registration fees at a rate of 0.25% of the loan amount, again, paid to the Dubai Land Department.

You’ll also have to pay your annual service charge to the developer in advance.

Where are the top spots for buying property in Dubai?

Downtown Dubai has countless developments offering high-quality apartments just minutes from the very centre of the city. Apartments in the Emaar Forte block are highly sought after, and command a premium price, while the Harbour Views tower development at Dubai Creek Harbour offers real luxury and the very best in modern city living.

The Emaar Ranches development has large family homes in safe, comfortable communities with plenty of amenities and wide open spaces, perfect for young families who want a more secluded and peaceful environment.

Apartments at BLVD Heights in Downtown Dubai offer larger city apartments, or the low-rise Park Point at Dubai Hills Estates is an interesting alternative to high-rise living in the centre of Dubai.

To view all properties available within our communities section, click here.


At the Arabian Ranches Gated Community in Dubai, you’ll find desirable homes, perfectly maintained gardens and a warm, communal welcome. You’ll discover a community that lives together, plays together, and enjoys some of the very best luxuries in the heart of Dubai. This oasis of tranquillity is a unique location where absolutely no compromise has been made on the quality of the homes, the surroundings or the facilities.

The homes

Set in over 1,650 acres, the luxury properties range from smart, modern townhouses that take their architectural cue from traditional Arabic and Spanish themes. Every property is unique, built to high specifications and is surrounded by beautifully designed gardens, giving each resident their own space. The inside generous living space is ideal for families, while balconies and private terraces overlook a golf course with stunning views.

Why choose a gated community?

Life in a gated community offers a high degree of privacy and protection for your family and your home. It also creates a unique and very intimate atmosphere, where everyone gets to know their neighbour, whilst still enjoying their personal space. You’ll never feel isolated in a gated community – it’s a warm and welcoming environment where everyone works together to build an extraordinary location.

A true community feel

Within the confines of the community is its very own town centre with elegant retail outlets, premium quality restaurants and all the infrastructure families could want, including healthcare and schooling.

A haven for golf lovers

Arabian Ranch isn’t just a living community – it also offers one of the best golf courses in the Emirate. Arabian Ranches Golf Club has a challenging, 18-hole course designed by Ian Baker-Finch in association with Nicklaus Design. The course makes the most of the desert terrain. The result is a difficult but playable course that will stretch seasoned golfers’ abilities and allow those new to the sport to learn their game at one of the most innovative and beautifully designed courses in the world.

The Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, situated just next to the Arabian Ranches, offers a premium experience for horse lovers. This purpose-built establishment set in 68 acres of spectacular desert landscape holds top-level polo matches as well as equestrian events, showjumping and dressage. Ride outs take you into the heart of the desert for an unforgettable experience.

The Hacienda-style clubhouse is the epitome of luxury, offering banqueting facilities for personal or business use, making it a unique location for a conference or wedding.

Cycle and run in peace

Criss-crossing Arabian Ranches is a network of cycle routes and pathways that are perfect for runners, joggers and those who want to take a little time out to relax. Communal open spaces and parkland give the entire community somewhere to come together and enjoy being out in the fresh air. There are plenty of social events and gatherings all year round to enhance that community spirit.

New developments

Arabian Ranches has proved to be so popular that new developments like Arabian Ranches II are being planned, presenting an ideal investment opportunity.