A guide to buying a property in Dubai step by step

The process of buying property in Dubai involves several stages and financial and legal procedures. This article provides a detailed guide for buying property in Dubai.

A guide to buying a property in Dubai step by step
2023-02-22 Last update 2023-03-13

A guide to buying a property in Dubai step by step

Is It a Good Idea to Buy a Property in Dubai?

Dubai is a popular destination for real estate investment due to its strong economic growth, strategic location, and modern infrastructure. The city is home to a large expatriate population, which creates a high demand for housing and contributes to the stability of the real estate market.

There are several benefits of investing in Dubai real estate, including

  1. Dubai has world-class infrastructure, including modern transportation systems, high-speed internet, and state-of-the-art facilities. This attracts businesses and investors who are looking for a modern and efficient environment to operate.
  2. Dubai has a strong and diversified economy, driven by a robust tourism industry, international trade, and financial services. This creates a stable and growing real estate market, with steady demand for residential and commercial properties.
  3. Dubai is one of the safest cities in the world, with low crime rates and a strong focus on public safety. This creates a secure and peaceful environment for residents and tenants, which is an important factor for many people when choosing where to live.
  4. Dubai is a melting pot of cultures, with a diverse population made up of people from all over the world. This creates a vibrant and multicultural community, with a wide range of cultural events, festivals, and activities taking place throughout the year.

It is important to note that investing in any real estate market comes with risks, and it is important to conduct thorough research and seek professional advice before making any investment decisions.

properties in Dubai
benefits of investing in Dubai real estate

Can Foreigners Buy a Property in Dubai?

Yes, foreigners can buy property in Dubai. Foreigners are able to purchase properties for either business or residential use. To use the property for business reasons as a foreigner, all you need to do is make sure you have the required paperwork, such as an active trade license. In fact, Dubai has become a popular destination for foreign real estate investors, with many international buyers purchasing properties in the city's real estate market.

Check out our article about Buying A Property In Dubai As Foreigners.

The Law for Buying Property in Dubai

The laws and regulations for buying property in Dubai are governed by the Dubai Land Department (DLD) and the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA), which are both parts of the Dubai government. Here are some of the key legal aspects to consider when buying property in Dubai:

The Real Estate Law No. 7 of 2006: Land Registration Law governs the legal facets of purchasing property in Dubai.

Who may purchase and possess real estate in Dubai is outlined in Article (4) of Law No. 7 of 2006. The following individuals are eligible to buy real estate in Dubai, per the law:

  • UAE national
  • GCC national

Foreigners are only permitted to purchase homes under the same statute in regions designated for such ownership. In Dubai, there are various types of property ownership available, including freehold and leasehold. The fundamental distinction between freehold and leasehold property ownership in Dubai is buyer rights.

It is recommended that potential buyers seek professional advice from a real estate lawyer or a reputable real estate agent before making any investment decisions in Dubai's real estate market.

The law for buying property in Dubai
seek professional advice from a real estate lawyer or a reputable real estate agent

What Types of Property Can a Foreigner Buy in Dubai?

Foreigners can buy several types of property in Dubai, subject to certain restrictions and conditions. In 2002, the Dubai government introduced new regulations for buying and owning real estate, bringing about significant changes. They permitted them to purchase only the properties listed below, both freehold and leasehold:

Here are the most common types of properties that foreigners can buy in Dubai:


The owner has full power to acquire, lease, or invest in the building or the surrounding area. In the freehold region authorized by the DLD, foreign nationals, and residents can purchase freehold homes in Dubai (Dubai Land Department).

Freehold properties in Dubai include apartments, villas, townhouses, and commercial spaces. These properties offer full ownership rights to the buyer, allowing them to use, sell or rent the property as they wish. Foreign buyers can purchase freehold properties in Dubai on a cash basis or through financing options such as mortgages.


Dubai Leasehold Properties refer to properties that can be owned by foreigners on a leasehold basis, as opposed to freehold ownership. Leasehold properties are typically located in areas of Dubai that are designated for leasehold ownership, such as Dubai Investments Park and International City.

Leasehold properties in Dubai include residential and commercial properties, such as apartments, villas, townhouses, offices, and retail spaces. These properties are often more affordable than freehold properties and offer a range of investment opportunities.

Areas of Dubai Where Foreigners Are Allowed to Buy a Property

Every year, the DLD updates the freehold areas, these are some of the places to buy property in Dubai:

  • Palm Jumeirah
  • Downtown Dubai
  • Burj Khalifa
  • Dubai Marina
  • Emirates Hills
  • Barsha Heights
  • Blue Water Island
  • Business Bay

Step-By-Step Process of Buying a Property in Dubai

Here is a general step-by-step process for buying a property in Dubai:

  • Formulate the contract between the buyer and the seller

The first step after discovering the ideal property on Bayut or another property portal is to speak with the seller and discuss the conditions of the transaction. You have two choices when buying real estate in Dubai and the UAE: pay cash or apply for a mortgage. The biggest advantage of paying cash instead of getting a mortgage may be the flexibility to bargain. Cash buyers might haggle for a cheaper price because they are more aware of their budget.

  • Sign the agreement of sale

If you decide to proceed with the purchase, you will be required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the seller, which outlines the terms and conditions of the sale, including the purchase price, payment schedule, and completion date.

Signing the selling agreement, sometimes referred to as the Memorandum of Understanding, is the second required legal action when purchasing real estate in Dubai (MOU). One of the RERA real estate forms in Dubai is the MOU or Form F. On the Dubai Land Department's official website, you may find Form/Contract F. The real estate agent will typically prepare the contract for you.

  • Apply for a no objection certificate

You will need to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Dubai Land Department to ensure there are no outstanding debts or legal issues associated with the property. Once the NOC is obtained, you and the seller will sign the Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA), which legally transfers ownership of the property to you.

  • Transfer ownership with DLD

The final step in legally purchasing a home in Dubai is to meet the seller at the office of the Dubai Land Department so that the transfer can take place after you've received the NOC.

When visiting the DLD office, make sure you have the following paperwork ready in order for the property transfer to go through

  1. A manager's check is payable to the seller for the purchase price of the property
  2. The buyer's and seller's original identity documents (Emirates ID, passport)
  3. The developer's initial NOC was provided by
  4. Contract F was signed (MOU)
Step-by-step process of buying a property in Dubai
Transfer of ownership

The Costs of Buying a Property in Dubai

When buying a property in Dubai, there are several costs involved in addition to the purchase price. Here are some of the common costs associated with buying a property in Dubai:

Costs Associated With Purchasing a Property for Sale in Dubai

Although its tax-free status is one of the main draws for investing in Dubai real estate. Yet, there are some expenses involved in purchasing a house in Dubai. Look at the following chart, which will give you a realistic idea of related fees and expenditures and assist you in creating a budget.

Fee / Tax in AED
Land Registry Tax
4% of property value plus AED 540
Registration charges for properties up to AED 500,000 in value
Registration charges for properties above AED 500,000 in value
Real estate agent’s fee
Around 2% of property value
Valuation fees
2,500 to 3,500
Oqood Contract Fee (if purchasing from a developer)
4% of property value
Conveyance Fees
6,000 to 10,000

It is important to factor in these additional costs when budgeting for a property purchase in Dubai, as they can significantly impact the overall cost of the transaction. It is recommended that you seek professional advice and guidance from a reputable real estate agent or lawyer to fully understand the costs associated with buying a property in Dubai.

Imtilak Golden's Advice Before Buying a Property in Dubai

It's crucial to conduct market and property-specific research before purchasing real estate in Dubai. Make sure the title deeds to the property are in order by looking into them. A lawyer can assist you with navigating the legal system and ensuring that your purchase is made in a morally and legally responsible manner.

Things to Avoid Before Buying a Broperty in Dubai

When buying a property in Dubai, there are several things that you should avoid in order to ensure a smooth and successful transaction. Here are some of the things to avoid:

  • Not understanding the legal requirements: The process of buying a property in Dubai can be complex, so it is important to seek professional advice and guidance to ensure you understand the legal requirements and processes involved.
  • Rushing into a purchase: It is important to take the time to research the market and potential properties to ensure you make an informed decision. Avoid rushing into a purchase without conducting proper due diligence.
  • Not working with a reputable real estate agent: Working with a reputable real estate agent or broker can help you navigate the complex process of buying a property in Dubai and ensure a successful transaction.

Imtilak Golden Helps You to Buy the Property Step By Step

At Imtilak Golden, we strive to help our clients secure successful deals when buying properties in the UAE. With our experienced work team and lawyers, we provide complete services that reduce the burden of bureaucracy and paperwork involved in buying and selling in the real estate market.

Edited by Imtilak Golden ©

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