Dubai Real Estate Market FAQs

To help you better understand the property investment opportunities in Dubai, please review answers to our most frequently asked questions.

Can foreigners finance property investments in Dubai?

Yes. Many major banking institutions within Dubai offer competitive mortgage lending for on- and off-plan properties. Additionally, international mortgages for Dubai property are also available.

What UAE banks offer off-plan loans?

At this time, the following banks offer off-plan loans: HSBC, Amlak, Dubai Islamic Bank, Rak Bank, Mashreq Bank, and Tamweel.

Are mortgages different in Dubai than other places?

Yes. The mortgage market in Dubai is very interesting. For example, lenders do not always offer mortgages on all properties. If you are considering financing, it’s extremely important to make sure you understand which lenders will finance which properties. At Valoran, our team of trained professionals can help you navigate this often-confusing process with ease.

Are pre-approved mortgages available?

Yes. The Dubai property market is enjoying rapid growth. For investors, this means it’s very important to have a pre-approved mortgage prior to putting in offers. Most lenders will establish a set lending limit before you locate a property. As a full-service brokerage, we can help you with every step of the buying experience.

Is there a limit to what I can borrow?

Yes. On average, resident expatriates can typically expect to be able to borrow between 70% and 80% of the purchase price. Non-resident expatriates are typically granted a lower range (e.g., between 60-70%). However, in the end, each lender will have different lending guidelines based upon your unique situation and the on- or off-plan property project you are looking to invest in.

Do lenders require mortgage insurance?

Usually. As in other countries, you will find most lenders require your loan to be protected. In the event of an untimely death, a well-structured insurance policy will allow your loan to be paid in full. Our brokerage division can help you understand and secure the best plans and policies for your situation.

Do I have to pay a transfer fee?

Yes. If you transfer ownership of your property to another entity, you will pay a nominal fee. This administrative fee is assessed by the primary developer of the property.

If I buy property do I receive a residency visa, too?

Maybe. Work and residency visas are not always linked to property ownership. In many instances, they are, but you need to make sure your contract and all traditional immigration regulations are satisfied. We would be happy to help you better understand your unique circumstances and whether you are eligible.

If I am a foreign investor, am I required to pay property tax on my holdings in my country of residency?

Maybe. Many countries do require investors to be taxed on their foreign property holdings. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Contact us to determine what your country of residence requires and to let us help you think of creative ways to make sure you are maximizing your investment potential.

What is “freehold ownership”?

Freehold ownership allows expatriate residents and foreigners to purchase, register, and own property in designated areas in their own name and be granted fully-transferable property rights. This is in contrast to earlier regulations that allowed leasehold ownership – wherein expatriates could rent or own property on a for a period of 99 years, but not maintain full property rights or transferability.

Does freehold ownership mean I can do anything I want with my property?

No. Even with freehold ownership, property owners are still must obey all local and private rules, restrictions and regulations. These could include covenants, easements, building codes, and so on. At Valoran, we can help you understand what rights and limitations are available with every property you review.

Should I use a realtor?

Yes. While this is a person choice, we highly recommend taking advantage of a trained professional to help you make your way through the Dubai investment process. At Valoran, we specialize in helping buyers navigate this unique market to make sure you make the best choices for your personal and financial goals. Our mission is to create a highly-personalized relationship with you and to be your “one-stop shop” for all your real estate transactions.

Does Dubai assess capital gains tax?

No. At this time, Dubai does not assess personal, withholding, or capital gains taxes

Do I need to open an offshore company if I want to invest in Dubai?

No. There are a number of excellent benefits of utilizing an offshore company, but it is not required by any means to have one to own property. From tax benefits to maximizing your property earnings, it is worthwhile to consider opening an offshore company. Our team of financial experts would be glad to help you think through your options.

Can I rent my investment property?

Yes. Post-2011, the rental market continues to strengthen. Some regions of Dubai are rebounding more quickly than others. So, it is important to know what your financial goals are with before purchasing. Because we specialize in the Dubai Marina, JLT, Business Bay, Downtown, Emirates Living, and Palm Jumeirah, you can feel confident that you’re getting the best insights in the area’s top locations.

Have more questions? We invite you to contact us to discuss your unique needs Click here to contact us


Your Lifestyle Broker

check our Magazine