All about buying an apartment in Dubai: the guide to buying well

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All about buying an apartment in Dubai: the guide to buying well

Are you dreaming of a first purchase, or a profitable investment in Dubai? But you have absolutely no idea where to start your search? What do you need to know so you don’t have to be there? Then we have the solution to your problems! We have concocted the beginner’s guide to buying a dream apartment in the United Arab Emirates, and more specifically in Dubai. Indeed, investing or making a purchase in real estate is not something we do frequently, especially when we are far from the country in question, and we must admit that Dubai is a few kilometers from our France.

Embarking on a first purchase on the other side of the world can involve certain risks, it is for this reason that you must be sure to master all the particularities and characteristics of the Dubai real estate market. You may think that becoming a property owner in France remains simpler than in Dubai, but it is not so: indeed, the financial market of the United Arab Emirates is slightly more unstable than that of the old continent, but that does not represent no risk for your future investments. You have probably noticed that many French people decide to invest in Dubai in an apartment, a townhouse or a villa, and that is not trivial, the advantages and benefits are incredible!

When we decided to write this guide to the first purchase of an apartment in Dubai, our objective was simple: you give all the keys to becoming a happy and serene investor and owner! We will explain to you why it is so interesting to invest in an apartment in Dubai and what are the steps to access it. What mistakes should you watch out for? Or how to make sure you have obtained the best financing plan for the apartment of your dreams? A life of luxury awaits you and it’s up to you to enjoy it.

Why is Dubai so dreamy?

Contrary to popular belief, it is Abu Dhabi, and not Dubai, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, and it too has become the most visited city by tourists from all over the world! You have surely not missed its gigantic constructions such as the Burj Khalifa, over 800 meters high! Its communities and neighborhoods have also contributed to its international fame. To name a few, the well-known Marina Bay and the Palm Jumeirah, the first artificial island built on the planet! All these high-tech jewels attract wealthy investors and families looking for a rental in Dubai.

And new residents do not flock by the thousand by chance, the price per square meter in Dubai defies all competition. It is on average 2,000 euros per square meter, and if you compare it to other major cities in the world, you will easily see that the gap is huge. In London, you will get an apartment for 15,000 euros per square meter, or in Paris, prices are around 10,000 euros per square meter! You easily understand that investing in Dubai is much more accessible than in the rest of the world, especially since here the conveniences and comfort of the apartments have nothing to do with what you will see elsewhere: in Dubai, you have a luxury apartment!

We’ll walk you through all the tricks of the perfect investment in Dubai, and you’ll find it’s an opportunity you can’t turn down. Whether you just want to invest for high rental returns or want to become a permanent resident, Dubai is where it all happens! A very advantageous tax system and a stunning climate of sunshine! We are fully aware that buying an apartment is an investment of several years or a lifetime, and that is why we want to make sure that you have all the information you need for this great project, the Dubai market. being in perpetual evolution and its legislation is not the same as in France.

1. Clearly identify your purchasing criteria

It is very important that you define your selection criteria as well as possible before making the decision to invest in an apartment in Dubai! First of all, do you want to buy to make it a main or secondary residence, or do you opt for a property dedicated to investment? The purchase procedures being specific according to your choice, you will have to detail all this during your first exchange with the real estate agents of The Dubai Life.

The real estate profile of Dubai

Dubai has become in a few years the flagship financial market place of the United Arab Emirates, it is here that everything happens, this is how expatriates from all over the world have chosen to put their suitcases there. We really saw this change when the prices of properties and apartments fell drastically, and the communities of Dubai multiplied and evolved.

For a long time, expatriate workers could not afford to buy housing in Dubai as there were few properties for sale and the prices were excessively expensive. This time is over since the constructions of real estate developers are linked! The vast majority of employees can now access property in Dubai. At the same time, the financial capital of the United Arab Emirates has become the 4th city in the world, which attracts the most foreign tourists, and investors have therefore ceased to buy new real estate.

But why do they all come to Dubai? The answer is very simple: here, the returns on investment are very advantageous! The Dubai real estate market stands out from the rest of the world thanks to its many advantages: simplified and transparent procedures, the fact that there is no kind of tax, its extraordinary rental yield, incomparable financing plans, etc.

Define your purchase project

When you have made your choice between the rental investment or the personal purchase of an apartment, we will ask you to ask yourself the following questions so that we can better define your purchase project:

– How many bedrooms do you want in your apartment? Knowing that in Dubai, you will have the choice between 1, 2, 3 or 4 bedrooms in the vast majority of cases.
– Would you like an apartment already built, or would you prefer that we find accommodation off plan with our various property developers?
– Have you already chosen which community in Dubai you want to live in? If this is not the case, we will be happy to show you all the wonderful neighborhoods of our country.
– What budget will you allocate to this investment? Will you need to take out a loan from a Dubai bank? Or do you use a financing plan?
– When are you going to buy this apartment? From now, in 6 months, or in 1 year? It is important for us to know that the real estate market in Dubai is changing rapidly.

2. Define your budget and find a corresponding property

The investment you are about to make is probably that of a lifetime, or at least of its next few years, which is why we must ensure that your projected financing is reliable and balanced. This is how we can guarantee that you are able to bear the costs that would result from the purchase of this apartment. During the days and months to come, you will have to put all your energy into this search for an apartment, and think about only that. To absolutely find the apartment of your dreams, which meets all your expectations and criteria, you must have listed all of this yourself! We will of course be present at every moment of this process to support and assist you.

You should know that the best apartments for sale do not stay on the market very long, to succeed in negotiating the best opportunity, we will have to act quickly and position ourselves very quickly! This is also why we ask you to organize your financial plan well in advance, so as not to miss a good opportunity.

Monthly installments of a financing plan

As a general rule, and this is the case for any real estate purchase, whatever the country chosen, we advise you to have a monthly reimbursement that does not exceed 25 or 30% of your salary. This is how we can ensure that you will be perfectly able to repay your bank loan without causing you any financial worries. We will take care with you of the constitution of this file with the Dubai banking establishments if you wish. Also think about all the fees and charges that may be added to your bank loan, they may be different depending on the property developer you choose.

To make sure you find in time, the apartment that suits you best in Dubai, the nugget that you should not miss, you will need to have put together a solid, reliable and achievable financial plan! This is the guarantee of avoiding significant loss of time, and time is money.

Our support

Our goal, at The Dubai Life, is obviously to find the apartment that will fulfill all your desires, both in terms of its architecture and its luxurious amenities. But while the outward appearance of this apartment is important, we must not forget your ability to repay! Our professional real estate agents, as well as all our teams, will help you plan all your steps, in order to ensure that you do not encounter any pitfalls or inconveniences. The importance of taking into account all the costs and additional charges is above all so that you are perfectly aware of all that you will have to reimburse! That way, there are no surprises or worries!

3. The choice of your property

Even if the reason why you want to invest is important, the criteria you expect from your future apartment are just as important! Here too, you will have to think about it, draw up a list so that we select exactly what you expect. For some of our buyers, the choice between a house and an apartment is not always obvious, but if you have arrived at this guide to buying an apartment, it means that for you the choice is clear, it will be so a wonderful apartment in Dubai!

Area and services

You can start by asking yourself how many bedrooms you need, as well as an ideal number of living spaces. Do you want a balcony, or a personal swimming pool? In Dubai, you can never dream too big, absolutely everything is possible!

The majority of new developments by real estate developers are in large, ultra-secure complexes, with security guards and video surveillance cameras in support. Depending on the level of services you choose, note that you can have access to a 24-hour concierge, a valet service, a club house, children’s clubs and even a crèche! Here, the staff is there to take care of you from morning to night, and can manage all the hassles of everyday life for you. Of course, all of these accommodations are equipped with air conditioning and state-of-the-art equipment.

The luxury of Dubai

But Dubai is also about gigantism! Pharaonic and luxurious real estate structures that you will never see elsewhere. We can almost assure you that the residence, in which your apartment will be located, will be equipped with one or more swimming pools! Lagoons, infinity pools, wellness complexes with hammam, sauna and spa, tennis courts, gyms are commonplace in Dubai. Everything you want is now at your fingertips.

In addition to all these great amenities and services, you will find near your residence or community, shopping centers, restaurants and cafes, international schools, private clinics. Here everything has been thought out to make your life easier and that you never want to leave Dubai again.

4. But where to put your suitcases? Which neighborhood suits you best?

Now you have to ask yourself where you would like to live in Dubai, and the choice is vast. Depending on your needs, your way of life, you don’t aspire to live in the same place and that’s completely normal. We are fully aware that it is difficult to imagine a neighborhood until you have set foot in it, which is why we have selected some of the most popular communities in Dubai !

We submit our list of the most attractive neighborhoods in Dubai to you, but be aware that this ranking is not a Top 10, the choice of your neighborhood will be made mainly according to your criteria and the budget you wish to allocate to your apartment. Let’s go for a complete visit of the main districts of the Dubai capital.

Most Sought After: Downtown Dubai

The Burj Khalifa, 808 meters high, and the Dubai Mall, a huge shopping center, have largely contributed to the world fame of Dubai Downtown! This is a neighborhood where you can live your best life!

By choosing Dubai Downtown for the purchase of your apartment, you will be close to highly sought-after areas such as the Dubai International Financial Center and the Business Bay! You have easy access to the Sheikh Zayed Road, which gives you quick access to the highway and you avoid hours of traffic jams.

For nightlife lovers

You can stroll around the promenades along Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, the avenues of which are lined with restaurants on either side. You cannot miss the Dubai Opera, a place of entertainment par excellence where you will attend concerts, plays and shows of all kinds. This is the district to live the night, the palm trees shine with a thousand lights and the nightlife is queen!

Know that Downtown Dubai has its own public transport network, and it’s called the Dubai Trolley! First tram that runs on hydrogen, a gem of technology, and it will save you a certain amount of time by avoiding you having to use your car.

Some would say it’s the best neighborhood in Dubai, but it mostly depends on the life you want to lead. For a family life, relaxing, we will not recommend Downtown Dubai. Its architectural style is enamored of modernity and tradition.


This district has a great reputation for its magnificent buildings, but prices are high. For a studio, be aware that you will have to pay at least 1,500,000 AED, and for a 3-bedroom, the prices go up to at least 3,000,000 AED.

Jumeirah Village Circle

Jumeirah Village Circle is one of Dubai’s most desirable areas. This community will see the light of day in 2055, and since then it has been one of the most contemporary and renowned in the country. JVC has many advantages, including its self-sufficiency and its ideal location in Dubai.

Jumeirah Village Circle is 15 minutes walk from the first beaches, major tourist areas and many restaurants. By choosing JVC as your neighborhood for your investment, you ensure that you are close to places like the Palm Jumeirah, Marina Bay and JBR. If you are a fan of shopping, you can stroll on foot to the Marina Mall, the Dubai World or the Mall of Emirates. For golf enthusiasts, there are numerous driving ranges adjacent to JVC.

Attractive prices

Despite its central geographical position, Jumeirah Village Circle remains very affordable financially for most of our buyers. Compared to other popular communities in Dubai, JVC still remains accessible and its apartments remain much cheaper. And we are certain that you will find an apartment that will fulfill all your desires at JVC, especially if you are one of our young buyers.


If we had to retain only one advantage of life at JVC, it would of course be its self-sufficiency! If you put your suitcases here, you will no longer need to use your car for your daily trips: supermarkets, schools, wellness centers, swimming pools are in direct proximity. In the majority of cases, all these amenities will even be found within your residence!

Ideal family life

It is also the ideal place for family life! JVC was built outside the turpitudes of the city center, and you can flourish there with your loved ones. Schools, hospitals and nurseries are there to support you on a daily basis. To complete your installation within the community of Jumeirah Village Circle, you will have access to hundreds of amenities such as playgrounds, parks, recreation centers, walking and cycling paths!

The unmissable Business Bay

It is the lively district par excellence, and to take nothing away from its presence, it is located very close to the Sheikh Zayed Road and one of the capital’s latest attractions, the Dubai Water Canal: a route that allows you to sail between old Dubai and the Persian Gulf, all 3.2 km long!

In the heart of the Downtown area, which is still considered downtown Dubai, Business bay is as much a business district as a typical residential area. Business Bay has developed at breakneck speed in recent years, its population has increased by 200%, and its incredible marina is not for nothing. Its infrastructure is constantly improving, and the quality of the apartments sold there is excellent! Like The Residence Dorchester Collection which has the most expensive building in Dubai!

Once comfortably settled in your new apartment, you will be able to easily reach Downtown on foot, or in less than 5 minutes by car! No more endless hours in traffic jams, everything is right next to you. Investing in the Business Ba community guarantees you to invest your money in the Dubai that pays off! You will find countless apartments that represent great opportunities.

Dubailand, a giant leisure complex

Dubailand may be the ideal area for your first apartment purchase in the country, if what you are looking for is multiplicity of leisure activities, an enriching environment, and greenery! Everything has been thought out for a fulfilling family life, far from the hustle and bustle of the city center!

This area is made up of many colossal amusement parks, but also commercial areas, restaurants, and hospitals: here, you won’t miss anything! Dubailand being in constant construction, its development seems infinite, betting on investment in an apartment in this district seems to be an excellent bet on the future!


The Townsquare district will offer you one of the rare opportunities to live in one of the most pleasant communities in Dubai! Its accommodations are new, of high standing and its development is constant.

The whole area is bordered by private parks, lush nature and all the apartments are built in rows to guarantee you very spacious accommodation. All these private walkways lead you to your future apartments, built with different styles, sizes and prices.

This is the perfect neighborhood for families! In Townsquare, you will find modernly landscaped public gardens, dozens of local shops, leisure and restaurants. Here, we promise you the life you’ve always dreamed of, luxury and comfort as a bonus, everything is at your fingertips. 154,000 square meters are just waiting for your children, 16 intra-community gardens, hundreds of walking paths, all in the heart of the city, it’s breathtakingly beautiful! You will benefit, in Townsquare, from a residential life at attractive prices.

Dubai South, a new district

Do you dream of an apartment delivered off plan with incredible finishes? It is in Dubai South that you should definitely invest! This community is 145 square kilometers large, located in the South of Dubai, it is an ever-expanding area, making it a prime location for your next investment.

Dubai South comprises six districts that surround AL Maktoum International Airport. You will find gigantic real estate construction projects there where you will surely find the luxury apartment you have been dreaming of for so long.

Always with a view to improving your living conditions, it is in Dubai South that a new metro line has been launched: you can go to all the other districts of Dubai in a very short time, and you so you can say goodbye to your car!

The Dubai Marina

Another favorite area for permanent residents and tourists in Dubai is the Dubai Marina. Facing the Persian Gulf and the sea, you will be able to access the beaches of JBR in no time: the sun, the fine sand, all year round!

It is without a doubt, one of the most pleasant communities to live in the Emirate, and where you will have the leisure to be able to do everything on foot, and we are convinced that this is what you are looking for. The shops, restaurants and bars are legion, and there is something for all budgets, it is a cosmopolitan district par excellence.

In addition to its hotel and residential area, the Dubai Marina community has one of the largest shopping centers in the country, the Dubai Mall, and very important financial centers. You can easily get to the Palm Jumeirah or Downtown Bay via the very fluid public transport network in this part of the city.

5. Why choose your real estate agent well?

We have reviewed your geographical preferences, we have also targeted your expectations and your needs, it is now time to choose the real estate agency and its agents, who will accompany you in all the steps of your next apartment purchase.

Our agency The Dubaï Life

The specificity of the real estate market in Dubai requires that you be properly supervised in your search for accommodation. Our Dubai Life agency, as well as our experienced real estate agents, will be at your entire disposal throughout your purchase process! We won the Top Broker 2021 award this year!

Know that all our employees are multilingual, speaking French as well as English or Arabic, we are able to support you in all languages. In addition, the Dubai real estate market being strictly supervised and regulated, be aware that all our real estate agents hold the RERA license.

If you want to carry out your project of buying or investing in an apartment in Dubai, it is essential that you use a reputable real estate agency, and what better than The Dubai Life. Working with us guarantees that you will have people at your side who know the real estate forecasts for the coming months and the particularities of our real estate market. This is how you will definitely get the apartment of your dreams without any unpleasant surprises!

Moreover, if you are in the perspective of guaranteeing yourself high rental yields, it is important to surround yourself with efficient real estate agents, who will be able to manage your rentals in the country for you.

6. Obtaining your residence visa

In Dubai, the government gives you access to residence visas in case of buying real estate in the country. It is thanks to this precious sesame that you will be able to settle permanently with your family. The legislation is very lenient and the financial aspect is particularly advantageous.

To obtain a residence visa, you will need to invest in an apartment worth at least AED 750,000, or €225,000. Even at this price, you will find apartments of very high standard in Dubai!

Types of visas and formalities

So, to summarize, by investing in real estate in the United Arab Emirates, you have the possibility of obtaining a residence visa for up to 5 years renewable according to the value of your property. It is however possible to invest in real estate in Dubai with another visa (such as the work visa or the Investor Visa).

In order to obtain your visa, you will need to prepare a whole series of documents, we have listed them for you:
– The title deed of the property
– Your valid passport
– A copy of the UAE entry visa stamp
– 6 passport photos
– A certificate of good conduct, which will be issued to you by the Dubai Police
– Your last 6 bank statements
– Health insurance and proof of address

Once all these documents are in place, the procedure for obtaining your visa is extremely simple! All you have to do is go to the General Department of Foreign Affairs to claim your residence visa in order to finally put your suitcases in your new apartment! When the authorities have validated your application, you can start sponsoring your family members, so that they too can live in Dubai.

7. Opening your bank account in Dubai

Dubai is the hottest destination for buyers around the world, so we couldn’t miss a tutorial on why having a bank account and how to open one. It is really essential to guarantee you reassuring financial investments from a distance! Dubai’s real estate market has been so attractive and lucrative in recent years that banking institutions have had to upgrade: you can now very easily find a bank in Dubai as an expatriate!

In order to validate your final financial transaction, you will, in the vast majority of cases, be required to provide a manager’s check at the same time as the transfer of your capital. It is for this reason that it is almost impossible to bypass the opening of an account in Dubai, especially since the administrative procedures are extremely simple, so why deprive yourself of it?

Open your bank account in Dubai

Whether you are a permanent resident or a non-resident, you have the right to own a bank account in Dubai. The only thing that changes for people without a Dubai residency visa is that they are not allowed to have a checking account in the country. Otherwise, in all cases, a classic bank account is accessible.

In the same case, that is to say for non-residents, you will not have the right to have a checkbook when you open your bank account. On the other hand, there is no contraindication for obtaining a debit card, the authorized threshold of withdrawal balances may vary.

You easily understand that it is preferable to begin these banking procedures once your residence visa has been issued to you by the authorities; thus, you will be able to benefit from all the advantages that Dubai banks have to offer you.

Although we strongly recommend that you open a bank account, be aware that it is possible to do without it, in the sense that it is not mandatory to become the owner of your apartment. However, note that this will help you a lot in your rental management or during your transfer of ownership.

The documents needed to open your bank account

Now that you have made the decision to open a bank account in your new host country, you need to prepare some supporting documents that you will need to present to your banking establishment: A copy of your valid passport and the stamp of entry into the territory of the UAE, your up-to-date CV, a letter of recommendation from your banker and your last 6 bank statements.

8. What are the financing plans in Dubai?

As we explained to you previously, it will be difficult for you to borrow money from a French bank in Dubai if you are a non-resident. It is for this same reason that our real estate agency, The Dubai Life, negotiates financing plans directly with property developers. Thanks to this method of purchase, you can completely bypass the banking system.

The payment facilities, otherwise known as payment plans, that we negotiate for you, ensure that you can repay your apartment without difficulty. In Dubai, this type of investment is normalized, you will be able to access property without any difficulty. In the vast majority of cases, the contracts allow you to repay more than half of the total amount of your investment years after the keys have been handed over. The staggering can go up to 12 years. You can thus become an owner without having too much starting capital.

Payment Plan Examples

Know that all our payment plans are guaranteed without any commission, and without interest! The apartment of your dreams, displayed at 1,250,000 AED on our site, will cost you nothing more.

For example, a payment plan at developer Ellington Properties for Harrington House, a €150,000 apartment, would need to be settled as follows:
– 15% to be paid when booking the apartment
-35% to be paid during construction, then 50% when the keys are handed over.

Another example, for an apartment in the residence of Wilton Park, in the district of Meydan, at the price of 1,000,000 AED, with the following financing plan:
– 30% during construction
– 70% upon handing over the keys

And as all real estate procedures in Dubai are made to make your life easier, be aware that no proof or document will be requested from you by real estate developers. Indeed, in Dubai, we consider that if you are able to pay 20% down payment at the signing of the transfer of ownership, including notary fees, it means that you are able to assume full payment. of this transaction.

To conclude

You are now equipped to understand the Dubai real estate market, and you will find, we are sure, the apartment of your dreams. The inaccessible, the dream, the luxury, are at your fingertips! Our teams, as well as all our real estate agents, are at your entire disposal for any search for apartments. Do not hesitate to contact us for any pre-selection of accommodation, we will produce a complete listing of the apartments corresponding to all your expectations! Do not forget all the advice we have given you in order to be the most effective in your research, this is how we will find you the opportunity of your dreams!

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