How to buy a house in Dubai?
Buying or investing in real estate is not always easy, especially when you are very far from the country in question. And for good reason, it is true that Dubai is not in direct proximity to France! Committing to the purchase of a villa abroad can involve some risks, which is why you must make sure, before you start, that you know all the specifics of this new financial market!
Acquiring real estate in France is probably easier, because the standards have been recognized for a long time, and the financial market is stationary there. But Dubai and the United Arab Emirates are countries in the Middle East where the rules are not quite the same as in Asia, the United States or Europe. However, you must have noticed that more and more foreigners are choosing Dubai as a destination to invest in real estate, whether for the purchase of a house or an apartment. And the reason for this is simple: the benefits and advantages are very numerous.
The real estate market in Dubai
Our ambition, through the writing of this first time buyer’s guide to Dubai, is to ensure that you have all the keys to success! We would like to detail why it is highly interesting to invest in a house in Dubai, and what are the methods to achieve this. What are the pitfalls that you will have to avoid, or what is the best financing plan to acquire the house of your dreams at a lower cost?
Dubai is certainly the city of all superlatives, of all excesses, high-end and luxury are within everyone’s reach, and you can be part of it, it’s up to you.
Contrary to popular belief, Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates, and Dubai is the city most visited by tourists from all over the world. It has become essential thanks to its pharaonic constructions, you must surely know the Burj Khalifa? The tallest skyscraper in the world, with its 808 meters in height. Its fame also goes through its famous districts, such as the Marina Bay in Dubai or the Palm Jumeirah, where the first artificial island on the planet was built, a jewel of technological achievement!
Another reason why investors are flocking in the thousands are the prices per m2 in Dubai. Indeed, it is on average 2000€ per m2. When you compare this with the square meters of the biggest world capitals, you will easily see that the difference is glaring: in New York, prices are around €12,000 per m2, while in Paris they fluctuate around of €10,000 per m2 and that in London prices are soaring to €15,000 per m2!
And the standing, amenities and services delivered with real estate have nothing to compare with these cities, here everything is at the height of luxury! As you will have understood, it is an extraordinary opportunity to be able to consider buying, and even living, in Dubai, do not miss it! Dubai has a lot to offer you as much on their more than advantageous taxation, as on their always magnificent and sunny climate!
However, buying a house will commit you for years, it may even be the investment of a lifetime, so be sure to know all the tricks of this constantly growing real estate market and the regulations different from those of our Western countries.
Follow this guide, we will give you all the answers to your questions about real estate investment in Dubai, and more specifically about buying the house of your dreams.
1. Define the specifics of your purchasing criteria
It is essential to clearly define your motivation criteria for your decision to invest in real estate in Dubai. First, do you want to buy it for investment or is it for personal use only? The steps will be different, which is why we ask you to think carefully about it.
The country is, to this day, the epicenter of the financial and business market, but also a place of vacation and residence for thousands of foreign expatriates. The momentum was highlighted as prices and properties became much more accessible and Dubai’s neighborhoods diversified and developed. There was a time when foreign employees were not able to afford housing as the offer was limited, this is no longer the case, the greatest number can afford being able to afford access to ownership rather than renting an apartment. In addition, Dubai has become the 4th most touristic city in the world, and this new situation attracts investors from many countries.
The vast majority of buyers target Dubai for its very attractive returns on investment! Its real estate market is emblematic with its many advantages: its complete absence of taxation, its simple and accessible procedures, its very high rental yield, its financing plans unique in the world, etc.
Finally, you will need to answer the following questions:
How many bedrooms, at a minimum, do you want in your home?
Do you want a property off plan or already built?
In which neighborhood do you want to live?
How much is your starting capital? Will you borrow? Or use a financing plan?
When do you plan to invest: immediately or in 1 year? This is an important point, because the market is constantly changing.
2. Determine and set up your budget
You are about to buy a house, or a villa in Dubai, and it is a very important commitment, you will have to make sure that your financial plan is solid and that you will be able to assume all the costs that will result from it. You will have to put all your motivation at the service of this search for real estate, and focus only on that. Indeed, we will have to find the house that meets all your criteria and all your needs!
With the real estate market constantly in motion in Dubai, the best home buying opportunities never stay on sale for long. You will have to be reactive and for that, your budget must be established. The most common rule in the world, to avoid any inconvenience linked to a financial loan, consists in saying that you must not repay an amount greater than 25% or 30% of your annual salary. This is how you can ensure that you can repay your bills without worries. Do not forget either to take into account the taxes and costs sometimes generated by the purchase of a house in Dubai, indeed these can vary according to the promoters and the constructions. If you succeed in planning your budget to perfection, it is the guarantee of finding the ideal house and of being able to position yourself quickly on it.
Our goal at The Dubai Life is to find you the home of your dreams, the one that meets all your criteria, the one that suits you best. Certainly the aesthetic aspect is essential, but let’s not forget the possibility of profitability. Thanks to our recognized real estate agents, you will be accompanied in all your steps, so you can avoid any inconvenience and unpleasant surprises by planning the taxes and fees that accompany any real estate purchase in Dubai.
3. The choice of your property
Here again, you will have to be skilful and think carefully about the criteria that are yours! We have previously seen that the reason why you want to buy in Dubai is important, but the criteria of choice are just as important!
Almost all of the new constructions in Dubai are located in completely secure complexes, equipped with video surveillance cameras and 24-hour security guards. Depending on the standard for which you choose, be aware that a concierge service will be present, and that they will be at your entire disposal for all the needs and emergencies that you may have on a daily basis (electricity or air conditioning failure, making appointments, shopping, etc.).
Dubai is also a waking dream. Its luxurious and gigantic complexes await you. It’s a safe bet that your villa will be located in the middle of a complex equipped with lagoon swimming pools, state-of-the-art gyms, wellness centers with spa/hammam/sauna, tennis courts, and so many ‘other stuff.
In addition to all this, international schools, shops, restaurants and bars are never close by. You easily understand that everything has been thought out so that you can live your best expatriate life. Or make it a rental property with high added value if that is your project.
4. In which neighborhood to settle?
You are probably wondering in which district to invest today in Dubai? Especially since if you have never been there before, you surely cannot imagine the extent of this city and the difference that exists between all its districts!
We offer you our selection of the most attractive neighborhoods this year, note however that this ranking is not preferential, the choice of your favorite neighborhood will be made above all according to your expectations and your budget.
Jumeirah Village Circle
Jumeirah Village Circle is the area where you can buy your off-plan villa! It is indeed a rapidly expanding district where construction is going well. You will find real estate properties that are financially accessible, but which are not outdone in terms of standing! You will live in a community that has a gigantic Mall, the Circle Mall shopping center where you will find cafes, restaurants, a cinema, a clubhouse and much more!
Property developers are also building multiple luxury hotels, different food outlets to make Jumeirah Village Circle a city within the city. A stone’s throw from Marina Bay and 20 minutes from Downtown, it’s a first class choice
With purchase possibilities from €300,000 for a house, JVC is very popular with our buyers, with financing plans over 12 years and its rental yields are around 7 to 8%.
Dubailand is a really ideal area for a first home purchase in Dubai. This area offers you six possibilities of residential properties, you will really have the choice. It is also here that you can aspire to a lifestyle centered on leisure and entertainment, everything has been thought out for that!
This community is made up of many amusement parks, but also hospitals, schools, restaurants and shopping centers. You can access the property from €345,000 and financing plans are available for up to 10 years! For a villa, plan a first payment of 50%, then a settlement over 4 years.
Town Square is a brand new community built close to the 2020 World Expo, and in this it has attracted the greed of thousands of investors looking for something new. It is a super development of residences that has emerged with the construction of houses and family apartments.
At the intersection between Al Quadra Road and Emirates Road, this district has an excellent geographical position, and serves the different districts of Dubai perfectly. If you want a huge villa with a swimming pool and flourishing green spaces for your whole family, this is definitely the place to invest.
The Dubai South district is also the perfect place for all buyers who wish to invest in an off-plan home. Spread over an area of 145 km², South Dubai is a booming area for real estate investment due to its proximity to the 2020 World Expo!
Dubai South is made up of six distinct districts that encompass Al Maktoum International Airport. Here too, you will have at your disposal a multitude of immense real estate and commercial projects.
In 2020, a brand new metro line was inaugurated, now Dubai South is accessible, in no time, to all the other cities of this emirate. Villas, from 800,000 AED (approximately €200,000) excluding the construction plan, are now available for sale. If you are looking to invest to reap significant returns, Dubai South is definitely worth considering.
It is one of the most modern and recent districts of Dubai, and yet it is already recognized as the most hype place in the city! Indeed, Lonely Planet even awarded it the 5ᵉ place of the “10 coolest neighborhoods to visit in the world”. Business Bay is the melting pot district par excellence, a clever mix of affordable housing and 5-star hotels, bars, cinemas, restaurants, all in a bucolic setting by the water.
It is here that the tallest skyscraper in the world, the Burj Khalifa, was built, as well as the largest Mall on the planet. Millions of tourists flock every year to come and enjoy this excess and this unique living environment in the world.
Business Bay, literally Business Bay, is the financial center of Dubai. Ideally located in the heart of the city, it is here that the two main tourist destinations of the United Arab Emirates are located. It is therefore without a doubt, a place to be preferred if you wish to acquire a villa in the place where everything happens! Prosperous investment guaranteed!
The Dubai Marina
Dubai Marina is the other essential business district in Dubai, you find yourself in the middle of gigantic skyscrapers, everything here is disproportionate! Property Finder even assured that it was the most requested area, in real estate investment, since 2011, just that!
Buying the villa of your dreams here seems to be an excellent compromise: a breathtaking view of the ocean, a neighborhood with all the amenities a stone’s throw from your home, and direct proximity to the business offices of Dubai Media City and Dubai Internet City. A flamboyant living environment two blocks from the Marina Walk! A bohemian life in perspective.
5. Choose your real estate agent
The choice of the real estate agency that will accompany you is essential for a successful investment. Indeed, as you have seen, the real estate market in Dubai is unique and is developing very quickly.
Within our real estate agency, The Dubai Life, you will find experienced real estate agents who will adapt to your needs and requirements. Having a professional at your disposal and specialized in this city is a considerable advantage in your search for the rare pearl, whether for your installation or for an investment. Especially since real estate in Dubai is particularly supervised, in particular by the RERA where all our agents are registered.
The Dubai Life is committed to supporting you throughout your villa purchase project in Dubai. The Dubai market is particularly fluctuating with new players appearing regularly, both on the side of developers and large investors. Their positioning directly impacts market prices and the profitability of goods. It is therefore essential to keep informed of the evolution of this market, the evolution of demand and supply.
6. Obtaining your residence visa
First of all, you should know that for any purchase of real estate, it is possible to benefit from a residence visa. The latter is closely linked to the value of the property you are buying.
If the value of the property is greater than or equal to AED 750,000, you will be able to benefit from the right to a residence visa for a period of 3 years thanks to your accession to the property, it will however be necessary that you meet all the conditions. Similarly, this visa can be extended to a term of 5 years, renewable subject to eligibility, for real estate with a value equal to or greater than AED 5,000,000.
In Dubai, it is possible to travel with the tourist visa issued automatically on presentation of the French passport. There are then 3 types of visas:
the work visa, requested by the employer and valid for a period of 2 years
the residence visa, linked to the acquisition of real estate (as we have seen previously),
the investor visa, called Investor Visa or Partner Visa, upon creation of a company in Dubai and for a period of 3 years.
Documents to provide
You will be asked to produce several documents in order to consider obtaining the precious sesame, we have listed them for you:
a photocopy of your valid passport,
your marriage certificate or family book,
your driver’s license,
a birth certificate.
Sometimes the Dubai authorities may ask you for additional documents, in general, these will be details of your previous employment, as well as updated references from your former employers, as verification.
Finally, you will have to pass a medical examination, which will also be required in the event of renewal of your visa.
7. Opening your bank account in Dubai
Dubai having become the essential destination for investors and buyers from all over the world, it was impossible for us to ignore the opening of your bank account. It is the essential tool to ensure serene and remote placements. The financial market being so popular in recent years that it is home to some of the most lucrative and substantial real estate markets in the world, and it is in this that you will effortlessly find a banking establishment that meets your requirements!
Just before making the purchase, it will be essential to open a bank account. This is essential, because it is now necessary to provide the manager’s check and the transfer of the total capital, in order to validate your real estate transaction.
In practice: opening a bank account in Dubai
Individual residents and non-residents are allowed to open a bank account in Dubai banking institutions. Only people who do not have a residence visa are deprived of opening a current account in Dubai. If you hold this visa, whether you are resident or non-resident, you will be able to open a traditional bank account.
Also for non-residents, you will not be able to benefit from a checkbook when opening your account. On the other hand, you too will have a debit card, but will be subject to certain maximum and minimum balance conditions. The ideal to consider starting these steps is to have already obtained a residence visa, for at least 6 months.
However, it is not mandatory to have a bank account in Dubai to start investing or to hope to become an owner. We recommend it, because it will simplify your procedures in the event of rental management and transfer of ownership.
For your personal bank account
For all non-residents interested in opening a bank account in Dubai, you will be subject to a few obligations, and you will need to provide the following documents:
a photocopy of your valid passport with a page entry on the United Arab States,
an up-to-date Curriculum Vitae,
a letter of recommendation from your main personal or company bank account,
full details of a bank account statement dating back less than 6 months.
8. What are the financing plans in Dubai?
Always with a view to providing you with the best possible support, our teams at The Dubai Life negotiate, for you, directly with the country’s most fashionable real estate developers. Know that these same promoters have made available to investors and buyers particularly advantageous financing plans that ensure you spread the payments of your house over years.
And this is where it gets really interesting: all these payment facility plans are negotiated directly with the builders, and nothing goes through the banking establishments. You will then have no supporting documents to provide.
The norm is to make a first payment, corresponding on average to 10% of the total amount of your real estate purchase, to start your financing. Then, all you have to do is pay, each month, a percentage defined in advance by contract. All these loans, called financing plan, are promised interest-free, so it’s a zero-interest mortgage that awaits you in Dubai!
On the other hand, be aware that depending on the property developer you choose and the standing of the desired property, the financing plans can completely vary! Sometimes, you will have to pay 50% of the villa on construction, then the remaining 50% over the 4 or 5 years after the delivery of your keys. And sometimes they will accept that you pay up to 60% over 12 years. It is really on a case-by-case basis and it is for this reason that our teams strive to support you throughout this real estate transaction. The diversity of financing plans makes it sometimes very difficult to navigate. Our mission is therefore to help you see more clearly, and ensure that you choose a purchase project that fully meets your needs and expectations.
In order to better familiarize yourself with these financing plans, you can consult our real estate advertisements, on the page dedicated to this purpose, and you will find there, on the presentation sheets, all the necessary information.
We hope we have succeeded in enlightening you on the possibilities that Dubai can offer you in the event of a first real estate purchase, in this case a house. All the advantages we have listed for you, such as payment facilities, interest-free and negotiated directly by our real estate agents from The Dubai Life, are at your fingertips!
Whether you are interested in a profitable rental investment, or you are just looking for the villa of your dreams, as a primary or secondary residence, our agency The Dubai Life is here to serve you! We assure you to guarantee you the most advantageous financing offered by Dubai real estate developers, without having to deal with banking establishments and without any proof to give! All this without commission or interest!