Guide to property investment in Dubai


Step 1: Investment or home?

In order for us to advise you on the best available property in the market, it is important for us to know what you are looking for. Whether a residence or a pure investment opportunity, we can assist you in finding the right property and guarantee the best long-term appreciation and ROI on buy to let properties.

Step 2: Make sure how much you can afford to spend

Buyers aren't quite sure how much they can actually afford unless they're paying cash. A mortgage is the most common supplement. As a UAE resident do your homework first and get quotes from mortgage providers, based on the amount of your income, before getting excited about a property, which you may not qualify for. This could take you several weeks to find the best deal in the market.

Step 3: Be aware of fees and service charges

Keep in mind that buying a property does not end with the purchase and its related fees, such as title deed registration, transfer fees amounting to around 2% of the purchase price. Confirm with your property consultant the latest applicable official fees as well as those charged by us as your agent. In addition, when calculating Step 1 most properties attract service fees and often district cooling charges. They can represent a substantial yearly amount and should be calculated into what you can afford and what return on investment you expect from your property.

Step 4: Keep a list of your preferences

Now it is time to find that dream property, do make a list of what this entails in order of priority, as not all properties will tick all the boxes. As with everything you may have to make some compromises. Visit different areas in Dubai, check the surroundings, if possible speak to current residents and make a list of the preferred ones. When visiting a property take note of facilities and the physical state of the property, if you feel it is one you want to go for take some photos and create a snag list, you are entitled to a fault free property or ask for a reduction in price if you want to take care of them yourself. The best bet is to have the property professionally valued, whether a mortgage is involved or not.

Step 5: Make sure you get the best deal

Property deals can fall through because the seller and buyer have different price expectations. We will do our up most to present you properties with realistic prices. However, it is advisable to do your own research to be able to gauge quickly whether the asking price is in line with the market, which could help with convincing the seller of a property, similar in location and physical state to those around him, to adjust his asking price. We will of course be with you every step of the way.

Step 6: Have all your paperwork ready

Required documentation includes:

  • For individuals:
    • Passports
    • Signed buyer agreement known as Form B
  • For companies:
    • Certificate of incorporation
    • Memorandum and articles of association
    • Board resolution
    • Power of attorney
    • Signed buyer agreement known as Form B
  • For overseas companies:
    • Same than UAE registered companies but all documents must be attested by the UAE Embassy
    • Signed buyer agreement known as Form B

Step 7: Open a local bank account

It isn't absolutely necessary as an overseas buyer, but helpful if you have local bank account, special arrangements exist for non-resident bank accounts, to take care of all the fees involved with owning a property in Dubai. Compare banks and get the best one.

Step 8. Mortgage approval

If you have been shopping around for a mortgage make sure to get a pre-mortgage approval on the amount you can spend, if not it can severely delay the buying process and you may lose the property you want.

Step 9: Make an offer

Now you're ready to make an offer on the property you want, tell our consultant what you are willing to pay and he will negotiate on your behalf with the seller. But even before doing so demand to see the title deed to the property and even better check with the land department's registry that the property is in the owner's name.

Step 10: Seller accepts offer

If the seller accepts your offer you will be asked to put down a deposit, which needs to be held in an Escrow account with your agency. Under no circumstances should the money be given to the seller as the deal could fall through. Make sure you get a receipt and before committing your finances in order to make the payments on the transfer date agreed. You will need to submit a copy of your passport and any other documents needed (mortgage etc.) Your agent will take care of the paperwork for you to initiate the buying process.

Step 11: Sales & Purchase Agreement

Read the Sales & Purchase Agreement (SPA) in detail before signing. Make sure to clarify and ask for changes to be made if needed, should there be anything you feel uncomfortable with.

Step 12: Land Department Title Registration

Upon receiving the NOC (No Objection Certificate) from the Property Developer you will be able to book an appointment to transfer at Dubai Land Department. Our conveyancing team will handle this process. The buyer and seller (and banks if mortgaged) will attend and sign in front of DLD representative to transfer the ownership. Upon completion of the transfer process, the buyer will receive the title deed in their name and the seller will receive a manager's cheque for the property.