With an ever-growing population and thousands of foreign workers relocating to Dubai annually to expand their careers in a safe, cosmopolitan, and global trading hub, it is hard to miss why Dubai is a haven for real estate investment.
Following the issuance of the long-awaited foreign property ownership decree in 2002- which allowed non-UAE citizens to own property in Dubai- the city has witnessed a massive construction boom attracting overseas investors into the city's property market.
Today, Dubai offers many investment opportunities in the housing sector, whether for ready-to-move-in properties or a long-term investment.
Highly Regulated Industry
Real estate investment in Dubai is governed by a set of real estate laws and regulations aimed at protecting real estate investors' interests.
The Dubai Land Department
The Dubai Land Department (DLD) handles all matters related to the registration of sales and purchases of land, in addition to approving, organizing, and documenting transactions concerning registered land and real estate in Dubai.
Today, the DLD offers more than 26 main services and 216 sub-services to customers in the real estate sector, including land and title registration, registration and licensing of real estate professionals, and developing a regulatory framework to attract and effectively manage investments in the real estate sector, while disseminating awareness and knowledge on applicable legislation.
Furthermore, the DLD compiles and publishes, on its website, information about real estate purchase and sale transactions on a weekly and monthly basis to allow investors to keep track of current real estate prices in Dubai.
Real Estate Registration Agency (RERA) – Regulatory Arm
Aiming to provide an investment-friendly environment based on international best practices that safeguard the interests of all stakeholders in the real estate market, the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (commonly known as "RERA") was established in 2007 to put legal frameworks and mechanisms in place and regulate the activities of real estate development and brokerage companies and owners associations.
RERA monitors all development projects on a financial and technical level to protect the broader interests of the market and investors alike. RERA also plays an active role in monitoring the compliance of developers, brokers, and other licensed real estate professionals with applicable laws and regulations and imposing penalties for violations, including cancellation of stalled projects.
Real Estate Investment Management and Promotion Center -Investment Arm
The Real Estate Investment Management and Promotion Center is the investment arm of the DLD, responsible for supporting local and foreign real estate investment companies and developing a regulatory environment for real estate investment while enhancing market activity through the promotion of direct and long-term investments.
It also plays an active role in promoting a stable and secure environment while contributing to creating a green economy to achieve sustainable development.
Do you want to become a real estate investor in Dubai? Know your rights
Investors in residential properties in Dubai gain a shortcut for legal residency in the city, according to investment-friendly visa programs applicable to individuals who opt to invest in a residential property worth AED 1 million or above, with a maximum of 50% of the property value is under mortgage.
Investors in a jointly owned property are eligible to apply if each individual's share is worth at least AED 1 million.
The investment must be in a single residential property and not in commercial properties. Additionally, the visa applies to freehold residential properties only. It is not possible to apply for this visa with an off-plan property.
The visa length varies between three to five years and can be maintained for as long as the investor owns property in the country.
The three-year visa is available to individuals who have purchased a property of AED 1 million or more. In contrast, the five-year visa requires ownership of property worth at least AED 5 million.
Attractive Rental Yields
Buying-to-let is a lucrative investment as rentals remain the popular choices for buyers looking to make a steady investment with attractive property prices and payment plans, and more. Investors looking at buy-to-let properties in Dubai can expect an ROI of 5% – 6% for ready properties.
Investors can also benefit from the high demand for short-term rental and tapping into the big tourist turnover in the city by investing in an apartment or villa and placing it on short-term rent, an increasingly popular choice for tourists looking for a "homely" and authentic travel experience.
Rent-to-Own Scheme (Ijarah)
Rent-to-own is an arrangement between a developer and buyer that allows a buyer to pay rent and save for a down payment simultaneously. The scheme is getting popular since DLD launched the rent-to-own service, a specific title deed register to provide a clear legal framework to facilitate such transactions.
For buyers, this arrangement removes the pressure of a minimum 25% down-payment and helps them enter the property market faster.As a mutually beneficial agreement, developers also gain access to a broader pool of buyers, who may not have the large down-payment.
Favorable Taxing Conditions
The real estate sector is no exception to Dubai’s taxation system, which is known for its low tax rate levied on real estate investments. In Dubai, real estate investors gain maximum profit without buying property tax or stamp duties.
Hot Spots for Every Lifestyle
Whether near the beach, in the middle of the city, or secluded in the calm desert, location remains an essential investment element in Dubai's real estate that can largely influence the ROI.
Other factors to consider when considering the market include facilities and proximity to transport and school, size, quality, maintenance costs, interest rates, and market conditions at the time of purchase.
Safe and Desirable
On top of being a global trade hub and one of the world's major financial centers, Dubai is home to over 200 nationalities with expats and immigrant workers making up more than 80% of the city's population, making Dubai one truly melting pot where everyone feels welcome to make the city their second home.
Your investment is safe in Dubai; the city is one of the safest and most tolerant cities globally, with happy communities thriving in a calm civic environment.
The global trust in Dubai as a city, market, and economy is one of the key factors that make the city the perfect place to start and grow your business.
More about life in Dubai
Buy and Rent a Residential Property in Dubai
The real estate market in Dubai is so abundant that it caters to both tenants and buyers’ different needs and demands, supported by flexible real estate regulations allowing UAE and GCC citizens to own properties anywhere in Dubai, as well as foreign expats to buy and lease their properties in specific areas in Dubai.
Individuals who wish to relocate to Dubai can find flexible visa options. UAE offers multi-year residencies for investors, students, professionals, remote workers and even retirees. Also, holders of a Dubai residency are eligible to sponsor their immediate family members.
Expats living in Dubai are encouraged to register their wills at Dubai Courts or the DIFC courts, as per the Law No. (15) of 2017 which was designed to regulate inheritance for non-Muslim over 21 years old residents in Dubai, to distribute their movable or immovable assets as per preference.