How Foreigners Can Buy Property in the UAE

  • May 19 2024
Can Foreigners Buy Property in UAE

United Arab Emirates is one of the best places for foreigners to invest in real estate. It provides beautiful desert vistas, a stimulating culture and kind residents.  

However, buying real estate abroad can be a bit challenging, particularly given the numerous rules and restrictions that must be followed.

Have you ever wondered if foreigners could buy real estate in any of the Emirates here, particularly, Dubai?

This detailed guide is for you if you have any of such questions on your mind. Let’s discuss the details and information you require to help you buy real estate in the UAE.

First Things First, What Types of Properties Can Foreigners Buy in Dubai?

properties in Dubai UAE

Anyone can buy real estate in Dubai, whether they are expatriates or locals. However, in regions designated as freehold property areas the Dubai Land Department (DLD), foreigners are allowed to own, sell, or lease real estate—both freehold and leasehold.  

Also, foreigners are permitted to own commercial real estate in the Emirate, but they need to hold a valid trading license.  

Freehold Properties

When it comes to this kind of property, the owner is free to buy, rent out, or make investments in the land or buildings on it.  

In Dubai, properties certified as freehold by the Dubai Land Department (DLD) are easy to buy for foreigners and non-citizens.  

Every year, the DLD updates the freehold areas, some of which are:

  • Business Bay
  • Downtown Dubai 
  • The Palm Jumeirah
  • Burj Khalifa
  • Dubai Marina
  • Emirates Hills
  • Blue Water Island 
  • Barsha Heights

Leasehold Properties

Leasehold properties are similar to long-term leases where the owners purchase the right to use the property for an extended period of time, often 99 years.  

In this case, the owner cannot modify or renovate the property without the freehold owner’s approval.

Read also: Best Places to Invest in Rental Property in Dubai, UAE

Requirements To Buy a Property in Dubai, UAE

Ahmad Creek Residence

Since the start of this year, buying real estate in Dubai has been a rather straightforward process, much as in most western parts of the world.

There are no age limitations, and if you are a resident in the UAE, all you have to do is submit an offer and complete the sale process to become the owner.  

Foreigners can also get freehold ownership without any limitations, whether through a freehold property contract, off-plan properties (those whose construction is not yet finished), usufruct rights, or a leasehold of up to 99 years.  

Here's the good part: residence visa is not necessary.

There's more...

As stated in Article 3 of Regulation No. 3 of 2006 Determining Areas of Ownership by Non-Nationals of Real Property), you can only buy a new title deed for freehold properties if they are within the designated land plots.

Areas where property can be owned include:

  • Emirates Hills 1
  • Emirates Hills 2
  • Emirates Hills 3
  • Umm Hurair 2
  • Al Barsha South 2
  • Al Barsha South 3
  • Jebel Ali
  • Al Jaddaf
  • The World Islands
  • Ras al Khor
  • Al Rowyah
  • Sofouh 1
  • Sofouh 2
  • Dubai Marina
  • Palm Jebel Ali
  • Palm Jumeirah
  • Nad al-Sheba
  • Warsan 1
  • Al-Qouz 3
  • Al-Qouz Industrial Area 2
  • Al-Qouz Industrial Area 3

Read also: Top 10 Areas to Live in Dubai

Eligibility Criteria for Foreigners  

Mirdif villas

As previously mentioned, non-resident investors are welcome to participate in Dubai’s real estate market. Therefore, buying real estate does not require a residence visa.

To verify their identity, individuals must have a recent valid passport to buy real estate in the UAE.

Banks in the UAE offer mortgages to foreigners who wish to purchase property in Dubai and other emirates.  

However, their options would be more restricted than those of UAE nationals and expats.

These banks have different eligibility criteria for non-resident mortgages, and these can include things like residency status and monthly income, among other things.  

After that, the procedure calls for some paperwork.

Other than any additional bank criteria, bank statements and verification of employment status are required for non-residents seeking mortgage in Dubai.

Read also: Why Invest In Sharjah: Strategic Location, Booming Economy & More!

Steps to Buy Real Estate in Dubai

These are quick and straightforward steps that foreigners must follow to buy real estate in Dubai, UAE. These steps vary based on whether they are buying a new or secondhand unit.

Choosing a developer who has received DLD approval (for new units).

  • Choosing RERA registered real estate agent.
  • Getting financing from the bank (if need).
  • Requesting a No Objection Certificate (NOC); this is for a new as well as secondhand apartment.
  • Putting your name on the property registration at DLD.


Top Areas to Buy Property in Dubai as A Foreigner

For foreigners seeking to invest in Dubai’s real estate market, there are numerous regions that shine as profitable areas, providing a blend of luxury, convenience and potential return on investment.

These neighborhoods are among the top picks for international investors looking to purchase property in Dubai with long-term value appreciation.

1- Downtown Dubai

In Downtown Dubai, you'll find landmarks such as the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall. The area boasts high-rise apartments offering amazing views of the city’s skyline. Residents also have access to entertainment and shopping options.

2- Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina is a waterfront community recognized for its towers, picturesque waterfront, promenades and lively nightlife scene.  

You can relish views of the marina and the Arabian Gulf while having access to an array of dining and leisure amenities.

3- Palm Jumeirah

Palm Jumeirah is an island famous for its beachfront apartments and luxury resorts. Living on Palm Jumeirah promises a lifestyle with beach privileges and stunning sea vistas.

4- Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR)

JBR Dubai

Situated along the coast, Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) displays a mix of towers, hotels and beachfront promenades.  

It is famous for its lively seaside ambiance, bustling surroundings and recreational opportunities.

Related: Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR): Area Guide

5- Emirates Hills  

Emirates Hills is often referred to as the "Beverly Hills of Dubai " known for its villas, beautiful green surroundings and peaceful atmosphere that ensures privacy and exclusivity.  

Benefits of Buying Property in Dubai for Foreigners

Investing in property in Dubai offers multiple perks and benefits. For example, Dubai’s real estate market is appealing due to its economy and strategic location bridging the East and West.  

Foreign investors have the privilege of ownership rights in freehold areas without any profit repatriation constraints.  

Moreover, the absence of property taxes makes it a viable investment opportunity. Another key benefit is good ROI, offering a profitable income source for investors.  

The city’s developed infrastructure, top notch amenities and exceptional quality of life make it an attractive destination for property ownership.  



What are the things to consider when buying property in Dubai as a foreigner?

Dubai offers ideal investment opportunities for foreign buyers with its clear legal structure and strong property rights protections. When purchasing property in Dubai as a foreigner, it's important to check if foreign ownership is allowed in the area, understand all associated costs, verify the developers’ reputation and carefully review all documents.  

Additionally, familiarize yourself with the rules regarding financing and mortgages for foreigners. Consider the potential for value appreciation and rental income based on the location.

Can US citizens buy property in Dubai?

Yes. US citizens are allowed to buy property in Dubai within zones open to foreign ownership. It's advisable to collaborate with a reliable real estate agent, and grasp the legalities and financial obligations such as property taxes and fees. Potential rental income benefits and future investment value should also be considered before finalizing any transaction.

How to buy property in Dubai from the USA?

To buy property in Dubai from the United States follow these guidelines:

  • Research: Identify regions in Dubai where foreigners can own property.
  • Engage a realtor: Partner with a real estate agent who is well -versed in Dubai’s market.
  • Visit Dubai: If possible, travel to Dubai to personally inspect the property.
  • Financial Guidance: Seek help from an attorney and advisor to grasp the legalities and expenses involved.
  • Financing: Exploring mortgage options for foreigners in Dubai.
  • Give an offer: Once a suitable property is identified, present an offer through your agent.
  • Contract signing: Execute a Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA). Submit the deposit amount.
  • Property transfer: Finalize the transaction by transferring funds and registering the property with the Dubai Land Department.


Can I buy a house in Dubai without citizenship?

Jumeirah seven villas

Yes. It is feasible to buy a home in Dubai without citizenship status.  Dubai permits non-citizens to buy property in certain zones. You do not require UAE citizenship to buy, sell or rent out these properties.  

As mentioned earlier, it's crucial to collaborate with a real estate agent, comprehend the obligations and ensure all documentation is handled correctly. This factor contributes to making Dubai an attractive market for property investors.  

Are Indians allowed to buy property in the UAE?

Yes. Indians have the freedom to invest in estate in the UAE. Indians are eligible to buy property in allocated areas with complete ownership rights. It is recommended to do proper research, understand the regulations thoroughly and guarantee proper management of all legal and financial aspects. The UAE presents an ideal environment for property investments.

Can foreigners buy property in Ajman?

Yes. Foreigners can easily purchase property in Ajman. The Emirate of Ajman allows foreigners to buy freehold properties within specified regions granting them full ownership privileges.  

It is advisable to collaborate with a real estate agent, comprehend the financial prerequisites adequately and ensure meticulous completion of all paperwork. Ajman serves as a cost-effective platform for property investors.

Can you own 100% property in Dubai?

Yes. You have the option to fully own a property in Dubai as a foreigner. You can buy properties in areas giving you complete ownership rights with no limitations. This allows you to freely sell, rent out or live in the property. It's important to work with a local property agent and be aware of the guidelines to make your purchase process hassle free.

Can you own property in Dubai?

Jam Marina

Both UAE nationals and foreigners can own properties in designated areas within Dubai without any restrictions on buying, selling or leasing the real estate.

It is essential to collaborate with a real estate agent, comprehend the rules and thoroughly examine all contracts. This ensures ownership rights and potential investment advantages in the real estate market of Dubai.

Read also: Tips for Renting a Commercial Property

Wrap Up

With better return on investment, the UAE real estate industry (especially Dubai) is among the fastest-growing industries worldwide.

Additionally, if you are looking for the best places to invest in rental property in Dubai, get help from our brief guide.