In 2021, the Emirate ranks #42 in Mercer’s Cost of Living Survey, so the city is more affordable than San Francisco, London and Paris. The area where you choose to reside is one of the major aspects determining how expensive the cost of living in Dubai will be for you.
For instance, a 1-bedroom apartment in the center of Dubai can be rented for AED 5.5K (USD 1.5M) per month, while a property set a bit further away will cost you about AED 3.6K (USD 1K). Additionally, monthly living expenses, which include utilities, travel and transportation, groceries and leisure/hobbies, amount to approximately AED 3.2K (USD 870K) for 1 person, and about AED 11.8K (USD 3.2K) for a family of 4.
As a rule, health insurance in Dubai is provided by a sponsor/employer, so you do not have to worry about any additional medical expenses.
How to Renew Driving License in Dubai?
UAE residents have to renew a driving license in Dubai every 5 years, while for UAE and GCC nationals the term duration is 10 years. A driving license renewal can be done online via the RTA website, RTA Smart App, Dubai Drive App or via self-service machines at any Customer Happiness Center.
It is important to settle any traffic fines before a renewal. If you are under 21, you will require only a valid Emirates ID, however, those older than 21 years old have to provide an additional eye test certificate. The fees amount to AED 120 (USD 32) for customers younger than 21, and AED 320 (USD 87) for drivers over 21. After applying for a renewal and paying the required fees, you will obtain a temporary driving license. It will take between 5-15 days to receive a regular driving license.
How to Sell Property in Dubai?
Selling property in Dubai is far from a complicated process with the help of a qualified real estate agent. After finding a specialist, you will need to sign a ‘FORM A’, to formally mandate brokering and marketing with that agent. After the form has been submitted to the DLD’s Trakheesi system for a final approval your property will start being advertised on a number of platforms, both online and offline.
As soon as you find a buyer, you will have to sign a Memorandum of Understanding, or ‘FORM F’, which is a legally binding contract between the seller and the purchaser. Another necessary document that is needed during the selling process is an NOC letter from the developer, which can take 5-7 days to be issued.
The final step of concluding the sale is the ownership transfer, where the following must be provided: MOU, NOC, copy of the title deed, a cheque to the seller, 4% DLD fee and an original passport copy with a valid visa/Emirates ID.
How to Sell Off-Plan Property in Dubai?
First of all, you have to know that while it is perfectly legal to sell off-plan property in Dubai, developers set certain restrictions in order to keep these transactions under control. Most companies allow a resale, once 30-40% of the total property value is paid off, and a payment plan can be transferred to the new owner.
So, upon paying a minimum required amount and obtaining approval from the developer, you can start searching for a potential buyer, with the help of an experienced real estate broker. The buyer and seller have to finalize both the terms and the price, sign contracts and also obtain an NOC in order to register the new buyer.
Finally, once the transfer is complete, the new owner will take over all the outstanding payments. It is essential to know that the new purchaser is responsible for paying the 4% DLD Transfer Fee, even though it would have already been paid by the initial buyer.
Why Invest in Dubai?
To begin with, the investment property market in Dubai offers higher rental yields than many other mature real estate markets. In fact, the average ROI here ranges between 5% and 9% as property prices per square foot are significantly lower than in other cities across the globe, such as London, Hong Kong and Paris. Thus, it is an affordable location to own luxury real estate, besides, there is also no stamp duty and property taxes as well.
In order to attract more investors, in September 2021, the DLD had reduced the minimum required amount, which allows purchasers to apply for a 3-year residence visa through investment, from AED 1M (USD 272K) to AED 750K (USD 205K). Visa holders can avail family sponsorship, which enables bringing a spouse and children to the country as well.
How to Start Real Estate Investing in Dubai?
In order to start investing in Dubai real estate, you have to identify the investment purpose first. Besides being used as private residence, properties can be rented out and resold, which are perfect options if you are looking to generate some income. The main factor that affects the price of the property is its location and the nearby amenities.
Of course, if the property provides easy access to public transport links, healthcare and educational establishments, as well as retail stores, then its value will most certainly be higher.
Furthermore, if you are willing to invest in Dubai real estate, you have to remember the property transfer fee of 4%, which is divided equally between a seller and a buyer. Other expenses regarding a property purchase include insurance, an NOC fee, an annual maintenance fee and commission of the real estate agent (about 2% of the property purchase price).
How to Invest in Property?
In Dubai, UAE residents are allowed to buy properties only in designated freehold areas. Off-plan developments are a very attractive option, since their prices are lower and developers offer flexible payment plans. Also, you can apply for a mortgage, and banks can cover 80% of the property price, if your investment property in Dubai is under AED 5M (USD 1.3M), while in the case of properties over AED 5M (USD 1.3M), you can obtain a 70% loan.
Villas are especially popular in the Emirate, since expats relocating to Dubai with their families opt to choose spacious properties with a study/flexi-room, open green spaces and a set if amenities. Ultra-luxury real estate in the areas, such as Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marina is also worth considering, as Dubai is one of the most popular destinations worldwide among HNWIs.
How to Invest in Dubai's Real Estate?
When investing in property market in the UAE, many individuals tend to secure a long-term income by becoming a landlord. It is worth noting that residential real estate can generate from 5 up to 12% ROI, which really high in comparison with European capital cities. Of course, a landlord has many responsibilities, including maintenance, repairs and restoration, however it is possible to hire a property management company to save the time and efforts. As a rule, apartments offer a higher ROI than townhouses and villas.
When renting out a property, you will only be charged with a 5% VAT tax and an annual maintenance fees payable to the DLD. It is recommended to purchase compact residences such as 1-bedroom apartments and studios with established infrastructure. Once you purchase a property, you can hire a real estate agent, who will find for you a tenant. As soon as the tenant moves in, you will start receiving a regular income on a daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly basis, depending if a rental is short-term or long-term.
How to Invest for Beginners with Little Money?
Fortunately, property market in Dubai offers plenty of options for any budget. As of H1 2021, the top affordable communities have been Dubai International City, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Jumeirah Village Circle, International City and Dubai Sports City. The price-per-square-foot in these areas ranges from AED 447-870 (USD 121-236), while an average ROI is as high as 6.5%.
For those on a lower budget, taking out a loan is a very suitable option, since for first mortgages the UAE offers LTV ratios of 75% in terms of properties worth below AED 5M (USD 1.36M). In addition, many developers offer attractive post-handover payment plans, where a buyer normally pays about 40-50% of the property value in instalments during construction and the rest of the amount is to be paid within several years after handover.
How to Buy An Apartment in Dubai?
When considering the perfect area for buy apartment in Dubai, there are numerous factors to be taken into account, including the infrastructure, public transport links, healthcare & academic facilities and more. A few of the most popular family-friendly communities in Dubai are Dubai Hills Estate, Al Barari and DAMAC Hills, which all offer generously sized villas set among open verdant spaces and are complemented by an extensive array of communal amenities.
These include, but are not limited to gyms, gardens, swimming pools, BBQ areas and multi-sports courts. Buying a villa in Dubai is a very attractive investment option, since you can use it as a private residence for yourself and your family, rent it out or resell it in the future. As of 2021, Dubai’s property market is witnessing a boost in demand for townhouses and villas, as buyers and tenants are opting for more spacious properties amidst a surge in remote working and learning.
Where to Buy Property in Dubai?
Fortunately, the property market in Dubai offers plenty of options for any budget. As of H1 2021, the most popular affordable family-friendly communities in Dubai are Jumeirah Lake Towers, Jumeirah Village Circle, Dubai International City, Dubai Sports City. The price-per-square-foot in these areas ranges from AED 447-870 (USD 121-236), while the average ROI is as high as 6.5%.
For those on a lower budget, taking out a loan might be the best option, since mortgages for first time buyers in the UAE offers LTV ratios of 75% in terms of properties worth below AED 5M (USD 1.36M). In addition, many developers offer attractive post-handover payment plans, where a buyer normally pays about 40-50% of the property value in instalments during construction and the rest of the amount can to be paid within several years after handover.
What Is Off-Plan Property in Dubai?
Off-plan property in Dubai is property under construction, and is a popular option with end users and investors. Mostly, this is due to the fact that it has a lower purchase price than ready to move in units and there is a possibility to resell off-plan property before its completion, thus, gaining higher capital appreciation.
Moreover, the majority of developers in Dubai require only a 5-10% down payment and you automatically become a full-fledged owner. The remaining amount can be paid during construction and upon/after handover, depending on the payment plan. Another perk of purchasing off-plan property is that it comes brand new with the latest technology, design and lifestyle features and on-site facilities.
How to Buy Off-Plan Property in Dubai?
To begin with, it is worth noting that the UAE real estate market is open to any buyer, therefore, you will not require a visa/Emirates ID when buying off-plan property in Dubai, only a passport copy. It is recommended that you hire a real estate agent to give you detailed information on available projects.
After having chosen a suitable property, you have to reserve unit at the developer’s sales office by signing the SPA and paying a deposit fee. Next, within 30 days after registration, you are obliged to pay a 4% Fee and Oqood registration fee.
According to the payment plan, you will be required to keep up with instalments until the property is handed over to you. Once completed, you will pay the final instalment and receive the keys to the property.
What is Real Estate Investment in Dubai?
Real estate investment in Dubai is a perfect option for a long-term income. You can buy a home, renovate it and resell it, or purchase a commercial building that has tenants who will pay you a sufficient amount of rent to cover the cost of owning the building, and then some.
Other ways to invest in real estate include owning shares of a REIT (real estate investment trust), investing money in a crowdfund, or hiring a local property manager to handle the routine details of a single-family rental home.
Why Invest in Real Estate in Dubai?
There are a number of reasons why it is good to invest in real estate market in Dubai. For instance, property prices in the Emirate are significantly lower than in Europe, America or Asia. Moreover, real estate investment is the best option in terms of reducing inflation, since there is a direct correlation between the demand for real estate and the level of economic indicators.
Not forgetting a 3-year investor visa, which you can obtain when purchasing a ready to move in property for a minimum of AED 750K (USD 205K) or a 5-year investor visa when buying a ready unit for an initial cost of AED 2M (USD 545K). As a residence visa holder, you can easily bring your spouse and children to the UAE. Finally, real estate investors will be keen to learn that rental properties in Dubai can generate an ROI as high as 8-10%.
Can Foreigners Buy Property in Dubai?
Foreign nationals can purchase real estate in Dubai only in areas designated as ‘freehold’. Foreigners (people who don’t live in the UAE) as well as expats, who acquire property in freehold areas, may acquire freehold ownership rights over purchased real estate without restriction, or leasehold rights for up to 99 years.
The title deeds are issued by the Dubai Land Department and there is no age limit as to who can own real estate in the emirate of Dubai. The popular freehold areas in Dubai include Downtown Dubai, Business Bay, Dubai Creek Harbour, Dubai Investment Park, DAMAC Hills, Palm Jumeirah Island and many more.
Can You Obtain Dubai Citizenship?
The UAE Government had approved amendments to the ‘Executive Regulation of the Citizenship and Passports Law’ in January 2021, which allows several categories of foreign nationals, their spouses and children to obtain Emirati citizenship. These amendments stipulate certain conditions for each category and allows the foreign national to obtain Emirati citizenship whilst retaining their original nationality. The following categories of foreigners can be nominated for UAE citizenship: doctors, investors, inventors, specialists, intellectuals, scientists, and individuals with creative talents.
There are certain eligibility conditions for each category of nominees. For example, an investor must own a property in the UAE, while an inventor must have one or more patents approved by the UAE’s Ministry of Economy (MoE) or any other reputable international body, as well ashave a recommendation letter from the MoE. The acquiring of the UAE’s citizenship is possible only through the Rulers’ and Crown Princes’ Courts, Executive Councils Offices and the Cabinet, based on the nominations of federal entities.
Are Properties in Dubai Affordable?
The emirate of Dubai offers real estate for sale in different price categories, where interested investors can find both affordable properties and luxury real estate for sale. The price of real estate is greatly influenced by its location. The least expensive areas to buy an apartment in the emirate are Dubai Production City and International City, while the districts of Serena and NSHAMA Town Square offer less expensive townhouses for sale. Villas with the most affordable prices can be found in the areas of Al Warsan, DAMAC Hills (AKOYA Oxygen) and Serena by Dubai Properties.
Is It Worth Buying A Property in Dubai?
Purchasing real estate in the emirate of Dubai has a lot of advantages. One of them is the fact that Dubai offers high rental yields, which varies on average from 5% to 9%. Another advantage of investing in the property market in the emirate are its real estate prices per sqft, which are lower than in many other global cities, which makes Dubai an affordable location to own prime property.
By purchasing real estate in the emirate at a minimum price of AED 750,000 (USD 204,000), owners will be able to apply for a 3-year investor visa. When buying a property to the amount of AED 2,000,000 (USD 545,000), investors will become eligible to apply for a 5-year UAE Golden Visa. Property owners in Dubai also benefit from favourable tax conditions including the absence of property taxes and stamp duties.