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All you need to know about buying property in Dubai

Well known for its high standard of living, unparalleled business opportunities, and fantastic weather, the number of people looking at property for sale in Dubai has been steadily on the increase for many years now. According to the Dubai Land Department, the first nine months of 2023 saw a record-breaking 116,116 new property transactions totaling approximately Dh430 billion ($117 billion) – which is 33.8 percent more property transactions than the same period the year before. The third quarter of the year saw the highest rise in property prices in a decade and prices are expected to rise by up to five percent in 2024, too.

Whether you are an individual, a family looking for a luxe new lifestyle, or an investor seeking out new lucrative investment opportunities, the golden emirate has something for you. Read on for our guide to the most popular residential areas and communities in Dubai.

The top spots to buy in Dubai

Dubai Marina
This beach-side location offers everything a city-lover could want – stunning high-rises, beautiful views of the sea and the three-kilometer waterway, complete with yachts, restaurants, shopping malls, and more, plus excellent access to some of the busiest business districts, such as Dubai Internet City and Dubai Media City, and other major hubs, such as Palm Jumeirah. Dubai Marina is a bustling and lively spot, popular with families, professionals, and businesses alike. Don’t miss Dubai Marina Mall, which is a one-stop shop for all things retail and lifestyle.

Arabian Ranches
Dubailand’s biggest and most well-established development, The Ranches, as it is fondly known, offers the ultimate expat lifestyle. Stunning villas on large plots, unique designs in different sub-communities, excellent facilities and atmosphere, a world-class golf course, schools, health centres, and much more, make this a complete lifestyle offering of its own and popular with home buyers.

The Palm Jumeirah
Who hasn’t heard of Palm Jumeirah? The iconic development enjoys never-ending beaches of golden and white sand, turquoise water, some of the city’s top restaurants, bars, and retail spaces, hotels, a water park, concerts, events, and much more, giving it a proven record of popularity with investors looking for a safe property investment and with prospective homeowners looking for the true Dubai experience.

Tucked away in the secluded residential neighbourhood, Reem, the townhouses and villas of Mira offer the best of both worlds – high-end living in the peace of the desert while still enjoying access to the energy and the excitement of the city. With its wide variety of styles suited to every budget, Mira has become popular with families, professionals, retirees, and animal and nature lovers thanks to its green spaces, parks, and extensive cycling, walking, and running tracks. Additionally, Mira offers access to some of the city’s best schools, such as JESS and GEMS World Academy, as well as to other popular communities, such as Arabian Ranches.

Emirates Living
One of the first large community developments built in Dubai, Emirates Living consists of The Springs, The Meadows, The Lakes and Hattan, The Greens, The Hills, and The Views. Each community has its own look and feel, all united with the same exceptional standard of sprawling landscaped green areas and communal areas. All of the properties have lakes in close proximity, offering kilometres of walkways and cycling paths, as well as restaurants, cafes, schools, shops, and lots more, making it a popular spot for those looking for freehold opportunities to purchase family homes.

What you need to know When it comes to buying property in Dubai, there are many options to suit your budget and your specific needs. Read on to discover the right type of property purchase for you.

Freehold Properties
There are many areas of Dubai that offer freehold properties, whereby you own the property and the land it is built on. Dubai Marina, Palm Jumeirah, Arabian Ranches, Emirates Hills, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Jumeirah Lake Towers, and Emirates Living, to name but a few.

Leasehold Properties
If you are looking for less of a financial investment, a leasehold property can often offer great security at a lower price. Why? While properties are normally available on a leasehold for 99 years, in a leasehold, you do not own the property or the land outright – there is a condition where the land and property eventually need to be returned to the original owner. Dubai Silicon Oasis, Green Community, and other areas are popular with leasehold investors.

Off-plan Properties
In the first nine months of 2023, off-plan sales in Dubai totaled Dh100 billion and that is set to continue with nearly 80,000 homes currently under construction, scheduled for completion by the end of 2027. The benefit of buying off-plan is competitively lower prices than ‘ready homes’, however, the downside is that you can end up waiting longer than expected.

Up to 80 percent of property value can be financed in a mortgage, with a repayment period of 25 years (and before the age of 70). Both fixed-rate mortgages and variable-rate mortgages are available when buying a property in Dubai, for residents and non-residents alike. Credit history and proof of employment will be required, of course, as well as other necessary paperwork.

Other factors
Depending on where your property is, the type of property you are purchasing, and the type of investment (freehold or leasehold) there may be some other costs that you will want to factor in. For example, some residential areas charge community fees and maintenance fees. Also, in the process of buying a property, you may have government fees and other charges to cover. It is important to consult a property agent to get the best up-to-date information on the type of property and the location you are interested in.

From skyrise penthouses, to secluded villas, and busy city centre neighbourhoods to peaceful desert-based communities, the emirate has something for everyone. And with the continuous additions to the residential offerings, the buoyant investment market, and the ever-increasing popularity and interest in the city, never has there been a better time to think about investing in a property for sale in Dubai.