Dubai Real Estate FAQ

Dubai Real Estate – Everything You Need To Know In 2023

In this article, we cover everything you need to know about the Dubai Real Estate market.

We answer some of the most commonly asked questions and cover all the main aspects of buying and owning real estate here in Dubai.

There is no doubt that Dubai is a truly global city that has come an incredibly long way in just the last 20 or so years.  A business and tourism hub it’s now one of the most visited and often most talked about cities in the world.

The result of this incredible rise and a progressive attitude towards investment has seen the Dubai real estate sector grow from strength to strength and become home to some of the most iconic buildings and most luxurious villas anywhere on the planet.


Types Of Residential Real Estate Available in Dubai

There are 3 main property types found in Dubai. These include apartments, townhouses, and villas.

Apartments – Generally ranging from Studios to 4 Bedroom options found in low, mid, and often high-rise apartment buildings. Apartment buildings tend to be located all over Dubai and especially in densely populated communities popular with expats.

Townhouses – Townhouses are terrace-type homes. They are multi-story (usually two) and share at least one and sometimes two exterior walls with an adjacent property. Bedroom options usually range between 3 and 5 beds and all options come with private gardens.

Villas – Whilst they do come in different shapes and sizes villas are the largest property type found in Dubai. They are standalone properties meaning they are completely separate from any other buildings. Just like they tend to be larger in size the land they sit on also tends to be significantly bigger when compared to townhouses. Bedroom options for this property type range from 3 and can go as high as 10 or more.


Dubai Real Estate Developers

Dubai is home to a vast range of property developers of all shapes and sizes. Some of these are publicly listed companies, others are government backed and some are private. Here is a list of some of the biggest players in the market today.

EMAAR Properties – Dubai’s biggest real estate developer responsible for some of the city’s best known projects and communities.

Nakheel – A government backed company Nakheel is best known as master developer of the Palm Jumeirah.

Ellington Properties – A priely owned develoepr with an outstanding reputation for quality and design.

Omniyat – A developer of ultra luxury projects in some of Dubai’s sought after locations. Developer of highly regarded One Palm and Opus developments.

Who can buy Property in Dubai

The short and simple answer to this question is – Everyone.

Dubai is a truly global city that’s open for business in every way including real estate. This means that whether you are a citizen, expat, or even a tourist you have the ability to purchase property in Dubai. There are no restrictions of any kind and the best part is that the fees for doing so are the same for all buyers regardless of status.


Cost of Owning a Property in Dubai

The cost of owning a property in Dubai will depend on the type of property. As most properties are built within apartment buildings or villa communities there are ongoing costs that do apply. These are often referred to as “Service or Maintenance” fees and are paid towards the upkeep and maintenance of the building or community the property is located in.

Generally speaking, apartment buildings are more costly to maintain, and therefore apartments tend to have higher “Maintenance” fees as opposed to villas or townhouses.


Cost of Buying a Property in Dubai

Whilst this may be a surprise to a lot of potential buyers the cost of buying property in Dubai is on the lower side when compared to most western cities.

Fee TypeFee Description
Dubai Land Department (DLD)4% of the property purchase price + AED 580 admin fee
Property Registration FeeAED 4,000 + 5% VAT
Mortgage Registration Fees0.25% of the loan amount + AED 290 (only applicable for mortgage buyers)
Real Estate Agent Fees2% of the property purchase price

Please note, all costs are paid at the time of purchase and only once.

To keep things simple, anyone looking at purchasing Dubai real estate should budget 6.5% of the total property price towards fees. Put simply a property with a price of AED 1,000,000 will have an all-inclusive cost of AED 1,065,000.


Cost of Selling a Property in Dubai

Just like there is no tax there is also no selling fees when selling a property in Dubai.

All the advertising costs are covered by the selling agent or agents who charge their fees to the buyer via an agency fee. It is worth nothing that some sellers may choose to pay the selling agent a small percentage of the property purchase price as commission. This is usually done as an incentive and way to get the very best price possible.


Dubai Real Estate Prices

Possibly the most important consideration for the majority of would-be buyers – How much is a property in Dubai? The answer to this question depends on a number of factors most notably what and where you are buying.

To keep things as simple as possible, below is a price summary for all three property types in what would be considered an average or as it is often referred to a “middle income” area:


Please note, the above table represents what is roughly the average cost for each property type and category. Dubai real estate prices do vary so there are of course some cheaper and some much more expensive options.

See – Dubai Real Estate Prices for a full price breakdown by community and property type.


Dubai Property Tax

It’s a well-known fact that Dubai is a tax-free haven with no income tax whatsoever. In fact, it’s a big reason why so many expats choose to move to Dubai in the first place.

What is less know however is that being and/or selling Dubai real estate is also free from any tax. This means that if you were to purchase a property for say AED 1m and sold the same property for AED 2m 10 years later there would be no tax payable on the 2m sales price or the 1 million in capital growth. This applies to both owner-occupied and investment properties.

In addition to no capital gains tax, any income generated from a property in Dubai is 100% tax-free. This is greatly attractive for buy to let investors and a scenario investors in most other countries could only dream about.


Dubai Real Estate Financing Options

Buying a property using a mortgage in Dubai is not only possible but also something that is becoming more and more common. Just like anywhere in the world lending criteria does apply however anyone with a steady job should not have any issues meeting all the requirements. There is a wide range of local and international banks to choose from meaning rates on offer tend to be rather competitive.


What Currency Can I buy in?

The official currency of Dubai and the UAE is the UAE Dirham. The dirham is pegged against the US dollar with a fixed exchange rate of 1 USD = 3.67 AED. This means that the value of the dirham is always stable against the dollar making it one of the safest currencies to do business with.


Dubai Real Estate Trends

Dubai’s property market has demonstrated a robust rebound following the pandemic-induced slowdown. The sector has just marked its 10th consecutive quarter of expansion, fuelled by strong demand, economic growth, and clever government initiatives for retirees and workers. Prices have increased significantly over the last 3 years with some properties experiencing prices increases of well over 50%.


Dubai Real Estate Outlook

Looking into the near future for Dubai real estate the trend of growth is set to continue with the latest Knight Frank report pointing to a 15% growth in Dubai’s real estate market in 2024.

The longer-term outlook seems to follow this trend driven by the population of Dubai which is projected to experience substantial growth.  This grown is set to see the city’s population increase from 3.5 million in 2023 to 5.5 million by 2030. The Dubai government has set an ambitious target of reaching 7.8 million residents by 2040, which indicates a big jump by any standards. This anticipated population growth is poised to generate increased demand across various real estate sectors further putting upward pressure on prices.

Dubai Real Estate FAQ

Is buying in Dubai safe?

Buying property in Dubai is extremely safe. The Dubai government along with the relevant regulatory bodies have gone above and beyond to ensure buying in the city is not only safe but attractive for all those interested.

Can I buy Dubai real estate with a mortgage?

Just like most countries around the world buying real estate with a mortgage is not only possible but quite common.  Thre are multiple local and international banks for buyers to choose from.

Are houses in Dubai expensive?

Houses in Dubai are in some cases expensive. The city is a global hub and full of luxurious properties so this is hardly surprising. With that said Dubai does have its fair share of low-cost and medium-income housing options.

What is the Dubai Land Department and what does it do?

The Dubai Land Department or DLD as it’s often referred to is a government-run entity in Dubai that oversees all real estate-related trading operations. Its primary function is to legalize the sale and purchase of land, boosts investment, and provide customers with a highly integrated, transparent, and secure real estate experience.

Can a foreigner buy real estate in Dubai?

Yes, foreigners of all nationalities can purchase property in any of Dubai’s designated freehold areas.