Off Plan property Payment Plans

Off-Plan Property Payment Plans Explained

What is an off-plan property payment plan and why does it matter? Much like buying an existing property, there is a wide range of factors to take into consideration when buying an off-plan property. Which area do you buy in? from which developer? and which projects are just a few to consider. One other crucial consideration to take into account is the payment plan, and what exactly does it look like for the project you are considering?

Before we get into the details of the different options available lets, let’s answer the most important question;

What is an off plan property payment plan?

“A payment plan is a schedule of payments set out by a developer for the sale of its properties within a particular project” or in more simple terms it’s how and when you have to pay for the off plan property you are buying.


To help explain this further a typical payment plan can essentially be split into three parts:

  1. Initial Deposit: Often referred to as a “downpayment” the deposit represents a percentage of the property’s total price, required to secure the purchase.
  2. Stage Payments: Scheduled payments linked to construction milestones or specific timeframes, allowing buyers to spread the cost over the development period.
  3. Handover or Final Payment: A final payment made upon the completion of the property. This officially marks the transfer of ownership.


Dubai Property Payment Plans

Most Popular Dubai Property Payment Plans in 2024:

  • 80/20 – 80% paid during the construction period and 20% paid on handover
  • 60/40 – 60% paid during the construction period and 40% paid on handover
  • 50/50 – 50% paid during the construction period and 50% paid on handover

The type of payment plans available out there can and do vary depending on the developer and the particular off-plan project.

Some of the more traditional and popular payment plans tend to be 80%/20%. Such payment plans require the buyer to pay 80% of the total property price before completion and 20% once the project is fully completed (at handover). There are two ways in which the pre-handover 80% can be paid. The most common is linked to construction where payments are made in line with certain construction milestones (usually expressed as a percentage of the project completion). The other commonly used payment method is based on fixed dates during the project’s development period. (i.e. every 4 months until handover)

Let’s look at an example of a payment plan for a newly released project by Emaar – Greenside Residence


InstalmentPayment PercentageDue Date
Down Payment10%September 2023
1st Instalment10%November 2023
2nd Instalment10%May 2024
3rd Instalment10%November 2024
4th Instalment at 20% Completion10%April 2025
5th Instalment at 40% Completion
10%October 2025
6th Instalment at 60% Completion10%April 2026
7th Instalment at 80% Completion
10%October 2026
8th Instalment at 100% Completion10%July 2027


This Payment Plan would be best described as being 10/80/10%. This essentially means that 10% of the total payments is due at booking, 80% during construction and 10% on completion.


Payment Plan Properties in Dubai

Property payment plans in Dubai apply to all properties being sold as off-plan i.e. before they are constructed or under construction. Payment plans apply to all property types ranging from apartments to villas. These types of properties are most commonly found in new or newly established communities. This is simply due to the fact that the majority of projects in new communities are in the process of being built.  In some rare cases developer will offer payment plans on properties which are ready. These are referred to as post-handover payment plans which are explained below in more detail.

Related: Payment Plan Properties Dubai – for a full list of properties with a payment plan


Dubai Post-Handover Payment Plans 

What is a Dubai post-handover payment plan?

A post-handover payment plan is where a percentage of the total payments due are paid after the property has been handed over.

Along with these more traditional payment plans we have seen an introduction of post-handover payment plans which often have the following schedule 30/40/30. In a post-handover payment such as in the example just given, 30% of the total payment is paid during construction, 40% at handover and the remaining 30% two to three years after handover. Similar to the existing pre-payment plans available, post payment plans do vary and are not offered by all developers.

The introduction of post handover payment plans and new more flexible pre-payment plans has made buying off-plan property easier and more accessible for new and existing buyers. With a host of new projects entering the market, we envision more of Dubai’s Developers joining the trend and offering even more flexible and consumer-friendly payment plans.

Whilst on the topic of post-handover payments plans here in Dubai, it is important to note that these are usually a great indicator of market conditions. Payment plans, in general, are used to attract buyers, and the use of post-handover payment plans is especially a good way of doing just that. These types of payment plans attract more buyers as they allow more flexibility and give buyers more time to come up with all the scheduled payments. Whilst that may be so during times of great property growth as Dubai is experiencing now and has for the last 18 or so months post handover payment plans are harder and harder to find. The reason is simple. The market is too hot and buyers are plentiful so most developers simply don’t see the need to offer such payment plans which have a detrimental impact on their bottom line.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why do some Dubai off plan property payment plans differ?

There are various factors that determine the payment plan being offered for a particular development. This not only varies between each developer but also between developments being offered by the same developer. Reasons for this depend on a wide range of reasons but often come down to the popularity of the project and the state of the real estate market. As a result, you are less likely to see post-handover payment plans during boom times.

Can a property payment plan be changed?

The short answer to this question is, it depends. It is not something most developers like to do but it’s not out of the question as small tweaks to the payment schedule are often made. This is usually more common with higher-priced properties where the repayment amounts are significantly higher.

What happens if I can’t make my payments?

Not meeting your payments as set out in the payment plan is something that should always be avoided. In some cases, however, buyers could be experiencing financial difficulties and are unable to meet their obligations for this reason. In these instances, it is best to take proactive action and speak to the developer as soon as possible. Often times they can provide some relief and are willing to work with buyers to assist wherever possible.

How long is a typical payment plan?

In most cases, the payment plan will be the same duration as the property construction period. This for most projects tends to be around 3 years. Of course, some projects take longer and some shorter so in those cases the payment plan duration would be adjusted accordingly.

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About The Author
Charlie Budnjo

Charlie is a real estate professional with over 15 years experience in selling, buying and writing about property. Part of the team for over 8 years Charlie covers all things related to Dubai's latest project releases.