Thinking of buying a property in the UAE? Then you need to read our useful guide to buying a property in Dubai. Complete with useful country information and links to estate agent’s websites and an insight into the buying process of acquiring a property in the United Arab Emirates or UA as it is commonly known.
In recent years, the government of Dubai has reformed the property laws in that country.
Through this reformation process, more and more people have found that buying residential real estate and investment real estate in that country is ever more attractive.
Historically, many foreign nationals were reluctant to invest in real estate in Dubai because there was a great deal of uncertainty as to exactly what type of real estate interest a person could actually obtain by investing in real estate in that country.
Specifically, the most desired type of interest in real estate is what is known as a freehold estate.
Legally speaking, in Dubai and in other countries the world over, a freehold estate is one in which a person has an absolute interest in a piece of real estate and can convey that real estate to any other person or entity without any encumbrances to such a conveyance.
It is the state in which a person has an absolute ownership interest in a piece of real estate.
Investment Property in the United Arab Emirates – Dubai
Far and above, the most common type of real estate purchase that foreign nationals are making in Dubai involves investment in real estate.
In recent years, the government of Dubai has made a concerted effort to draw more foreign investment into that country than at any other time in the history of Dubai.
By way of example, a significant number of foreign nationals have invested in business and commercial property within Dubai.
More often than not, a group of foreign investors tend to come together to invest in a particular commercial property in order to spread the risk a bit.
Even though Dubai is one of the more stable countries within that particular region of the world, the Middle East remains something of a powder keg and the future stability of the region is always a concern.
Residential Property in United Arab Emirates – Dubai
The demand by foreign nationals for single-family dwellings historically has been nominal.
However, in the past decade, the number of people from different nations who can be found seeking single-family dwellings in Dubai has increased by nearly 100%.
There are two primary reasons why more foreign nationals have become interested in single-family dwellings within Dubai.
First, with Dubai and its government becoming more interested in playing a larger role on the world’s economic stage, there has been something of a concerted effort at attracting foreign business enterprises to that country.
As a result, there are more foreign nationals who have elected to purchase real estate in that country for residential purposes.
Secondly, throughout much of the Arab world and into Europe and Africa, a growing number of people from these other nations have begun to look toward Dubai as a place to maintain vacation or holiday property.
More and more people have elected to make the purchase of a second residence in Dubai for vacation and holiday purposes.
Residential Real Estate – Apartments in United Arab Emirates – Dubai
As mentioned previously, due to the influx of foreign nationals into Dubai over the course of the past decade, the demand for residential property is on the increase.
Many foreign nationals have turned to purchasing and owning apartments for residential purposes.
Generally speaking, even rather luxurious apartments can be purchased in Dubai for comparatively reasonable prices.
For example, a person generally can make the purchase of an apartment in Dubai that would cost considerably more than a comparable unit in many other countries around the world.
Holiday Property in UAE Holiday Resorts
As referenced previously, a growing number of people have begun buying and owning vacation property within Dubai.
This includes foreign nationals who are turning to Dubai as a place to travel to for vacation or holiday purposes.
Because Dubai is one of the most stable nations in all of the Arab world, many more well-to-do people from other nations in the region are turning to Dubai as a location in which they can own second or vacation residences.
In addition, a growing number of Europeans are also taking to purchasing vacation properties within Dubai.
The trend towards the ownership of vacation property by foreign nationals in Dubai is expected to increase over the course of the next two decades, according to real estate analysts who have spent a great deal of time considering real property trends in Dubai.
Specific Steps to Buying a Property in United Arab Emirates – Dubai
Since the 1940s, most foreign nationals who had the inclination to purchase real estate abroad have shied away from buying such property in any of the countries in the Arab world.
There are two primary reasons why so many foreign nationals historically have avoided buying real estate in Arab countries, including in Dubai.
First of all, as news reports have recounted over the course of the past sixty years, the Arab world is far from being the most stable region in the country.
Wars and violence have been common occurrences within that corner of the world.
The second reason why so many foreign nationals have avoided buying and owning real estate in the Arab world rests in the fact that the laws governing the ownership of real estate in many of these countries have been complicated and structured in such a way that it overtly discouraged foreign investment in real estate.
Indeed, many countries that make up the Arab world have prohibited foreign ownership of real estate for much of the past fifty to sixty years — including the present day.
With all of that said Dubai has been on the vanguard of creating foreign-friendly real estate laws that encourage investment in real estate by foreign nationals.
First and foremost, the laws in Dubai have been reformed to make it abundantly clear that a foreign national can purchase and own outright real estate within that country.
A foreign national can obtain a freehold interest (as has been discussed previously) in real estate in Dubai.
In Dubai, the first step in buying real estate is an oral offer to a seller. In Dubai, a foreign national needs no special permission to make the purchase of a real estate in that country.
In addition, unlike some countries (including some in the Middle East region of the world), a foreign national can own real estate directly and does not have to bounce through an extra set of hoops towards the goal of buying and holding real property.
Following the acceptance of the oral offer, an initial real estate sales contract is drafted and executed between the parties. A deposit — in an amount negotiated by the parties — is placed at this time by the buyer to the seller.
Generally speaking, the deposit is not refundable unless the seller of the property is unable to convey the real estate to the buyer.
In other words, barring some snafu by the seller, a buyer will lose his or her deposit if he or she backs out of the contract.
In Dubai, a mortgage lender from nearly any country in the world can provide financing for the purchase of real estate in that country.
What one needs to bear in mind when buying property in Dubai is that many times a lender will require collateral beyond the property located in Dubai, beyond the real estate being purchased.
In most real estate transactions the world over, the only collateral the lender requires for a mortgage loan is the real estate itself that is purchased.
However, when a foreign national is making the purchase of a real estate in Dubai, a mortgage lender in most instances will require collateral beyond the actual real estate situated in Dubai that is being purchased.
The primary reasons for the requirement for additional collateral when obtaining a loan to purchase real estate in Dubai include the general instability in the region.
There is a concern on the part of some mortgage lenders that something might cause a disruption in Dubai that might affect the real estate collateral in that country. Thus, the typical lender will want additional collateral for any loan.
Additionally, while the real estate-related laws in Dubai are very liberal, there is always some concern that a new regime might take control of the country causing a disfavorable alteration in the real estate laws in that country. Again, for that reason, lenders desire additional protective collateral in regard to the purchase of real estate in Dubai.
With this in mind, when purchasing real estate in Dubai, it is imperative that a potential purchaser makes certain that he or she has access to other property that can be used as additional collateral for the purchase of real estate in that nation.
Once the various requirements of the initial contract are satisfied — the buyer obtaining financing, the seller making certain that the property is free of any encumbrances that might prevent a conveyance to the buyer — a final contract is executed, the remaining money due to the seller is paid and a deed for the property is given to the buyer who will become the new owner of the real estate at that juncture.
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