Five Things to Consider When Buying or Selling a Property in Dubai

If you are an expat or an international investor looking to buy or sell real estate in Dubai, it’s important that you have a team of experienced legal consultants on your side to ensure you are prepared for any hidden or unforeseen legal issues in the process. Here are the top five things you need to keep in mind when investing in real estate in Dubai :

Leasehold or Freehold?

If you are an expat, or overseas investor you can buy a freehold or leasehold property. Over the years, it has been made possible for foreign investors to buy property in Dubai in certain designated freehold areas such as Emirates Hills. In other areas, you cannot buy property but only lease. You can lease for certain time periods. Some leasehold areas include Discovery Garden and Jumeirah.

Purpose of Buying the Property

You need to set a clear objective regarding your property purchase before you set out to invest. Are you buying it for your own personal use? If so, then you should consider factors such as schools, hospitals, workplace and other modern amenities nearby. Factoring in your and your family’s requirements can help you narrow down on ideal residential locations. If you are buying the property solely for investment purposes, then factor in return on investment (ROI), high rental value and capital growth rate per year. An experienced real estate specialist will be able to advise you on these aspects based on the volume of transactions and market studies they have done.

Location and Developer

If you are familiar with Dubai, then you will have an idea of the locations you would want to own property in. Consider your budget, your purpose and also the kind of community you want to settle down in. Next, research the developer to see if they are professional and credible with a proven track record of building and maintaining a good community. Look at it also from the perspective of both the landlord and the tenant and ask all the right questions.

Finding a Reliable Real Estate Broker and Property Team

You need to find a reliable, experienced and trustworthy real estate broker to sell or help you find your property profitably. It’s important you have an experienced property team, who has experience in both complex and standard transactions, to assist and guide you through the conveyancing process. They will be able to share their insights about the Dubai property market and advise you on the best possible prices and connect you with serious buyers or sellers.

Seek the advice of a Real Estate Lawyer who can protect your interests.

Whether you are buying or selling, it’s important to get a thorough inspection of the fundamentals of the asset and the parties involved in the deal. The higher the transaction value, the more critical it becomes to perform due diligence in these aspects. A conveyancing lawyer will check the validity of proof of ownership (title deed for completed properties; Oqood for off-plan properties) so you can be confident that the property is free from encumbrance or any legal impediments before you pay the deposit or sign any contracts.

A conveyancing lawyer’s duties include:

  • Explaining and drafting the Memorandum of Understanding.
  • Reviewing completion timeframes and advising on any potential special conditions relating to the purchase.
  • Holding the deposit cheques until the transfer occurs.
  • Ensuring all maintenance/service fees are paid as per the developer’s requirements for an NOC application.
  • Drafting and confirming the final transfer documentation, detailing all monies involved.

If your conveyancing lawyer works for a full-service law firm, they can, at the same time the property purchase occurs, ensure you have a legally valid Will in the UAE as well as a UAE Power of Attorney. Buying property and putting a Will in place go hand in hand in the UAE, as failure to have these tools in place could see your estate being subject to Sharia Law if you pass away in the UAE. To find out more about buying/selling property in Dubai and the legal process, please contact our office at or call +971 4 448 4284.

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