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How to Buy Property in Dubai from India in 2023

Do you want to buy property in Dubai from India? If YES, here are 20 smart tips on how to buy property in Dubai from India at the best best price. Report has it that there are over 8 million expatriates living in the UAE based on figures released and collated over the past two years.

These expatriates have been staying in the country for periods ranging from one year to 50 years or more. To some of them, UAE is a second home, many only returning to their own nations upon retirement. Quality of life, tax-free incomes and savings are major causes for this trend.

Table of Content

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Why Buy Property in Dubai as an Indian?

With recent economic changes in india and the lack of incentivized benefits for investments, especially in the real estate sector, Indian investors are looking for alternate means to achieve higher returns on investments. As such, they are setting their sights on Dubai.

The trend of Indians investing in Dubai has risen massively due to the exponentially increasing property prices in India. Have it in mind that over 25 per cent of foreign investment in Dubai real estate is contributed by Indians. Indians topped foreign real estate investments in Dubai last year, making Dh12 billion worth of property transactions across 6,263 investors.

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There has been a 12 per cent growth in the number of Indian travelers to Dubai despite demonetization and cash pressures. Also, with the recent development, the repercussions have reduced sales in the Indian real estate sector. With the post demonetization last November, Indian investors who wish to invest in second homes or deploy their recently-converted old money to new money have limited options to achieve higher returns in India.

In Dubai, Indian investors can enjoy tax-free returns of eight to 10 per cent and sound capital appreciation as the dirham is pegged to the US dollar and unaffected by currency fluctuations. Also, under the Reserve Bank of India’s ‘liberated remittance scheme’, an Indian investor can transfer $250,000 legally per year. A couple can send $500,000 every year. This amount can fetch a fantastic property in Dubai.

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It’s also important to note that the simplicity and ease of registering a property in Dubai in comparison to India is much better and one is entitled to a residence visa on investing Dh1 million in this city. Report also has it that property prices in Dubai are very economical when compared to India.

Asides that, all apartments in Dubai are sold in terms of carpet area while in India, it is sold as built-up. In addition, car park is given for free in Dubai. In India, it is charged separately. In Dubai, most apartments come with fittings and fixtures whereas in India, properties usually come shell and core.

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So, when these factors are put together, you get a fantastic deal in Dubai and much higher value for money. As of today, you can buy only a 99sqm land plot in Mumbai for $1 million versus a 162sqm land parcel in Dubai for the same amount. Over the years, Dubai have grown into a hotspot not only for business but also for sectors such as tourism, real estate, etc. So, if you’re interested in acquiring a property in Dubai, be sure to consider the key tips stated below.

20 Smart Tips on How to Buy Property in Dubai from India

  1. Understand your reason for wanting property

First, you have to decide if you are buying a property for investment purposes or one you intend to occupy yourself. For instance, if your key purpose of purchasing property is for investment, then you will  most likely rent out such a property.

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If that is the case, then it’s important to look at the property market and study the types of properties that have the highest rental yield. Investing in a one or two bedroom apartment would be a more sound investment decision than indulging in a villa purchase, as the former have better rental yields than the latter, even though the latter may seem more luxurious to own.

  1. Know what type of property you are interested in

Most foreign buyers often choose to buy either apartments, townhouses, or villas, which are generally located in secure complexes with communal leisure facilities such as tennis courts, swimming pools and gyms. Always make sure you are looking at an area in which foreigners are allowed to buy property. Some of the most popular, luxurious and expensive developments include Emaar Towers, Jumeirah Gardens, International City and Al Hamra Village.

  1. Connect with a formidable Estate Agency

Experts advice you consider more than just one estate agency, especially in a hot property emirate like Dubai. Take your time to do your research and go through a few estate agencies to find the one with the most properties, the best fees, the most comprehensive information, and the best real estate agents. Make sure the most important people involved in your search are the best you can find.

  1. Know the benefits of due diligence

Whether buying off-plan or resale properties, it is always good for buyers to ask plenty of questions to know the reputation of either the developer or the real estate agent. If buying from a developer, you will want to look at the developer’s reputation particularly with respect to quality as well as being able to deliver on time.

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In most cases when buying from a developer, the unit you purchase is not even ready, so it becomes doubly important for potential buyers to visit show homes to get an idea of what they can expect. If you intend to purchase through a real estate agent, find one that is registered with the Dubai Land Department.

  1. Ascertain if your agent is legal

Your broker or your agent will probably hold a deposit cheque you made out to the owner for up to 10 per cent of the property value. The more reason you need that person to be scrupulously honest. If he hands the owner that cheque and the owner cashes it, you will have a difficult time getting it back.

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When the market heats up, every doorman, taxi driver and “friend of the owner” becomes a broker. They are unregulated, loose with the truth (as they don’t have a reputation to protect or regulators to answer to) and don’t know the process. In Dubai you can check their Real Estate Regulatory Agency credentials online.

  1. Know the purchasing process in Dubai

Have it in mind that in Dubai property can be bought either ‘off-plan’ from a developer or ‘resale’ from a private seller. When buying off-plan, expats will need to submit their passport, along with a reservation form that pronounces the terms and conditions of the deal.

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A reservation fee of between 5 to 15% is then paid to draw up the Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA), that commits both parties to the deal. But for properties that are still under construction, make sure that the agreement includes a completion date and outlines any compensation to be paid if there is a delay in completion by the stipulated time period.

Also, when purchasing resale property from a private seller, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) outlines the terms and conditions of the deal, after which the buyer usually puts down a 10% deposit of the property price to confirm his purchase of the property, pending approved financing. Once financing is obtained, the transfer of deeds can take place.

  1. Obtain the required ID and visa documents

Over the years, it has become much more straightforward for foreigners to buy and rent property in Dubai. You will, however, still need to present a valid passport to prove your identity. You are not required to hold any type of residency permit in order to buy property, but assuming you want to stay there, you will have to take care of this.

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The UAE government has a six month visa for property buyers, called the “Property Holders Visa.” This allows foreign investors to stay in Dubai for six months while they investigate investments. Note that to qualify for this, the property you buy must have a value greater than 1 million dirham, which equates to around $272,000. You must be buying as an individual, not as a company.

  1. Visit Dubai

Before you think of investing money in a property, be sure that you have spent a little time in Dubai. If you are buying a resale property, ensure that you view as many properties as you can, and ask the same questions you would ask if you were buying property anywhere else in the world.

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Also, if you are buying off-plan or construction is not complete, make sure you go to see similar properties by the same developer that are finished. When you are in Dubai, you will also have access to paper listings in specialist local newspapers and magazines, and be able to attend the property fairs that continue all year.

  1. Have the property surveyed

If you want to buy an existing property from a private seller on the secondary market, it would be prudent to hire the services of a registered, professional surveying company.

Up-keep of a property is the responsibility of the owner; surveyors can assess the property in question by doing a thorough check of the premises and can alert potential buyers to the risk of any future high-maintenance costs particularly for properties such as villas which may sometimes remain unoccupied for several months.

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Once you take possession of the property, its maintenance then becomes your responsibility so, as a buyer, you want to make sure you don’t inherit any major problems down the line.

  1. Get Local Knowledge

The old-fashioned way of conducting research still works; just ask around. It could simply mean walking around a specific area and asking questions about amenities and other stuff, but more likely it should mean asking other expats or locals about the advantages and disadvantages of certain areas, schooling, parks, and a whole host of other considerations.

Basically, if you’re buying property in Dubai, use the knowledge of people who have been there for a while and can ‘school’ you on everything you need to know.

  1. Make your agent a partner

Generally, the tradition in the UAE is to use brokers as simple doormen, who provide the keys for you to view the unit. You then use another broker for another unit and so on. In Europe and North America they tend to be more of a partner in the transaction, advising the client, doing their research for them, giving genuine advice. If you’re making one of the biggest transactions in your life you deserve to have professional, expert advice.

  1. Scout the Areas Available

This is just common sense since you need to know the area you will be moving into. In Dubai, you have the opulence and self-sufficiency of the gated communities of Arabian Ranches; The Greens or The Lakes; Emirates Hills if you’re on a smaller budget; the Dubai Marina if you’re after breathtaking sea views, or you can look into Dubai International Financial Center and its buzzing atmosphere if you’re young and spirited.

  1. Calculate the Fees and Taxes

There are certain fees that you have to consider when buying property in Dubai, like developer’s fees, real estate broker fees, mortgage fee, and it is worth finding out exactly what these will cost you. A typical amount, as a rule of thumb, is to add an extra 5% on the purchase price. Don’t get caught out.

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When you are determining the overall cost of the property, you should also include the purchase price, the deposit, transfer fees, and the potential for currency exchange rates to fluctuate. It is not legally necessary, but it is advisable to employ a lawyer to help you negotiate all the paperwork. Include the costs of a lawyer in your calculations. A new-build property will likely require a land registration fee of around 2%.

  1. Do not buy today and sell tomorrow

A property purchase is a mid-term investment, especially if you are doing so to acquire residency visa. You have got expenses like broker’s commission and a governmental fee for registration of ownership rights. It will take some time for these expenses to pay off.

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Besides, a property is generally not a high liquidity investment and it will be quite unlikely to sell a property for a good price in a couple of days. However, the flipside of that coin is that, if you have decided to buy property in Dubai – it is a secure investment with a stable income.

  1. Don’t Forget the ‘Opt-out’ clause

If you intend to buy a property with a mortgage, it is essential to request that an opt-out clause be included in the sale agreement or Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). This clause essentially indemnifies the purchaser against the loss of the deposit money put down to secure a property, in the event that the bank evaluation of the property comes out to be lower than expected, resulting in the buyer having to put a larger down payment on the property.

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Without the opt-out clause, a buyer in this situation, who cannot come up with the larger down payment, would lose the deposit money.

This is often 10% of the cost of the property and can result in the buyer being out-of-pocket on a large amount of money through no fault of his. Opt-out clauses should be specifically worded with the anticipated valuation amount so that there is no dispute later on.

  1. Understand the Mortgages

In 2002, the Prince issued official legislation gave permission to foreigners to buy property in Dubai, but you must take note that most banks will only lend between 50-80% of the price of the property (usually no more than 50% if it’s off-plan property in Dubai), and many will require collateral by way of another property, while mortgages will usually be for a 15-year period.

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Mortgages can be difficult to obtain in Dubai. Non-status/self-certification mortgages are not available and the amount of red tape and paperwork involved can be off-putting to those accustomed to a less rigorous system. Mortgage repayments, combined with any other monthly expenses, must not exceed 35% of net monthly income.

As exchange control is a complex subject, it is advisable to obtain appropriate professional advice before deciding to take out a mortgage in a foreign currency. Mortgage rules change often in Dubai, so try to keep up-to-date by consulting local news and the Central Bank of the UAE.

  1. Attend property fairs

Note that the property market in Dubai is more or less very young, although growing fast. As a result, a good amount of property bought by foreigners is bought from developers who may not have built the property yet. Property fairs are a popular way for developers to present their work and meet potential buyers.

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These property fairs are held all over the world, so look for one visiting a city near you. You should always check that the developer you are considering is registered and licensed with the RERA.

  1. Know Freehold and Leasehold Areas

In 2000, Dubai authority made it accessible for foreigners to buy properties within its bounds but only in certain areas known as freehold areas. Dubai freehold property areas are found in Um Hurair, Al Barsha, Emirates Hills, Jebel Ali, Al Gouz, Ras Al Khour, Nad Al Shiba, and many other.

Full ownership isn’t permitted in all Dubai localities. There are some other areas where properties are given only on lease for periods of time varying between 10 and 99 years. There are many leasehold areas in Dubai like Deera, Discovery Garden, Jumeirah, and many other.  So, as a buyer, you need to check first if its a freehold or leasehold area.

  1. Get ‘pre-approval’ from your bank and remember to transfer the deeds

Right before you decide to buy a property in Dubai, make sure that you are pre-approved by your lending institution. This means that in principle, you have the funds to go through with a transaction. This can save many wasted hours for both the buyer and the real estate agent.

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Also, to complete the purchase you must transfer the deeds. This is the point at which you will be required to pay 100% of the purchase price. The deeds will not be transferred, and you will not own the property until you have paid, so you must have financing in place.

If the property has been completed, the transfer will happen at the Land Department Offices. If it is yet to be finished, you will transfer the deeds at the developer’s office. You will then generally be invited to inspect the property and highlight any final issues that need to be taken care of.

  1. Read and understand the contract carefully

In Dubai, property purchases are accompanied by legal documents that may be a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) or a Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) between the buyer and seller. These documents outline all the terms and conditions as well as define the buyer’s and seller’s responsibility in completing transfer of the property.

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Always ensure you understand your responsibilities as a buyer as outlined in the agreement; do not sign unless you are sure you understand and agree to all the terms and conditions.