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An Expat’s Guide to Luxury Real Estate in Dubai

Purchasing a luxury property in Dubai is a dream for many across the world. The city’s fireworks and tall buildings are just a glimpse of what it has to offer – given that it is home to one of the world’s largest malls and indoor aquarium, and also hosts the largest man-made island and numerous family-friendly theme parks.

After a royal decree in 2002, foreigners and expats have been granted permission to buy property in Dubai. Since then, investments flew in the country – steadily rising – and Dubai rose up as a popular investment hub.

The law for buying luxury property in Dubai can differ on whether you are an expat or a UAE national. Therefore, it’s important to research which laws apply to you, and the steps you need to take to buy a luxury home in Dubai that suits your goals and aspirations for a new house.

Expats can buy only buy in certain locations in Dubai, but these areas are plentiful and include some of the most prestigious sites, such as Palm Jumeirah, Emirates Hills and Downtown Dubai.

We’ve gathered some of the key points that you need to consider before buying your next luxury home in Dubai:

  1. Does your new Dubai luxury home suit your needs and goals?

Before heading out to the mall to buy a new outfit, fashion gurus always advise picturing what you want to buy, in your mind. The same goes for any purchasing decisions we make, and especially long-term decisions such as buying a luxury home.

Therefore, before choosing a luxury apartment in Dubai, do your fair share of market research. Consider these questions:

  • Do I want to sell this property in the future? Is there an investment opportunity?
  • Do I want to let it out for rent? Will the rental returns be high?
  • Do I want to buy it as a permanent home? Can I imagine myself living here?
  • Is the property conveniently located near my workplace?
  • Do the amenities suit my lifestyle? Is there a hospital, a school and a running track nearby?

These questions are crucial to consider before buying a luxury apartment in Dubai. Consequently, appropriate market research is an essential first step in your decision-making process.

  1. Will you buy off-plan property or property from the secondary market?

Many people opt to purchase the off-plan property because it is easier to finance than a ready-property. When choosing a luxury apartment in Dubai, you may want it to be tailored to your specifications.

If you prefer a beige theme, a classical tone to your house or a more modern design, these will be factors that you will want to voice to the developer or real estate agent that you are working with. Some properties are ready for sale, with the design implemented before-hand. Some are fully furnished, while other properties are still going to be built.

Depending on your preference, and the urgency at which you want to receive the key to your new home, you will need to choose between these two markets.

  1. How will you finance your luxury home in Dubai?

According to the Dubai Land Department, property transactions in Dubai exceeded AED 285 billion – and this is only in 2017.

In Dubai, a mortgage is not uncommon. More than half of real estate sales in Dubai, at 55%, are done through a mortgage, according to a report by Reidin. Depending on your monthly income, your assets and your liabilities, you will be able to qualify for a mortgage.

Your mortgage cannot exceed more than 25 years. We always advise keeping your mortgage as short as you can, in order to avoid high-interest rates. 

  1. What should you expect out of the purchasing process?

Once you make a verbal offer to the real estate agent or seller, your purchasing process begins. When the seller agrees, you will be given a formal contract, which will be drafted and signed. Afterwards, you will be required to make a deposit. When the final payment is done, you will receive the deed as the legal and new owner of your luxury apartment in Dubai.

Some factors will vary depending on whether you choose to purchase an off-plan property, or a property sold by a private seller directly.

For off-plan properties in Dubai, you will be required to submit a reservation form with your passport. Your purchase agreement should detail the project’s completion date, and your compensation if the developer does not meet the deadline.

When it comes to resale purchases, you and the second party will sign a memorandum of understanding, outlining the terms of the sale. To receive the deed, you will be required to pay for the property in full.

At Ellington Properties, we can offer you a select range of high-end luxury apartments in Dubai that can meet your aspirations. Contact us at to discuss how we can help you reach your goals.