Dubai Freehold – What you need to know
The property scenario in Dubai changed dramatically in 2002 when the “Dubai Freehold” was introduced by the Government. This system essentially permitted foreign nationals, or expatriates as they are also known, the right to purchase and hold ownership of property in the Emirate of Dubai. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President & Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai released this declaration to permit non-Emiratis in Dubai to buy property on a freehold ownership basis.
This form of investment gives the buyer absolute ownership over both the entity and the land that it is built upon. This is different from a leasehold property, wherein, you buy the right to absorb the property – either live in it yourself or rent it – from a freeholder for a period of 99 years (or less).
You buy the right to absorb the property – Either live in it yourself or rent it.
Coming back to freehold properties, they are available for purchase in designated areas for expatriates – in the Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Marina, Emirates Hills and Al Barsha. Your freehold property can be sold, rented out or occupied by yourself and the rules governing the property allows for a smooth passing down of your investment to the will of your choice.
The existing rules set by the Dubai Land Department (DLD) provides eligibility for a two-year renewable property investor visa for a freehold property valued at AED 1 million or more on the property ownership deed.
On an average, the completion of a property transaction takes roughly 30 days from the date the agreement has been signed. Following this, an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) is signed between the buyer and the seller with a certain deposit amount, as agreed upon amongst themselves. A few more formalities like an NOC and some brokerage fees later, you are on your way to acquiring your piece of investment in Dubai.
As per statistics revealed by the DLD, foreign investors injected AED 56 billion to the property landscape in 2017. In that pool, Indian nationals invested AED 15.6 billion in 2017. This was followed by British nationals who invested Dh6 billion in 2017.
The Dubai freehold initiative was taken by the Dubai Government to be in line with the Emirate’s vision and leadership that is keen to provide a balanced economy, where growth is strengthened not only by it’s natural resources, but also benefits from the huge infrastructural scope and flexibility this city has to offer.