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Dubai Real Estate: Areas, Prices, and Developers
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Dubai Real Estate: Areas, Prices, and Developers

Dubai Real Estate: What Makes It So Attractive

People from all over the world come to Dubai for different reasons, but one thing remains relevant for all – housing. Some want to invest in lucrative property, while others search for real estate to live in or rent out. 

1) International Community

The city attracts thousands of foreign investors and wealthy individuals from the UK, the US, Canada, Europe, and the rest of the world. The local community is very diverse, with almost 90% of all Dubai citizens being expatriates from abroad. It makes the city a unique place of a cultural mix with endless international opportunities.

Foreign-owned properties in Dubai account for ¾ of the real estate market. In 2022, the number of property transactions made exceeded a record-breaking 97,000. The overall worth was more than €67 billion.

2) Cutting-Edge Infrastructure

The infrastructure and environment around local properties are particularly modern and well-developed. You can easily access any part of the city by car wherever you live. 

In most residential areas, developers try to introduce everything you might need for a comfortable and convenient life. They often feature a recreation area, sports center, planted greenery, playgrounds, shops, hairdressers, and much more.

3) Second Home for Holidays

You can come to the sunny emirate in a cold time of the year to change the setting and enjoy the warm weather. Having your own place to live there makes it a perfect place for beach holidays.

Traveling to and from Dubai is very easy. The local international airport (DXB) is one of the busiest in the world and a massive global hub. It serves flights to 259 destinations in 101 countries worldwide. 

4) Safe Environment

Over the past few years, Dubai has consistently ranked among the world's top cities in international rankings for safety, sustainability, living conditions for families with children, and recreation.

5) Multi-Purpose Real Estate

An investor becomes a sole proprietor of the purchased real estate and is free to decide for what purposes it will be used. The real estate can be rented out, sold, granted, transferred by succession, or you can live there permanently or use it as your second home overseas.

6) Tourist-Friendly Destination

In 2023, Dubai was named the World’s Best Travel Destination. In 2022, more than 14 million travelers visited this emirate. As a property owner in Dubai, you will always have potential tenants to rent out to. 

Tourists, freelancers, and business people all come to this magnificent city to enjoy its opportunities all year round. Whatever type of real estate investors buy, they can be sure to find a person for whom it will be a right fit. 

7) Buying Under a Company Name

Some wealthy individuals might prefer to buy new real estate in the name of their company to protect their assets and not to put their name to the public. In Dubai, it is rather easy to purchase a property in a company name. 

The only thing is that that company must be registered in Dubai. However, establishing a company there is very easy and can be done in less than 30 days.

8) Residence Visa

When purchasing real estate in Dubai as a foreigner, you become eligible for a residence visa. 

If you buy housing for at least AED 750,000 (~$204,200), you can obtain a 2-year residence visa that can be renewed.

If your property costs more than AED 2,000,000 (~$544,500), you are eligible for a 10-year residence permit that can also be prolonged.

Moreover, it is possible to buy real estate in Dubai with a mortgage. Investor’s spouse or other family members can also be included in the application for the visa. 

Real Estate Market in Dubai

One will find a whole range of properties in Dubai, from rather simple studio apartments to high-end luxury villas, townhouses, and penthouses. Each type and project has its own features. 

Apartments are primarily found in high-story buildings and skyscrapers but are also sometimes located in low-rise residential complexes. It can be a small 27m² studio, a one-bedroom, or an enormous apartment with 4+ bedrooms and several bathrooms. 

Some of them are located on the beachfront, so residents can swim in the gulf or sunbathe right at the doorstep of their building.

Villas are a better choice for those who wish to have a bit more nature around and a plot of land. They are often built in gated residential communities or autonomous neighborhoods. Residents living there have access to various facilities and shops, schools, and medical centers are a short drive away.

Townhouses are two- or three-story houses with terraces and their own private territory, often adjacent to the sides of neighboring buildings of the same type. 

Townhouses are a perfect solution for those who want to live in their own home surrounded by greenery but do not intend to give up the advantages of a big city. This comfortable modern housing can be found both in elite gated communities and in high-rise residential complexes in the city center.

Penthouses are luxury apartments on the top floors of high-rise buildings, occupying up to two upper floors. They usually offer stunning city skyline views thanks to private terraces and balconies. 

The distinctive feature of this type of housing is a spacious living area and a wide range of additional amenities, such as a private rooftop pool, recreation area, or a private garden.

Property Features

Furnished and Unfurnished 

Your new villa or apartment may come with or without furniture. In furnished real estate, all the rooms feature all the pieces, from functional to decorative ones. 

Unfurnished apartments and houses usually come with kitchen and bathroom essentials. An owner will need to buy furniture and appliances for the rest of the rooms.

Interior Design

Nowadays, real estate projects come with a pre-planned modern interior design. If you choose a fully furnished apartment, it will feature a particular style selected for the whole project. It can be ultra-modern, classic European, or have features of styles like Art Nouveau, Boho, or Minimalism. 

Services and Facilities

When buying real estate in Dubai, you most often get not only a space for living but also a whole list of additional facilities and services. Those include swimming pools, cleaning services, fitness clubs, restaurants, SPA centers, recreation areas, social and commercial facilities, sports grounds, and more. 

Schools for children, including a plentitude of private international schools, are located all across the city, so you will always have a good place for your kids to study within a several-minute drive if not walk.

Off-Plan Properties in Dubai

Off-plan projects provide more favorable purchase terms and give an opportunity to receive profit from rent and increased market value of the acquired objects. The average real estate under construction costs almost 2 times less than completed projects.

Besides, many developers offer investors additional discounts and promotions, e.g., exemption from DLD registration fees, several years of free service, etc. 

It is possible to sell your off-plan property when it is still under construction. Also, when purchasing off-plan, developers in Dubai can offer you a so-called post-handover payment plan. It is an installment plan provided directly by the developer. 

The difference between a mortgage and a payment plan is that no interest has to be paid to the bank, and it is fast and easy to arrange. The terms and conditions of a payment plan may vary depending on the project.

In most cases, the buyer needs to pay a commission for reserving the property (5-10% of the value) and make a down payment (depending on the terms of the developer, it can be 5-30%). The remaining amount is paid over 2-5 years. Often, the date of the last payment is made when the property is handed over to the owner, but in some cases, an investor can make the final payment post-handover.

Dubai Areas for Buying Real Estate 

The selection of an area depends on the purpose for which you purchase a property. Two major types are commercial and residential.

If your goal is to use it for commercial activities and your clients and customers will need to visit your space, it is better to find something in the central areas of the city. This way, they will not have to spend hours to get to your office, cafe, shop, or studio, and it will be easier to access your space.

In case your business does not imply any physical presence of your customers at your premises, consider finding something further away from the center to find a space for a better price. Generally, entrepreneurs choose Free zones for their offices since those places are made for setting up business.

The Most Popular Central Areas in Dubai Are:

  • Dubai Marina
  • Downtown Dubai
  • Business Bay
  • Jumeirah Lake Towers

Some of the Most Popular Free Zones in Dubai Are: 

  • Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA)
  • Dubai Media City (DMC)
  • Dubai Internet City (DIC)
  • Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO)
  • Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA)
  • Dubai Design District 

If your main goal is to buy real estate for residential purposes, you should also take into consideration how you want to use it. 

In case you want to rent it out, especially short-term, you will need to look for tourist places. The best choice would be the central areas already mentioned above, e.g., Dubai Marina, Downtown, or Business Bay. You could also consider real estate in less popular but still very prospective districts such as Dubai Creek Harbour.

Those who wish to invest in properties that will bring them the most capital gain and also those who value privacy may want to consider investing in real estate in such places as DAMAC Hills, DAMAC Lagoons, and Arabian Ranches III. 

Wealthy expats looking for luxury living, amazing views, and proximity to the beach often go for Palm Jumeirah, a coastal residential area of Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim, or Jumeirah Bay Island.

Dubai Real Estate Developers

There are more than 300 real estate developers in Dubai. Some of them are especially famous and are known for their high-quality projects, including: 

Meraas – a prestigious property developer who built the incredible Bluewaters Island. They also have a whole range of luxury real estate in their portfolio, such as Bvlgari Resort & Residences, Nikki Beach Residences, La Mer Maisons, Bluewaters Residences, and many more.

Emaar – another famous developer who built an internationally renowned Burj Khalifa and an enormous Dubai Mall. Other Emaar projects include Greenside Residence, Emaar Beachfront, Dubai Hills Estate, The Oasis, Arabian Ranches III, and others.

Damac – a familiar name for those interested in property in the UAE. It has built over 39000 houses and has been on the market for over 20 years. Damac’s biggest projects are DAMAC Hills, DAMAC Lagoons, and DAMAC Heights.

Nakheel – one of the UAE’s major developers and a master developer of the great man-made islands such as Palm Jumeirah and the World. Other renowned projects of this developer include Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC), Dubai International City, and Jebel Ali Village.

Prices for Property in Dubai

Just like in other places in the world, the price of real estate depends on the district, the type of property, its size, and the developer. The average cost for Dubai real estate ranges between $200,000-1,000,000.

For example, the lowest price for a studio in Dubai will be around $100,000 but can easily go up to $400,000 if it is located in a prestigious district. 

One-bedroom apartments can cost around $300,000-2,000,000 but can sometimes reach $20-30 million. 

2-3 bedroom prices can vary significantly, and one can find a 2-bedroom apartment even for $80,000 near the airport. The highest prices go up far, in some cases up to $115 million.

Villas and townhouses generally cost more than apartments. The median price for a townhouse is approximately $500,000. More luxurious options can cost around $8-10 million. Prices for villas in Dubai are often higher than for townhouses. You can buy an average villa for about $1 million.

Such areas as Dubai Marina, Jumeirah, Business Bay, Palm Jumeirah, and Dubai Hills Estate are home to the most expensive properties.

A good thing is that if you invest in property in Dubai and rent it out, you can expect an excellent yearly yield, reaching 11-12%.

Buying or Renting a Property in the UAE

Non-Arab expats are only allowed to buy property in the so-called Freehold zones. The properties located in these areas are registered as entirely private property.

Most of the city is considered to be a Freehold zone. Famous districts such as Jumeirah Lake Towers, Dubai Marina, Al Barsha, Business Bay, Emirates Hills, and others are classified as Freehold zones.

Wealthy Expat experts help investors to find the most lucrative real estate options. Contact our team in Dubai if you are looking to buy high-value property in the UAE.

Why Choose Us?

Our company head office is located in Dubai, the UAE, so we know exactly how to find the best real estate option in a local market overflowing with offers.

The Wealthy Expat team can also help you deal with local authorities, developers, legal procedures and acquire a Golden Visa or residency effortlessly.  

Still have questions?

Contact our expert team to learn more about Dubai real estate.

We will analyze your case and find the most favorable options for you.


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