Dubai: Real Estate Investment Insights for Foreign Investors

Written by Posted On Monday, 07 October 2019 19:51

Property investors who are seeking foreign real estate should keep an eye on the real estate market in Dubai. Property prices in the advanced metropolis have been declining with the presence of oversupply, and this trend will continue until the relevant demand catches up. As a result, the market has become internationally competitive and property developers have been coming up with appealing and innovative incentives to attract buyers globally.

In addition to that, the government has recently implemented a permanent-residence-visa initiative to further lure foreign investors. Hence, it is only a matter of time before an uptrend is seen the property price, and eventually the real estate sector will be driven to a boom. However, investing in real estate in Dubai may be a daunting option for foreign investors who lack the technical knowledge in relation to real estate investing and performance in the country.

There are some important insights that should be known by property investors attempting to expand their investment portfolios overseas by getting real estate in Dubai without any relevant knowledge.

Investment Benefits and Constraints on Expatriates

Foreigners are only permitted to own freehold properties in designated freehold areas. However, this regulation is not applicable to leasehold properties. Foreign investors will also be granted 5-year residency visas when they have invested over Dh5 million. In addition, permanent residency is given to any investor having accumulated a total of Dh100 billion worth of investments.

Market Approaching the Bottom of Its Cycle

In accordance with market experts, the declining property prices are moving towards the levels that were last observed in 2009-2010, providing good investment opportunities for investors to step into the real estate market. Hence, given that the market is currently close to the lowest point of its cycle, property prices are unlikely to drastically decline any further. It is expected that prices and rents will remain comparatively stable over the remaining 2019. However, the market will recover to an extent that is dependent upon the effectiveness of the government-introduced benefits for foreign investors.

High Rental Yield

Despite declining property prices and rents, Dubai properties still provide higher rental yields than its international counterparts, such as New York, London and Hong Kong, making Dubai real estate more attractive.

Appealing Investment Schemes and Incentives

Several developers have been trying to attract more buyers by introducing investment schemes and incentives, such as post-handover payment plans, DLD registration fee waivers, free service charge and special payment plans that allow buyers to only pay 35 percentage of the prices of the properties they have purchased for the first 18 months and settle the remaining balance upon the completion of the construction works.

Dubai is offering great real estate investment opportunities for investors both foreign and local. However, taking into consideration the considerable amount of available properties for sales, investors shall ensure that their properties are well maintained to remain competitive in the market. Foreign investors should hire a building maintenance company in Dubai for maintenance of their properties.

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Craig Lebrau

Assistant Director (Landed Property) for Mourne Property Co. (Sydney) from 2001-2015. Founded and led Lebrau Estate Agents from 2015 until now - a boutique real estate firm serving private buyers.  

I prefer not to disclose social profiles as they delve into my personal life, however please feel free to get in touch via email at

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