Dubai is one of the most-admired destinations for real estate investments in the world yet learning how to navigate the complexities of purchasing a home in Dubai is easier said than done. Many who have no experience in Dubai or the Middle East in general nonetheless want to scoop up some beachside property in the country while property prices are still trending downwards. To do that successfully, you need to know what to expect, and how to go about buying a house in Dubai.
Here’s what you should know about Dubai and its real estate market, and what you should be doing if you want to buy a house there.
Dubai is jam-packed with expats
Dubai is filled to the brim with expats, or foreigners who have left their home countries to come to Dubai in order to enjoy its tax-free and luxurious lifestyle. Dubai is dotted with beachside resorts, towering skyscrapers, and other public works which make it an exceptionally alluring tourism destination, too, so you’ll constantly be capable of meeting new people from all over the world if you own property there. All of these factors also contribute to expensive property prices and certain ways of life, however, and you should do your homework before making the plunge and buying a pricey yet beautiful home.
Over the past couple of decades, Dubai has enjoyed an astonishing rise to economic prominence, with impressive construction projects now dotting the landscape. Over the past few years in particular, however, the construction market has taken a hit, and property prices have slowly but surely slunk downwards. According to one analysis from the Financial Times, property prices are down by at least 25 percent since 2014; this means that foreigners are facing a nearly-unparalleled opportunity to scoop up expensive property at a bargain price.
You should also be keeping an eye on the long-term real estate market, however, as continuously lowering prices can stymie your investment potential. Furthermore, many people who want to make a life for themselves in Dubai don’t intend to stay there forever, which is why large swathes of people who live there don’t actually own their own property. Buying will almost certainly entail high down payments, and it requires a sense of job security that many expats don’t have unless they have long-term intentions to stay in the area.
Special attention must be paid to mortgages. If you’re a mortgaged buyer of a completed home in Dubai, for instance, you’ll be required to make a 25 percent down payment, a steep bill which many expats don’t like to burden themselves down with. Given that the 25 percent figure is only the minimum for expat buyers, you’ll need to amply plan out your purchase long before it occurs. As expat buying guides will also remind you, life insurance is also compulsory when you mortgage property in the UAE, so don’t think that down payment will be your only expense.
Plan for traffic
Anyone wanting to buy a house in Dubai must also make travel plans. Traffic in Dubai is infamously bad despite its impressive public infrastructure, so anyone who needs to commute to the city center will want to take that factor into consideration when purchasing a home. Lovely places like Meydan still offer near-unparalleled views and living standards, however, so some extra time spent on the commute may be well worth it. Those who are unfamiliar with the region’s culture and customs must do their homework before buying a home unless they want to face some culture shock as they try to adjust to their new living space, though.
It’s worth reading the opinions of those who have lived, traveled, and worked in Dubai as expats before scooping up some nice property for yourself. They’ll remind you that many common assertions about Dubai are false; drinking alcohol isn’t forbidden like many people think, for instance, but is simply less common and acceptable in public than in Western countries and elsewhere. You should also consider such things as developer’s fees and transfer fees paid to the Land Department, though the specifics of such financial arrangements should be left to your real estate and financial professionals.
You may want to purchase a home that has covered car parking, as the stifling heat of the region can literally make your car unbearable to drive while simultaneously damaging it, such is the extent of the summer temperature in Dubai. Despite the increasingly-low property prices in Dubai, you’ll want to talk to a local developer and do plenty of research before scooping up a cheap house. Dubai has grown at an exponential rate, but such growth isn’t sustainable anywhere, and the future could feature much less construction than the present. Nevertheless, Dubai continues to be a coveted destination to purchase a home in because of its robust economy and wondrous views.