Buying A Property

Unless you’re a cash buyer, the first step is to get a pre-approved mortgage, as this will put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house. Pre-approval from a bank is based on your income, debt and credit history. For more information, go to Getting a mortgage. 

When your offer on a property has been accepted you will need to apply for an unconditional mortgage and get a final mortgage approval letter; this is valid for 45 to 60 days depending on your bank. To ensure your mortgage is valid, you must register it with the Dubai Land Department.

You can purchase the property from abroad, but the following procedure is relevant for those residing in the UAE.

Homeowners’ Associations 
Better known locally as the Jointly Owned Property (JOP) Law, Dubai Strata Law recognises Homeowners’ Associations as democratic authorities. There are numerous such associations registered with RERA, mostly in ‘new’ areas such as Marsa Dubai, Jumeirah Lakes Towers and Palm Jumeirah. If you are thinking of buying property in Dubai, it’s worth checking whether your chosen development has a Homeowners’ Association as it can provide you with an extra level of security: it will democratically settle any disputes over issues such as parking, privacy, noisy pets or the maintenance of shared facilities. For more on property purchases, visit

  • Any valid UAE visit or entry visa

What to bring

  • Passport with residence visa (original and copy)
  • Resident ID (original and copy)
  • Marriage certificate (if property is being gifted to wife or husband).
  • A deposit of approximately 15-25% of the property value to the bank to secure a mortgage (if not a cash buyer).

To register mortgage

  • Original mortgage letter from the bank
  • Three copies of mortgage letter from the bank (one for the DLD; one for you; one for bank).
  • Passport and residence visa (copy)
  • 0.25% of loan amount + Dhs.10 
  • Service fee of Dhs.4,000 paid in cash at mortgage registration stage
  • Title deed (original); one per property if multiple purchases 


  • If you’re not a cash buyer, get a mortgage pre approval.
  • Start searching for a property. Only ever use a RERA-registered agent or broker (see for full list).
  • Factor in any additional fees or charges that will be added to the basic property price (your real estate advisor will be able to tell you how much the additional fees are).
  • You may need to request a property valuation (costing around Dhs.2,500) if requested by your mortgage lender.
  • Make an offer on your chosen property.
  • If accepted, apply to your lender for an unconditional approval for your mortgage (see Getting a mortgage).
  • A Sales & Purchase Agreement (SPA), also known as a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), will be drawn up by the real estate agency. This is an official contract that defines all the terms and conditions for the transfer of property. It’s advisable to consult a lawyer before signing this.
  • Arrange with your lender for the money to be transferred to the vendor to complete the sale.
  • To complete the transfer of ownership, you will need to register your property with the DLD, see Registering a property.
  • At the same time, register your mortgage with the Dubai Land Department; take the documents listed opposite to the DLD and pay the required fee.
  • Also, register the title deed at the Dubai Land Department; see Registering a property.

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