Most Frequently Asked Questions When Buying Property in Dubai

Georges El Hachem - May 23, 2021
What are the most frequently asked questions when buying a property in Dubai?
1. What is the expected ROI for property in Dubai right now?

Based on today’s market you would be looking to earn between 4-7% depending on the type of apartment you choose and where its located. Premium, waterfront residential units in Dubai Marina will typically yield around 5 to 6% in rental returns on longer term rental agreements. Units that are available for short term, holiday rentals can earn an even higher return.

2. How does the ROI in Dubai compare to other major international cities?

According to a report from Property Finder last year, Dubai is one of the most lucrative cities in the world to currently invest in. With an average ROI of 5 to 6% in key waterfront areas, this is double the average ROI in many major cities including London, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney and Toronto. All of which hover around the 3% mark in terms of ROI.

3. What is the initial payment needed to secure my property?

The down payment can vary from project to project, in most cases you will be required to provide a “token fee” in order to hold your chosen unit before the first fee is due. This payment can start from as a little as AED 20,000. Once the token payment is confirmed, the next cost can be as little as 5% of the overall unit purchase price.

4. What are the service charges associated with properties in Dubai?

Standard service charges cost approximately 14 to 16 AED per sqft. External areas are charged 25% of this price, with internal areas 100%. Depending on individual building policies, there could also be additional chiller fees factored in as an additional cost.  

5. If I wanted to resell my unit at any stage, when can I?

Any unit can be placed on the secondary market once 30% of the unit cost has been paid over to the developer.

6. How long does the warranty last on my apartment?

You will be covered under warranty for 12 months from the date at which the building is completed and handed over to the owners association.

7. What shared facilities should I expect in Dubai buildings?

Shared facilities with vary from project to project. Some projects place a very heavy focus in guaranteeing residents have access to the widest array of health & fitness facilities such as squash courts, basketball courts, outdoor gym areas, children’s play areas, spacious communal terraces and even padel courts. Furthermore, residents can expect fully functioning saunas, steam rooms and strategically positioned swimming pools in all the upper end projects.

8. What are the most popular unit types at the moment?

From an investment perspective, studio and one-bedroom units are typically favoured. They tend to offer the best ROI and are always in heavy demand within the rental communities. Two- and three-bedroom units tend to be more popular with family focused purchasers, with a higher proportion of these clients ultimately living in these units themselves over the long term.

9. Can we buy additional parking spaces?

Allocations for parking spaces are always carefully considered and, in most cases, additional spots are not available. However, in certain cases depending on the project size and the overall availability, it may be possible but is handled on a case by case basis.

10. Is it easy to gain financial assistance to fund my purchase?

It is very easy to finance the purchase of a property in Dubai. Mortgages and loans can be sourced easily from banks and financial institutions, while scheduled payment plans can be utilized on certain projects to make it easier for the buyer up front.

11. Are buildings pet friendly?

Yes, most of the buildings you will encounter are pet friendly in nature.

12. Am I responsible for cleaning the exterior of my unit?

No, exteriors are cleaned regularly by the building management, this process is usually completed every 6 months.

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The Author

Georges El Hachem - Director, Commercial

Georges joined Select Group as Commercial Director in 2020. He has over 18 years’ experience in destination management and expert knowledge across an array of industries including hospitality, tourism and MICE. He has a deep understanding of the GCC, and the buying behavior of the international visitors to the region.