Buyer’s Guide

Decide on Your Investment Strategy

Your first decision will be to decide upon your investment strategy. Are you looking ot buy to let? Or maybe buy for capital appreciation returns? Once you have made up your mind then you need to decide whether you want to buy an apartment or villa.

Decide Which Area Suits You

There are many freehold areas to choose from but only you know what suits you and your family needs. You may want to be close to your place of work or the kids school or perhaps friends or relatives. Our agents can advise you on areas you may be unfamiliar with and guide you every step of the way.

Work Out Your Finances

One of the most important steps is to work out your finances, if you are a cash buyer this could mean that you can get yourself a better deal with an owner and give you the upper hand on negotiations. If you are buying with a mortgage how much can you afford on the downpayment and for monthly installments over the period of repayments.

Choose an Agent

When you instruct West Gate Real Estate as your agent when buying a home or commercial property rest assured your best interests are priority, and we will work with you every step of the process to make it stress free with the end result you want. Take a look what our past clients had to say about us on our testimonials page as a reference to our work ethics.

Arrange Your Viewings

To maximize viewing opportunities be sure to contact your designated WGRE consultant so that they can arrange as many viewings as possible with the owners and landlords. This means that on any particular morning, afternoon or evening we can fit in as many viewings as possible to give you a real choice of what is available and the different locations that you are considering.

Making an Offer

Part of our service is to advise you on making an offer on a property sometimes the timing can be crucial and has to be made at the right time and can be the difference in either securing the property on your wish list or losing our to another buyer. There are also situation when we are aware of an owner or landlord who needs to sell quickly and therefore we can get you a great deal.

Agreeing to Buy

Once you have decided on your property of choice and once your offer is accepted we will then prepare a sale and purchase agreement and write to all parties to confirm the agreed price and confirm your solicitor’s details for us to liaise with them should we have any questions. We can also proceed with the Sales Progression process and your mortgage application if you are buying on finance.

Signing an Agreement

As with all steps in the buying process it is part of our service here at WGRE that we prepare a draft sales and purchase agreement that we then give a copy to your solicitor so that they can also act in your best interest. Our agreements are all RERA attested and certified. The deposit goes into West Gate Real Estate’s trust account and not to the owner.

WGRE Sales Progression

As part of our conveyancing process at WGRE we will raise any queries on receipt of the draft contract from the seller’s solicitor and agree on a date for exchange of contracts and transfer. We will assist your solicitor and negotiate throughout the process, keeping you informed every step of the way.

Transfer of Ownership

The last and final stage of the buying process is the transfer of ownership and title from the seller to the buyer this is usually done at the master developers office. There is usually a transfer fee involved and this can vary from developer to developer. Consult your WGRE designated agent for more information on this.

Frequently Asked Questions

Any person of any nationality, whether based overseas or a resident of Dubai, can purchase in Dubai’s freehold property market.

In general, the Dubai Government issues multi-entry visas (not residence visa) to new property owners. It is widely thought that if an individual owns a property in Dubai that is worth AED 1,000,000 plus then that individual will be granted a 2x Two year Multiple-entry Visa.

Worth to note that:
– Note that with such visa does not provide all benefits as for Residence Visa (working permit, applying for driver’s license, etc).
– Holder of such Freehold Property Visa in Dubai can stay maximum up to 6-months period per entry.
– This visa can be renewed, but the investor has to be out of the UAE for at least one month.
– The property should be ready (completed) and title deed must be registered.
– However this is subject to the current immigration rules and regulations which are likely to change.

To apply for such visa one must attend Dubai Land Department – built-in Immigration Department with all the required documents.

Freehold is available on the majority of developments West Gate Real Estate handles. Freehold properties are properties built in designated areas where foreign citizens can buy those properties, and such ownership rights are given for indefinite time (no time limit).

While leasehold property ownership are granted for 30-99 years period only.

There are currently no government taxes of any kind when purchasing a property in Dubai. Neither is there a capital gains tax. When the Dubai Land Department registers the property title, Buyers will pay from generally 4% (but in limited scenarios 1.5% to 2%) registration fee based on the purchase price of the property.
If the property is purchased with a mortgage, Buyers will pay a Mortgage Registration amount of 0.25% from the mortgaged amount to Dubai Land Department and certain fees to the Developer.

However, while occupying (or renting out) your property, there is a Housing Fee (or Municipality fee), which is 5% from the rental amount of your property per year, which is being billed monthly to the Tenant or the Landlord (whoever occupies the Property at that time) and such charges are part of DEWA (Dubai Electricity and Water Authority) bills.

In line with the growth that the Dubai Realty Market has experienced, local banks have expanded their mortgage market. Mortgages are available on a 10 to 25-year basis, with interest rates varying from 2.99% to 6% depending if the it’s for a person or company, if it’s salaried or self-employed (business owner), if the source of funds are UAE based or based in another country and so forth. At West Gate Real Estate we can provide you the right advice on how to best obtain a mortgage from the bank for buying a property in Dubai.

Property Buyers and Seller will most probably need to open a bank account, in order to issue/receive a Manager’s cheque (also known as Banker’s cheque) when completing a property transfer.

To register the property in the new property owner’s name, you are required to pay a 4% transfer fee to the Dubai Land Department and if you’re purchasing with a mortgage then there is also a mortgage registration amount to be paid to both the Developer and Dubai Land Department. In addition, should the property you’re buying be completed and handed over for occupancy, there is a service maintenance fee to be paid to the Seller on a pro-rata basis from the date of the transfer into the Buyer’s name till the end of the service maintenance period as the owner of property in Dubai is required to be a service maintenance fee annually. West Gate Real Estate charges 2% of the purchase price to the Buyer as an Agency Fee for the property.

Service Charges are levied in order to maintain the various common areas and facilities of the community or the building and to generally ensure these are properly managed and administered. In many of the new property developments and residential buildings throughout Dubai, service charges are levied on the owners by the co-owners associations, and collected by a Community Manager. When renting a property to a Tenant, these service charges are still the responsibility of the Landlord.
The Tenant is responsible for the utility bill charges and Ejari Registration Fees, which costs AED 200 to register and is valid from 6-months to 1-year (depending the term of a tenancy contract).

Services charges throughout Dubai vary widely, depending on the area and sophistication of the property in question. Larger community developments also charge their property owners an annual community charge, which is normally paid to the master developer of the project. We advise all our Buyers to find out their obligations to their Owner’s Association before purchasing a property.

Developers’ obligations to complete and handover property on time are dealt with contractually under the sale and purchase agreement (or as applicable, the lease agreement). If the property is not yet constructed, the agreement will typically provide an estimated handover date and usually the agreement will allow the developer a fair bit of latitude in terms of extending the date. As in many other regions, purchasers must be prepared to anticipate possible delays when awaiting possession of a property under construction. Once the property has been handed over, the developer has an obligation to provide a 1-year warranty on the structure of the building and the property and 10-years warranty on the structure of the building only – both from the date of property handover.

The Buyer’s Broker communicates the request for the Seller’s Broker to prepare Contract F as an “offer”.
The Seller’s Broker logs into the Dubai Brokers Smart App, accesses contract B either by:
  • Scanning the bar code assigned to contract B.
  • Entering the QR number assigned to contract B.
  • Selecting contract B from his/her pending contracts.
If contract B is not available, the Seller’s broker can add a buyer by:
  • Inserting buyer’s passport number.
  • Scanning buyer’s emirates ID.
  • Selecting the buyer’s ID number from the system, if he/she happens to be an existing owner in the system.

Step1 – Blocking of the Property

Required documents:

  • Liability letter from bank/developer (in Arabic) addressed to DLD. It should include the following:

  • Details of the property as mentioned on the title deed.

  • Outstanding balance of the Seller’s mortgage on a mortgaged property (from the bank) or outstanding balance of the Seller’s payments on delayed sale or off plan properties (from the developer).

  • An undertaking statement from the bank to release the mortgage once the outstanding balance of the mortgage on the property is settled. This should be stated and included in the liability letter.

  • Liability Letter has a fixed validity period upon which time; the Buyer should be advised to be ready to settle the mortgage by the end of this validity period, which could range between 7 – 15 days.

  • The Bank may charge for early settlement of the loan, Seller pays for this as well, unless agreed differently between parties.

  • Contract F signed by the Seller and Buyer.

  • Updated copy of the title deed.

  • No objection certificate (NOC) from developer (before submitting the cheques).

  • Emirates ID (if Seller and Buyer are residents of the UAE/Original passport (if Seller and Buyer are not residents of the UAE).

The following Manager cheques issued by the Buyer distributed as follows:

  • A manager cheque payable to the bank to settle the outstanding mortgage.

  • A manager cheque payable to the Seller for the remaining balance.

  • A manager cheque payable to Dubai Land Department for the transfer and registration fees, plus admin fees to DLD in order to reserve/block the property for 30 days.

**RT Fees:

  • AED 4,000 for completed property, if the price of the property is AED 500,000 or more. If the

    property is off-plan, the fee is AED 5,000.

  • AED 2,000 if the price of the property is less than AED 500,000. If the property is off-plan, the fee is AED 3,500.

  • The Seller takes the check payable to the bank to release the mortgage and obtain the clearance/release letters. Both Seller and Buyer may be required to be present at the bank.

** These Fees are subject to change

Step2 – Unblocking of the Property and Transfer of Ownership from Seller to Buyer

  • Both Parties return to registration trustee/DLD to unblock the property to complete the sale and issue new title deed in the name of the Buyer.

  • Required Documents:

  • Original title deed.

  • Mortgage release Letters from the bank to DLD, Developer and Seller.

**DLD Fees:

  • AED 1,290 mortgage release fees. (Fees may differ for Islamic banks).

** These Fees are subject to change

All Dubai Courts registered POAs can be checked online as follows:

  • Visit
  • Go to the tab ‘public e- service’
  • Inquiries
  • Inquiry about a document
  • Document Type: ‘Authentication Register’
  • Year: Year of registration
  • Serial Number: Enter serial number of document
  • If the unit handed over is smaller by less than or equal to 5% than the size in the Contract, Buyer is not entitled to compensation from Developer, because difference in size is considered marginal and acceptable based on the engineering industry.
  • If the unit handed over is more than 5% smaller than the size in the Contract, then the Buyer is entitled to compensation for any decrease in the property size.
  • If the unit is materially or substantially smaller, then the Buyer may have a valid Civil Claim against the Developer for cancellation and refund of the contract price (material breach).
  • If the unit handed over is larger than size in the Contract, Developer may not demand more money for the difference.
  • All measurements now in square meters.

For example:

Buyer buys 500 square meter units for AED 1 million. Upon handover the Developer provides a unit which is 250 square meters – what can the Buyer do? Buyer has two choices (since difference in size is substantial) 1. Get compensation for decrease in size (if wants to continue with purchase) or 2. File lawsuit to cancel Contract and get refund of money paid.

Property Ownership Types

Leasehold vs. Freehold

In the previous years the leasehold (up to 99-year leases) for foreign purchase had been allowed but this was not that much of a success.

It was the adoption of freehold tenure in general and foreign ownership in particular that sparked the great real estate boom in Dubai residential property.


  • Own the property and land FOREVER


  • Own the property (structure), not land
  • 10 years up to 99 years
  • Can modify
  • Can sell
  • Inheritance based on the remaining years of Agreement

Freehold ownership of properties

Law No. 7 Of 2006

Gives Foreign Nationals (non-GCC) the right to own property freehold in Designated Areas.

  • Gives Foreign Nationals (non-GCC) the right to own property freehold in Designated Areas.

  • Regulates the registration of completed real properties and also sets out the authority, function and purpose of the DLD with the introduction of a system of registration.

Regulation No.3 of 2006:

Designates areas where non-GCC nationals can purchase properties in Dubai.



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