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Buyer's Guide

Buying a property can, even at the best of times, be a daunting and frustrating experience without the right advice. So before you start your search, use our Buyer's Guide to give you the knowledge and tools to take the first step to owning or investing in a property.



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


Documents Required

By an individual:
  • Passports for all Buyers
  • Signed Buyer Agreement known as Form B
By a company:
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association
  • Board Resolution
  • Power of Attorney
  • Signed Buyer Agreement known as Form B
By an overseas company:
  • All of the above must be attested by the UAE Embassy
  • Signed Buyer Agreement known as Form B

Residence Visa

In general, the Dubai Government issues residence visas 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 2 year residence visa. However this is subject to the current immigration rules and regulations which are likely to change.


Freehold And Leasehold

Freehold is available on the majority of developments Smith & Ken handles. However, there is a mixture of freehold and 30-99 year leasehold property in Dubai.



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 through Smith & Ken Home Loans. The advantage of using an Independent Broker such as Smith & Ken Home Loans rather than one mainstream bank is that you will receive an overview of all the products available not just a biased view towards one's product.

Contact Smith & Ken Home Loans on +971 4 439 4300 for more information on current rates and offers.


Government Taxation

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 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 registration amount to both the Developer and Dubai Land Department.


UAE Bank Accounts

Buyers do not need a local bank account to arrange purchases as Smith & Ken Conveyance can hold your funds in trust, however should you require a UAE Bank Account, this can be arranged through Smith & Ken Relocation.


Any Fee's Involved?

There are a number of fees involved. To register the property in the new property owner's name, you are required to pay a 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. Smith & Ken Estate Agents charges 2% of the purchase price to the Buyer as an Agency Fee for the property.

Smith & Ken Conveyance charges a Conveyance Fee to both the Buyer and Seller, and Smith & Ken Property Management charges a Condition Report Inspection Fee to both the Buyer and Seller to ensure the fixtures and fittings of the property do not change from the date of singing the MOU to two days before the transfer of property ownership to the Buyer.


Service Charges

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 such as Smith & Ken Community Management who are appointed on behalf of the associations. When renting a property to a Tenant, these service charges are the responsibility of the Landlord.

The Tenant is responsible for the utility bill charges and Ejari Registration Fees.

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.


Developer's Obligations

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 10-year warranty to maintain the property.

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