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If you are thinking of buying property in Dubai for the first time, it’s important to get all the facts upfront so that you can financially plan for the purchase. It’s also recommended that you seek consultation from a trusted real estate agent that can assist you through the entire process, which will help alleviate some of the stress that comes along with buying a new home.

1) Deposits and fees

In general, banks require a 25 percent deposit on properties valued below AED 5 million and on top of that you must account for another 7.25 percent to cover other agency fees, bank fees, the Dubai Land Department or the developer. Budgeting for deposits and fees should be the first thing you do to assess if you can afford the property.

2) Secure Mortgage Pre-Approval

The next step is to secure a mortgage before you begin your property hunt, as this will enable you to work with a property agent who can help you secure a unit, as opposed to not being prepared and losing on a deal to a cash buyer. To apply for approval, the bank usually requests the following documents:

  •      Passport copy with photo and visa page
  •      Copy of your Emirates ID
  •      Salary letter from your employer
  •      Any salary slips
  •      Last six bank statements
  •      Copy of recent credit card statements
  •       Proof of address
The bank will also charge you a transfer fee, which is four percent. Keep in mind that the mortgage pre-approval can take anywhere from five to seven days for salaried borrowers, but it can take longer for those who are self-employed.

3) Secure insurance & start your property search

Almost all lenders have a mandatory requirement that you must apply for life insurance. It usually takes about three weeks to get, so better to apply sooner than later.  There is also building insurance that you must apply for, which is a precondition for all mortgages.

.    4) Signing the memorandum of understanding (MOU)

If you agree to purchase a property a Memorandum of Understanding will then need to be signed by the seller and the buyer, which sets out the terms including the cost, date of the transaction along with other important details that must be agreed upon by both parties. This is a very crucial stage in the buying process which is why it is recommended that you work with a trusted agent who can appoint a conveying company to assist with all legal aspects of the property purchase.

.    5) Valuation & No Objection Certificate

Once the MOU has been settled, the buyer should then request a valuation of the property, while the bank draws up the Final Offer Contract. Once the contract is signed the seller can then apply for a No Objection Certificate, to prove that they don’t owe anything on the property. Once the certificate is produced the buyer then provides a copy to their lender and all parties to arrange for the transfer date.

The Final Offer Contract can take two to seven days, while the No Objection Certificate can take three to five days.

It’s important to note that if there is a pre-existing mortgage on the property, the seller must produce a Liability Letter, which states what is owed, before any final offer letter can be produced. This letter will then be given to the buyer’s bank who can then draw up the final contract for the buyer to sign.

The seller must then pay off the mortgage, which will release the Title Deed in seven to ten days.

6) Transfer and Title Deed

When it’s time for the transfer, the bank brings the money for the deal and the buyer brings manager’s cheques, which are non-bounce able cheques to the seller, Dubai Land Department or the developer. Once this is done the bank will receive the Title Deeds and the property is then yours!

As exciting as it is to buy a new home, it is also a bit of a daunting process, which is why it is so important that you work with a trusted and knowledgeable real estate agent who can walk you through every step of the process and advise of any changes that may arise in the process. If you have any questions or looking to buy a property, feel free to give us a shout!

Steps to Buying Property in Dubai Recap


  1. Save cash for deposit (around 25 percent)
  2. Save cash for 7.5 percent fees – agent, bank, land department or developer
  3. Apply for mortgage pre-approval – 5-7 days
  4. Search for property and agree on a sale
  5. Begin to shop for life insurance – allow 3 weeks
  6. Memorandum of understanding – hire conveyance company – 1 day or so
  7. Valuation by buyer – 3-4 days
  8. If seller does not have mortgage – final offer contract drafted by bank, seller gets no          objection certificate, sends copy to buyer for their bank – 5-12 days
  9. If seller has mortgage – seller gets settlement statement/ liability letter, buyer’s bank pays    off mortgage with seller’s bank, seller applies for NOC (extra 10 days)
  10. Transfer date set
  11. Buyer brings manager’s checks to transfer, bank brings money
  12. Title deeds – transfer day or next day
Source: Souq Al Mal



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