Buying Property in United Arab Emirates
Today, foreign buyers have the same property ownership rights as residents in the UAE and additionally, after purchasing a foreigner can apply for a resident’s visa and continue to renew it. In the UAE, an average property transaction takes around 30 days to complete, but this time frame can vary depending on how the purchase is financed and whether it's commercial, or residential. The buying process is relatively straightforward and typically includes the following steps:
Currency required to purchase: United Arab Emirates Dirham (AED)
- Finding a suitable property and making a formal offer, is usually through an estate agent or finding agent and once an offer has been placed, the offer is not legally binding for the purchase, except in Scotland, where an accepted offer is binding.
- After an offer has been accepted a survey is generally arranged and advised across the industry, for early detection of potential problems which could significantly affect development, renovation or a future sale.
- The next stage in the process is conveyancing, where the legal transfer of the property to the new owners takes place, which will require the appointment of a solicitor or licenced conveyancer. The seller's solicitor will then provide a ‘draft contract’, outlining the agreed sale price, title deeds and other relevant information regarding the property, which will then be reviewed and amended by the buyer's solicitor, which can typically take 1-3 months to be agreed upon.
- Once you’ve found the right property via a registered broker or property portal, the first step is to negotiate the price and outline the terms of sale with the seller.
- When both parties have agreed on a sale price, they will enter into a legally binding agreement called an MOU (Memorandum of - Understanding) and a 10% deposit is required to be paid by the buyer. The MOU will cover all contractual obligations in the transaction and set a date for the final balance and completion.
- After the deposit has been paid, the seller will need to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the developer who built the property, which will ensure the property is free from any outstanding service charges, so ownership can be transferred to the buyer.
- The property transaction can then be registered and both parties, or their legal representatives, must be present at the registration. The registration fee is then settled by the buyer and seller (4% of the property cost is split) and the agency registering the property is provided with the documents required for verification. The transaction is then complete.