The process of buying a property in Dubai can be difficult when unfamiliar with the law, the practice nor the culture yet should not prevent the investment.

Dubai Land Department registered the highest ever number of residential real estate transactions during the start of 2024. The total transactions in the first quarter of 2024 reached the astoning figure of 35,310.

Dubai as a leading real estate investment jurisdiction is here to stay.

Purchasing a property in Dubai involves several steps, and understanding the process can help ensure a smooth transaction.

The purpose of this publication is to guide you through the expected process of buying a property in Dubai through key steps.

Step 1 of the Process of Buying a Property in Dubai

The first step when considering to buy property in Dubai is to conduct research in order to select the best property.

Research will help to differentiate the different areas and properties available; together with the most suited location if planning to live in the property or the best return on investment if buying for investment purposes.

Our earlier publication on ‘Where to Invest in Dubai‘ may be of help in this Step 1.

Prior to choosing the right property, several viewings tend to take place together with selecting the best real estate agent to walk next to you and in anticipation to you to ensure a smooth and safe transaction.

Step 2

As second step or in parallel to step 1 you will need to fix your budget and in doing so it is highly recommended that you take into accoutn the full costs of the acquisition (real estate agents, Dubai Land Department, service charges,Trustee office’s fees, etc)

If you are planning to take a mortgage you will need to obtain the bank’s pre-approval to confirm the burdget you had in mind. UAE expats tend to be able to secure 75% financing from local banks but typically UAE expats need to make a down payment of the difference (25% or 30% depending on the bank policies)

Step 3 of the Process of Buying a Property in Dubai

On confirmation that you will be able to afford the selected house you will be in position to make an offer.

At this stage there’s negotiation involved. Most adds it is understood that will accept 5-10% deduction, sometimes even more of course but being the UAE a country where negotiation takes place on daily basis based on culture, most adds will be expected to be negotiable. At the negotiation stage will also require careful consideration to other aspects such as the ultimate transfer date, which is regularly set to take place within 30 days from signautre of Form F (purchase contract) or 60 dyas when buying through mortgage. Selling with a mortgage tends to be relatively straighforward.

Another two aspects to keep in mind is whehter property is tenanted. It is very important to understand the dates of the tenancy and eviction steps taken, to fully evaluate. Also the service charges, these are generally split pro-rata at least from the quarter of the transaction as they are paid quarterly, generally.

Once the terms are agreed Form F is signed electronically. And a deposit of 10% of the value of the property is deposited with the agents to block the property.

With respect to Forms F and B referred to above we invite you to check our earlier post on this topic here.

Step 4

Once Form F is signed, Buyer will need to arrange the financing or prepare manager’s cheques if buying purely cash.

Seller will need to arrange the deblocking of the mortgage, if the sold property had a mortgage. In addition Seller will need to obtain a NOC from developer which signifies that there are no pendings due on the property.

As a note on the deblocking of properties when seller had a mortgage on the property it is important to note an additional procedural step will be involved, namely the blocking of the property for the Seller to obtain release from the banking institution. This happens by visiting trustee office prior to the transfer date to deposit payments and freee the property. One of the cheques deposited by buyer will be taken (by Seller) to the mortgaging bank that will issue a release letter. On final return of the letter to the trustee office the property will be registered under the Buyer’s name.

Step 5 within the Process of Buying a property in Dubai

Once the financing is ready or the property deblocked the transfer shall take place at the trustee office.

Buyer shall make payment of the purchase price along with trustee office’s fees plus Dubai Land Department fees and walk out with a new title deed of the property under his or her name.

We invite you to check our earlier publication on the topic but make a quick summary of expected registration costs here:

  • Registration fees to the DLD, usually 4% of the property price; 0,25% when a donation takes place or 0,125% when doing an owne transfer (example, transfering from your company to you or viceversa).
  • Real Estate agent fee, typically 2% of the property price.
  • Mortgage registration fee: 0,25% of the loan amount.
  • Service Charges: are generally paid prorrata from the date of occupation or at least quarters of occupation. They vary (significantly) from project to project.

Step 6

Once the title deed is issued, new owner will need to set up utilities or take them over together with security and maintenance. This is generally done at the time of obtaining NOC as developers and maintenance companies require the details of new owner prior to issuing required NOC.

Conclusion & Recommendations

The process of buying a real estate property is straightforward. As key tipcs to ensure a smooth and safe transaction we cannot strongly recommend: (a) a due diligence to verify the credentials of the real estate agents, the seller and property; (b) consider engaging competent legal support ro review contracts and ensure compliance with the process; (c) keep all the documents updated and organized, technical failures make parties unaware of the right contracts signed and this can lead to hefty sums to fix.

By following these steps and preparing adequately, you can navigate the property purchasing process in Dubai with confidence.


We hope this publication will help you navigate the process of purchasing a property in Dubai and remain available for any questions regarding this post of general application.

For more information published in English you can visit all our publications at this link as well as the videos in English of our Partner Maria Rubert.

*The information on this page is not intended to be legal advice. This article is intended to provide an initial introduction to the process of purchasing a property in Dubai .