Initially foreigners were not allowed to invest in the real estate market of Dubai or in simpler words they were not allowed to make any purchase deal to buy freehold properties in UAE and Dubai. But soon after announcement of freehold Dubai property law in 2002 the professional real estate investors and foreigners started taking interest to invest in real estate market of UAE. State government tried to invest huge money into the built up of the infrastructure of this city in order to make it less dependent on oil.
Dubai Freehold Property Development
If we take a look behind the evolutionary stage of the freehold property market of Dubai and especially in Middle East, it is seen that freehold property market was started in 1998 just after the project launch of Dubai Marina. Even though at that point of time there was no freehold property legislation existed in UAE. Only villas were available as leasehold asset for 99 years. After the legal approval of freehold property law in 2006, non-GCC nationals (GCC stands for Gulf Cooperation Council, comprising Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar) are allowed to possess freehold properties. This law exclusively revolutionized Dubai property market. Real estate investors across the world started taking keen interest to make huge investments in existing and new construction projects of Dubai real estate.
Meaning Freehold property in Dubai
Dubai freehold properties are available for purchase for local and foreigner residents. People may belong to any country across the globe are allowed to purchase and hold a freehold property forever unless they decide to resale it to anyone. Moreover such owners are also allowed to pass their assets to any family member allowing them to enjoy sole ownership of the property. If they wish they are free to resale their property any time and are also allowed to rent it out to a third party. But investors face some minute restrictions in certain specific projects. These restrictions enforced on the owners in order to make sure that they follow certain conditions that limit them to make alterations in their properties and also force them to maintain their property to certain standard as these assets are located in private community developments. Buying of an apartment is completely different from that of owning or buying a villa in Dubai Freehold Property. Apartment purchase deal is legally listed as common hold asset deal. Because apartment is a part of project and as an owner you will have to follow certain conditions in case of renovation and modification as well renting out to third parties. Whereas if the expat or a foreigner owns a Villas it needs not to follow the renovation and modification rule but yet the maintenance of the standard of the assets has to be taken care of.
Beside Dubai does other Emirate of UAE allow expat investment?
Dubai is the first Emirate of UAE that has allowed a non-GCC resident to possess a freehold property in specific areas of Dubai. Other Emirates of UAE such as Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah are still focusing to develop their own property laws. Recently Abu Dhabi (2005) and Ajman (2006) have announced freehold properties available in certain specific areas. Other states are also focusing to provide freehold ownership to expats and foreigners. Although states are taking interest to develop freehold properties but still federal government of UAE didn’t announce any law on federal level. Several freehold residential projects also offer residency or relocation visa via purchase. Moreover Government has announced a special type of residency visa to foreign people buying properties in the emirate. This kind of visa only allows foreigners to live in Dubai but it doesn’t allow them to work in Dubai.
Areas that offer Freehold Properties in Dubai
Dubai has become a popular choice among foreign investors and other non-GCC resident for the one’s who are willing to purchase their second home in UAE. The popularity has increased due to the subtropical climate, cosmopolitan environment and worth seeing places. The city also attracts holiday makers, tourists and travellers to spend their time. Developers have begun the several mega construction projects in residential and commercial sectors to provide more residential and commercial properties to expats and foreign investors. The Government of the city has published a list of areas that offer freehold properties in Dubai. This list also indicates that major freehold properties are available in areas like
- Jebel Ali
- Palm Island
- The world Island
- Emirates Hill
- Dubai Marina
If you consider specific property developments that offer free hold properties include the following projects.
- Arabian Ranches by Emaar Properties
- Burj Dubai Downtown Development Project
- Al Nakheel Properties
- Golf Towers
- Apartment project Dubai Marina
Dubai offering Freehold Properties to Expats
Dubai’s government have identified that it depending on oil to earn revenue for longer period of time will not be sufficient for economic growth of the country. Geologists have identified that these oil resources will not remain forever and it might be possible to expire by the year of 2012. Therefore as the Government who has struggled hard to build this city as business and trade hub between Eastern and Western countries it eventually combines efforts with the developers of the city so that the city becomes a successful financial hub of Middle East and diminished its dependability on oil. State government is mainly focusing on the improvement of service industries in various sectors especially the real estate industry. It is developing various travel and tourism places to attract visitors across the world and also it has become a famous amongst the job seekers across the world as it offers excellent job opportunities to expats. Huge number of foreigners is now considering Dubai to relocate to find better job and investment opportunities.
The migrants and holiday makers coming to Dubai need some place for their accommodation. Moreover, business persons and investors also need space to establish their business. In order to fulfil the demand and need of these expats and foreign investors the Government has started offering freehold property ownership to these expats. It gives them the right to purchase or resale freehold real estates in specific developments of the city. To further enhance the worth of this city among second home seekers government is also planning to offer resident visa to property buyers on asset purchase. This significant rise in property demand and massive development projects also attracted number of local and foreign real estate investors across the globe to make investment in Dubai property business, with an aim to earn good profits.