Dubai is known worldwide for the incredible lifestyle it offers investors who wish to live in their property, it also has a proven track record of providing excellent returns for property investors who choose to lease their properties. And with the new long term residency visas available for property investors, the prospect of investing and living in Dubai has become much easier and more appealing.

Who can buy property in Dubai?

Anyone can buy a property in Dubai, providing they have the funds. You don’t need to live in the emirate or work here, and there is no age limit. Freehold properties can only be purchased in designated areas for foreign investment. This is not limiting, however, since there are many freehold areas across Dubai.

What type of property will be considered and for what value? 

The property or properties should be 100% ready, not on a construction plan, and most importantly, not subject to a dispute. The purchase value (not the current market value) of your property needs to be at least AED 1,000,000 or above, and you have paid off a 50% mortgage (you should be mentioned as the property owner). The Dubai Property Visa can be issued against residential properties purchased in a freehold area (Apartment, Serviced Apartment, Villa, Townhouse) and/or commercial properties (Hotel Room, Hotel Apartment, Office, Warehouse) as well.

You are eligible for a UAE investor visa as long as your total investment is AED 1,000,000 or above in one of a maximum of three properties. If multiple people own the property, everyone can apply for a Dubai investor visa as long as they have a share of AED 1m or above in purchase value.

If the property is owned jointly by husband and wife, both can apply for a UAE investor visa even if the property’s total purchase value of AED 1m is divided between both of them. An attested marriage certificate has to be presented in this case.

What are the types of property visas available in Dubai?

Six Month Multiple Entry Dubai Property Visa: This visa costs less and can be obtained quickly. However, you will not be issued an emirates ID, so it is technically similar to a tourist visa. The six-month visa can also be used to facilitate the completion for obtaining a golden residency.

Three Year Dubai Property Visa: The visa is issued for three years tenure and can be renewed before or upon expiry at a nominal cost.

Five Year Dubai Property Visa: If you have invested at least AED 5 million in properties (can be split across three properties) and have no mortgage on any of the properties, you can qualify for a five-year Dubai property visa. Unlike the 10-year visa, you do not need to make additional investments.

This visa is a resident visa which means you or your family members will not be allowed to work on that visa. If you or any of your family member wish to work, the visa status will have to be changed, and the organization which offers the job will have to issue a sponsoring visa.

Ten Year Residency Visa (Golden Visa): This visa is available to any individual who invests at least AED 10 million into the UAE. It is stipulated that a maximum of 40% of the investment, or AED 4 million, can be in real estate. This may be split across up to three properties to a total value of AED 4 million. The other 60% of the investment must be made in other sectors. A six-month multiple entry visa can be issued for the applicant and used to facilitate the completion of obtaining a golden residency. This visa can be extended to facilitate the completion of the process.

UAE Retirement Visa: This visa offers resident expatriates and foreigners over 55 years of age the opportunity to stay in the emirate even after completion of work. can get a long-term residence visa for a period of 5 years with the possibility of renewal if they meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Invest in a property worth AED 2 million.
  • Have financial savings of no less than AED 1 million.
  • Have an active income of no less than AED 20,000 per month.

The Advantages of Having A UAE Residency Visa

  • Being able to spend as much time in Dubai as you like during the visa’s valid period and to come and go as you please.
  • Having access to UAE bank accounts and financial services.
  • Being able to apply for a UAE driving licence.
  • Possible visa-free travel to certain countries.
  • Being able to sponsor your spouse and dependents. If you are successful in obtaining a 10-year residency visa, you can extend your sponsorship to an executive director and one advisor, in addition to your family.
  • Both the 5-year and 10-year visas can be easily renewed, provide you continue to retain your investment.

Buying a new Emaar property is more than a financial investment simply because acquiring a beautifully designed, high-quality property inspires optimism, beauty, and hope. Whether your new home is a villa, a townhouse, or a plush apartment in the heart of the city, you will realise that nothing pulls a room together like beautifully decorated walls and space, even the most elegant furniture and décor. After all, when you choose art for your home, it will ultimately become an integral part of your life, and it must reflect your style, character and personality.

Seeking advice on where to start and how to buy art in Dubai, we met Giuseppe Moscatello, renowned artist, cultural developer, founder of Evolve, and curator of Foundry, the celebrated art space in Downtown Dubai, to give us a bit of essential advice.

By: Souha Abbas

First, can you tell us more about yourself and your role with Foundry?

I studied art and design at the University of Art in Rome. I moved to the UAE in 2007 and co-founded two art entities in Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, working with artists, designers and creative practitioners, museums and international art organizations. Being an artist myself, I bring a broad perspective and a deep understanding. I started working with Emaar in 2018 on the idea of establishing an art initiative in Downtown Dubai that would be of cultural value for the city and would eventually expand to other cities and possibly other countries. This is how Foundry was conceived to be a fresh take on art in the middle of Dubai. Our exhibition space is not your typical art gallery white cube; it is a concept where the artists have to interact with space and develop something specifically for every corner and niche.

In what way does Foundry standout among other art spaces in Dubai and the UAE?

Foundry’s space is quite different from any other gallery because it has several galleries that are all interconnected so that the visitor can move easily and follow a very transitional flow from one exhibition to another. Added to the fact that we can have our own exhibitions or host other galleries or projects.  Our first line of exhibition opened in December renowned artist Jeffar Al Khaledi, and Iranian artist Navid Azimi Sajjadi. We also hosted the Akka Project gallery, and that was our first collaboration with an external gallery, with an exhibition for Mozambican artist Goncalo Mabunda. In the last unit, we presented an exceptional private collection of old photos owned by Emirati designer and collector, Khalid Shafar, representing works by different Khaleeji photographers. This exhibition was our way to encourage art collectors from the community to show their collections to the public for the first time. It was also an ideal opportunity to promote khaleeji photographers. We also opened recently a new line of exhibitions with international artist Harif Guzman, Russian/Kazakh artist Adil Aubekerov, Rex; and from the emerging scene Enforce One, Karim Al Tamerji and Kapil Bhimekar.

What can you advise new Emaar property owners when it comes to finding the best art for their homes?

Art is very subjective, you can decide to buy aesthetically appealing art, or more conceptual, and both options can be found in the Emirates since it has a lot to offer in terms of artists and galleries from both local and international art scene. Even better, if you are connected with the locally based art community, you can interact with the artists, visit them in their workshops, and talk to them to understand better the philosophy behind their work and see if you feel aligned somehow with that philosophy. Visiting Art Dubai and Abu Dhabi Art will also help to identify the right artworks that can suit your needs.

In your opinion, what’s the best way to decorate a large space?

If you have a massive property with a lot of space to fill, you can diversify the artworks between paintings, sculptures and art installations. And because art, as I said, is subjective, it’s better to have a good understanding of your space, the ambience you want to achieve, and what you want to surround yourself with. That said, some experts and curators can help you with this; I have been doing this for many years. I believe that developers should start to work closely and in parallel with artists during the finishing and final fit out of certain properties where a special creative touch can add a huge value.

What’s your advice about buying art from emerging artists?

In Dubai, we have the opportunity to access a wide variety of art from many countries and cultures. Buying art shouldn’t be only about investing in expensive works by known artists. Many emerging artists have fascinating pieces that would make a fine addition to your collection. Some universally renowned art collectors, like François Pinault, for example, invests heavily in artwork created by emerging artists. His collection is featured in Venice’s Pinault Museum, which has become a hallmark in the city. Likewise, you can buy from emerging artists not only to encourage them but also because you can find pieces that you connect strongly with, and they can become an essential part of your household. The bonus here is the possibility of an increase in your investment if the artist becomes better known.

What are your views on the future of art in Dubai?

I think the art scene in Dubai will continue to witness a potential growth, especially now that the UAE has launched the Golden Residence Visa initiative, which has allowed many Dubai-based artists and creatives to consider staying in the city and call it their home. That’s a very positive message because it will make all those creatives feel more stable and productive and more confident in establishing their network firmly in the UAE. On the other hand, Emirati artists are maturing more and more, establishing themselves, and leaving a legacy to new generations.

A sanctuary of relaxation, your bedroom should be a refuge from the pressure of everyday life. Sure, you want your bedroom’s style to reflect your design preferences, but you also want to make sure it functions as the retreat you deserve. But when you have a 3-bedroom-apartment and above, you have the opportunity to diversify and think of different styles that can be tied up to the main theme of your interiors. Here are a few tips that will help you find your perfect designs:

– Black Chic

The black wall looks extremely luxurious contrasting against the floors and a color block wall (emerald or terracotta). This feature works best in ultra-modern apartments (think Downtown Dubai or Dubai Hills Estate high rise developments). When using black in a bedroom, make sure that there is plenty of contrast, space, and light to ensure the room doesn’t feel gloomy and closed in.

– Steel Grey

You might think of the grey colour as too industrial, but you’d be surprised how vibrant it would make your room look when coordinated with a lively colour like yellow, or red, or any contrasting colour. When combined with grey, any of these colours would create a contemporary feel with a futuristic twist that perfectly matches any modern furniture.

– Textures

Our Emaar architects are big on textures (floors, walls, doors and windows), making it easier for you to get more creative when decorating your property, from the paint on the wall to the furniture textiles and curtains. You can even add a mirrored wall for additional dimension and to reflect the natural daylight.

– Hospitality Haven:

No matter how welcoming your apartment is, a more “convivial” approach would turn your guest room into a real haven. Warm colours and a sitting area with a view would make your guests feel right at home.

– Young Vibes

Against common belief, neutral colours work best for a teenager or a kid’s room as they inspire relaxation and create a space to unwind. Besides, kids will most likely personalize it with their own colourful elements and belongings.

Dubai’s property market is booming, and this fast-growing city is becoming one of the most desirable places to live in the world. Offering premium quality accommodation at a reasonable price, along with brand new facilities that have been carefully planned and designed to provide the best of everything, it’s particularly popular with young professionals and young families. Here’s our quick guide to buying property in Dubai.

Where to start looking

A villa or apartment in Dubai is a big investment, so you’ll need to choose carefully. Looking at developer’s websites can give you a good idea of what’s available, but nothing beats being ‘on the ground’ and looking at villas and apartments in person.

Ask yourself what kind of property you want – do you want to be in the very heart of the city (for example, at the stunning Emaar Property’s Grande complex in downtown Dubai), or are you looking for a more family-friendly property in a suburban setting such as the ever-popular Ranches development? Is a beachfront property with an uninterrupted sea view an absolute must? If that’s the case, a look at Emaar Beachfront should tick all the right boxes. Or does the thought of being surrounded by green open spaces and the friendly neighbourhoods of Dubai Hills Estate feel more homely?

Dubai’s property boom has been extraordinary and since foreign nationals were given the right to buy property in Dubai, the building bonanza has resulted in some exceptional properties for sale in the UAE.

Take a look at websites, book viewing appointments, and make sure you thoroughly research what’s on offer before you think about putting in an offer.

The legalities of buying a house in Dubai

Having a realtor you can trust is absolutely paramount when you’re buying property in Dubai. They’ll take you through the process step by step, whether you’re buying off-plan, or putting in an offer for an existing villa or apartment.

Anyone of any nationality can buy property in Dubai, as long as those properties are in designated areas as authorised by the Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai. You don’t have to be a fully-fledged resident to buy property, so if you live abroad you can still buy property to rent out or use as a private residence when you’re in the UAE.

Should you consider freehold or leasehold when buying property in Dubai?

As with many other cities around the world, there are two main types of property available – freehold (where you own the property outright) and leasehold (where you buy the lease of a property for a set period of between 30-99 years).

Bear in mind that if you do go for a leasehold (which may be slightly less expensive than freehold properties, especially in the heart of Downtown Dubai), you will have to factor in additional costs such as ground rent, service fees, and maintenance charges.

How long does it take?

Once the Agreement of Sale has been signed, it usually takes around 30 days to complete the transaction, so timeframes are very similar to buying property in other countries such as the UK.

Once you’ve found a property or villa in Dubai that you like, a Memorandum of Understanding is signed, and a deposit is paid (usually around 10%). That gets things moving, and the next stage is for the buyer and seller to meet and apply for a No Objection Certificate so that the property can be sold. The developer will be happy to issue this on payment of a fee, and if they are certain that the buyer has the correct funds to buy the property. So if you do need finance to buy a property in Dubai, make sure you have it in place before you start the process. Otherwise you may be refused the NOC and the sale will fall through.

Once you’ve obtained the NOC, you can then go to the Dubai Land Department and transfer ownership of the property. You will need to pay the purchase price in the form of a manager’s cheque payable to the seller on the transfer date.

Once all that is completed, you’ll be issued a land deed in your name for the property.

Buying property with a mortgage in Dubai

If you’re buying property in Dubai with a mortgage, then the NOC won’t be issued unless your bank or lender has sufficient funds set aside to pay for the property. If you’re buying with a mortgage, the timeline may be slightly longer and more protracted than if you’re doing a straight cash buy.

The cost and fees when buying a house in Dubai

As well as the cost of the property you’re buying, you’ll need to budget for a raft of other fees and charges.

 NOC fees – the cost of the No Objection Certificate is between AED 500-5,000, depending on the value of the property. These are usually paid by the seller to the developer. You may also be subject to an additional charge from the developer, but this is a refundable deposit which is repaid once you present the new title deeds and they update their records.

 Estate Agent’s commission – this is usually around 2% of the purchase price

 Transfer fees – approximately 4% of the purchase price, and an additional fee of not more than AED5,000 payable to the Dubai Land Department.

 Mortgage Registration Fees – If you are buying with a mortgage then you may be subject to mortgage registration fees at a rate of 0.25% of the loan amount, again, paid to the Dubai Land Department.

You’ll also have to pay your annual service charge to the developer in advance.

Where are the top spots for buying property in Dubai?

Downtown Dubai has countless developments offering high-quality apartments just minutes from the very centre of the city. Apartments in the Emaar Forte block are highly sought after, and command a premium price, while the Harbour Views tower development at Dubai Creek Harbour offers real luxury and the very best in modern city living.

The Emaar Ranches development has large family homes in safe, comfortable communities with plenty of amenities and wide open spaces, perfect for young families who want a more secluded and peaceful environment.

Apartments at BLVD Heights in Downtown Dubai offer larger city apartments, or the low-rise Park Point at Dubai Hills Estates is an interesting alternative to high-rise living in the centre of Dubai.

To view all properties available within our communities section, click here.

ARABIAN RANCHES IS ONE OF DUBAI’S MOST ESTABLISHED GATED COMMUNITIES, AND HAS A REPUTATION AS A HAVEN FOR PROFESSIONAL FAMILIES WHO WANT AN EXCEPTIONAL LIFESTYLE WITH ALL THE BENEFITS OF A PURPOSE-BUILT COMMUNITY. LET US TAKE YOU ON A BEHIND THE SCENES LOOK.

At the Arabian Ranches Gated Community in Dubai, you’ll find desirable homes, perfectly maintained gardens and a warm, communal welcome. You’ll discover a community that lives together, plays together and enjoys some of the very best luxuries in the heart of Dubai. This oasis of tranquility is a unique location where absolutely no compromise has been made on the quality of the homes, the surroundings or the facilities.

The homes

Set in over 1,650 acres, the luxury properties range from smart, modern townhouses that take their architectural cue from traditional Arabic and Spanish themes. Every property is unique, built to the high specifications and is surrounded by beautifully designed gardens, giving each resident their own personal space. Inside generous living space is perfectly suited for families, while the balconies and private terraces overlook a championship golf course with stunning views.

Why choose a gated community?

Life in a gated community offers an elevated degree of privacy and protection for your family and your home. It also creates a unique and very intimate atmosphere, where everyone really gets to know their neighbour, whilst still enjoying their personal space. You’ll never feel isolated in a gated community – it’s a warm and welcoming environment where everyone works together to build a truly special location.

A true community feel

Within the confines of the community is its very own town centre with elegant retail outlets, premium quality restaurants and all the infrastructure families could want, including healthcare and schooling.

A haven for golf lovers

Arabian Ranch isn’t just a living community – it also offers one of the best golf courses in the Emirate. Arabian Ranches Golf Club has a challenging, 18-hole course designed by Ian Baker-Finch in association with Nicklaus Design. The course makes the most of the desert terrain, and the result is a tough but playable course that will stretch the abilities of seasoned golfers, and allow those new to the sport to learn their game at one of the most innovative and beautifully designed courses in the world.

The Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, situated just next to the Arabian Ranches, offers a premium experience for horse lovers. This purpose-built establishment set in 68 acres of spectacular desert landscape holds top-level polo matches as well as equestrian events, showjumping and dressage. Ride outs take you into the heart of the desert for an unforgettable experience.

The Hacienda-style clubhouse is the epitome of luxury, offering banqueting facilities for personal or business use, making it a memorable location for a conference or wedding.

Cycle and run in peace

Criss-crossing Arabian Ranches is a network of cycle routes and pathways that are perfect for runners, joggers and those who simply want to take a little time out to relax. Communal open spaces and parkland gives the entire community somewhere to come together and enjoy being out in the fresh air, and there are plenty of social events and gatherings all year round to enhance that community spirit.

New developments

Arabian Ranches has proved to be so popular that new developments like Arabian Ranches II are being planned, presenting an ideal investment opportunity.

WHEN DESIGNING A NEW EMAAR DEVELOPMENT, WE THINK OF THE ‘BIG PICTURE’, THE OVERALL EFFECT, THE ‘WOW’ FACTOR. WHETHER IT WAS FOR ONE OF OUR SERVICED FURNISHED APARTMENTS OR A PROPERTY THAT NEW OWNERS WILL BE DECORATING ON THEIR OWN, WE SHARE FIVE INNOVATIVE WAYS TO MAKE USE OF CORNERS WITHOUT IMPACTING ON YOUR OVERALL DÉCOR.

A reader’s retreat

A corner sofa with plenty of plump cushions, a small side table and a stack of cleverly-designed shelves above with a reading light on the underside of the bottom shelf, and you’ve instantly turned a dull, boring corner into a gloriously snug bookworm’s retreat. If you love curling up with the latest bestseller (or if you’re a tech lover, an e-reader), then why not designate a quiet corner as your library away from the distractions of the TV?

A green oasis

Indoor plants can make a room feel more alive, more vibrant and improve your sense of well-being. As long as it’s not too dark, a corner can make a great place to create a small green oasis, even in a contemporary or minimalist design. Strong architectural plants or something a little more unusual such as a large cactus or a single elegant orchid, can transform an internal space.

A miniature art gallery

You don’t need a huge expanse of blank wall to display art. A corner can act as a show-stopping point to position a striking piece of art – art that stops the passer-by in their tracks. Corners are also ideal for three-dimensional art such as porcelain or small sculptures (and they also act as a haven for fragile pieces, offering solid protection on two sides!). Lighting is vital if you want to present fine art in a corner space, so be aware of how shadows are thrown from different angles to achieve the best result with the minimum amount of intrusive lighting to ensure the focus stays on the artwork.

A quirky conversation piece

A 1960s jukebox, a Victorian letterbox… quirky conversation pieces gravitate to corners. They’re unexpected, they’re cheeky, they’re fun, and they show your personality, your individuality and your lighter side.

They’re usually large, imposing pieces that would dominate the room if you positioned them in the centre of the living space. While this may be the effect you’re after, a corner space makes more practical sense, especially if your conversation piece is something that would end up breaking toes or tripping up guests if placed in the heart of your room!

Give it its own space – create the corner around the conversation piece, again using clever lighting and decorative wall art that draws attention to the main feature.

A practical storage area

Corners don’t need to be ‘wasted space’. A tallboy is a perfect corner piece, as are clean, no-fuss, minimalist shelves. If you want to use it as a coat storage area, then don’t go for boring, straight lines of hooks – space them randomly so that even when the coats have gone, the patterns and shapes created by the hooks add interest to an otherwise blank wall.

If you have a 3BR apartment, a townhouse, or a villa, you can increase each room’s storage. Make more space for your tasteful furniture and avoid interrupting the stunning views of our beautiful Emaar locations. Opt for subtly fitted closets, and storage enabled ottomans and bedroom benches.