Buying property in Dubai: The 2024 guide for investors

The process of buying a property in Dubai.

Sky-high yields. Zero federal or Emirate-level income taxes. Dubai dazzles with its glittering skyscrapers, palm-shaped islands, and reputation for unapologetic luxury. Yet behind the glamour lies a major driver propping up this desert-defying boomtown.

Property investors. They’re flocking here because Dubai delivers outrageously strong rental yields and sweet, sweet tax breaks. Couple this with a constantly increasing population, its tourist hotspot stats, and consistently famous development opportunities; this place has it all – now and in the foreseeable future.

Are you intrigued to get your slice of this landlord’s paradise?

You’ve come to the right oasis. In this guide, we’ll quench your curiosity by covering:

  • Key areas and developments to target
  • Average rental returns across property types
  • Steps foreign buyers must complete

Plus, insider tips will help you scout out promising prospects. Let’s uncover why Dubai is a magnet for global property players – and how you can craft a lucrative buying strategy in this Arabian hotspot.

Let’s dive in.


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1. What are the requirements to buy a property in Dubai?

As of Janurary 2024, buying property in Dubai is a pretty simple process, much like purchasing real estate in most Western parts of the world.

There are no age restrictions whatsoever, and if you’re a resident (considered someone who lives in the UEA), you can simply make an offer and acquire ownership by successfully navigating the sales process.

If you’re a foreigner (someone who doesn’t live in the UEA), you’re able to acquire freehold ownership without restrictions either, whether that’s a freehold property contract, off-plan properties (construction yet to be completed), usufruct rights, or a leasehold up to 99 years.

No visa is required.

That said, you may only purchase a new title deed for freehold properties if they’re within the designated land plots, as outlined in pages 129 – 132 of the Emirate of Dubai (a document known as Article 3 of Regulation No. 3 of 2006 Determining Areas of Ownership by Non-Nationals of Real Property – but you won’t need to memorize that).

The areas for owning property include:

Western Dubai Eastern Dubai Central Dubai Southern Dubai
Dubai Marina Mirdif Sheikh Zayed Road Jebel Ali
Palm Jumeirah Ras al Khor Al Jaddaf Palm Jebel Ali
Al Barsha South 2 Al-Qouz Industrial Area 2 Umm Hurair 2 Sofouh 1
Al Barsha South 3 Al-Qouz Industrial Area 3 Al Rowyah Sofouh 2
Emirates Hills 1 The World Islands
Emirates Hills 2 Al-Qouz 3
Emirates Hills 3 Warsan 1
Nad al-Sheba


2. How much tax do I pay when buying a property in Dubai?

By far, one of the greatest benefits of buying property in Dubai is the fact that you don’t need to pay tax on it in the traditional sense.

Quite simply, there’s no income tax or inheritance tax payable on property in Dubai, although foreign investors may be subject to income tax from their country of residence if they don’t actually live in Dubai.

However, and here’s the important bit: there is a 4% transfer fee payable to the Dubai Land Department when a property is transferred to them. In addition to this, a ‘housing fee’ is payable monthly, equivalent to 5% of the average rental value of the area.

But this still means big profits for any investors looking to snatch up available property opportunities in the area.

For comparison, here’s what you’ll pay in taxes in various other countries based on a $700,000 property (figures depend on the state, region of the property and property value):

  • UK: £18,700, including up to 12% stamp duty and up to 28% capital gains tax as an investor (depending on income and whether you’re a first-time buyer), as well as legal fees, inspection fees, and survey costs (average £5,000).
  • USA: $31,500, including up to 2% of property value in transfer fees, plus title insurance, attorney fees, and appraisal fees, with an average of up to 5%.
  • Australia: $29,000, including stamp duty typically up to 5.5% of the property value, as well as legal, application, and inspection fees
  • Japan: $35,000, including tax up to 3% of property assessed value, plus 2% license tax, as well as estate agent fees and city planning tax, up to 3%.
  • Dubai: $28,000 – and then that’s all you need to pay.

As you can see, as a result of the low taxation, buying property in Dubai is a very attractive option for foreign investors. Combined with the good rental returns, there’s a potential to make a great income from Dubai property ownership.

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3. How to find a property in Dubai?

Several websites are great for finding investment properties in Dubai, including but not limited to;

You can also contact Dubai real estate agents directly in order for them to connect with appropriate investment properties.

Here at GuestReady, we’ll work alongside you to find the best Dubai properties in suitable areas, while also considering your investment finances, guiding you through the property buying process, assessing the rental yield of the area and property, and other crucial figures, like rental demand in that area – all to make sure you get the best return on investment possible.


4. Where to buy property in Dubai?

When buying property in Dubai, new investors are often spoiled for choice, given the sheer variety of world-class developments on offer.

But where is best for you?

Well, that depends on several factors, including budget, lifestyle appeal, and income potential, but to help create an overview, here are some of the best spots in Dubai that deserve your attention.


Palm Jumeirah


A sidewalk facing the Palm Jumeirah region


The Palm Jumeirah, built between 2001 and 2006, is a series of man-made islands in the Persian Gulf. With a mixture of commercial and residential units, the area is popular amongst investors and tourists. The average sale price of an apartment on the Palm Jumeirah is 3.4 million AED, or approximately $926,000 USD or £789,000, making it the most expensive region in Dubai.

The average sale price of a garden home is 18.5 million AED, which is $5 million USD or £4.3 million. The average gross rental yield for an apartment is 5.33% for apartments and 3.39% for garden homes. The touristic nature of the Palm Jumeirah makes it a fantastic place to invest in short-term rental opportunities.


The stats

  • Average Asking Sales Price: 3,264,000 AED ($888,671)
  • Average Transaction Sales Price: 2,687,509 AED ($731,713)
  • Average Rental Price: 175,000 AED ($47,646)
  • Average Gross Yield: 5.40%


Villa/Townhouse (4 Bedrooms)
  • Average Asking Sales Price: 30,000,000 AED ($8,167,932)
  • Average Transaction Sales Price: n/a
  • Average Rental Price: 1,200,000 AED ($326,717)
  • Average Gross Yield: 4%

That said, due to the touristic nature of the Palm Jumeirah, it’s a fantastic place to invest in short-term rental opportunities.


CityWalk Dubai


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CityWalk Dubai, developed by Meraas and currently managed by Merex, is a vibrant, urban lifestyle destination in the heart of Dubai. Established as a bustling neighbourhood and shopping centre, it seamlessly combines innovative retail and upscale gourmet outlets with residential units, making it a unique fusion of luxury and comfort.

With its aesthetic blend of modern architecture and outdoor lifestyle options, CityWalk has quickly become a preferred destination for both tourists and investors. Its prime location and diverse mix of amenities contribute to its status as a high-demand area for property investment.


The Stats

  • Average Asking Sales Price: 2,150,000 AED ($585,368)
  • Average Transaction Sales Price: 2,430,000 AED ($661,602)
  • Average Rental Price: 190,000 AED ($51,730)
  • Average Gross Yield: 8.80%


Villa/Townhouse (4 Bedrooms)
  • Average Asking Sales Price: 19,527,000 AED ($5,316,506)
  • Average Transaction Sales Price: n/a
  • Average Rental Price: n/a
  • Average Gross Yield: n/a


Jumeirah Beach Residence


A shot over the bay of the Jumeriah Beach Residence


Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR), completed in 2010, is an illustrious waterfront community located against the Persian Gulf in Dubai Marina. Known for its 1.7km of scenic shoreline and The Walk, a bustling beachfront promenade, JBR boasts a lively urban lifestyle with a beach resort feel.

This residential development, featuring 40 towers that host residential and hotel units, is celebrated for its panoramic views and luxurious amenities. Its popularity among tourists and residents alike makes JBR one of Dubai’s most sought-after areas for property investment, offering a unique blend of beachside living and urban convenience.


The stats

  • Average Asking Sales Price: 3,300,000 AED ($898,472)
  • Average Transaction Sales Price: 1,091,667 AED ($297,222)
  • Average Rental Price: 90,000 AED ($24,503)
  • Average Gross Yield: 2.70%

Villa/Townhouse (4 Bedrooms)
  • Average Asking Sales Price: n/a
  • Average Transaction Sales Price: n/a
  • Average Rental Price: 160,000 AED ($43,562)
  • Average Gross Yield: n/a


Dubai Marina


A gorgeous shot of the Dubai Marina on a beautiful day


Dubai Marina, a prestigious waterfront community, is renowned for its luxurious lifestyle, encompassing high-rise apartments and sophisticated penthouses. This bustling area, characterized by a splendid marina filled with yachts and a lively promenade, offers a wealth of dining, entertainment, and retail options.

Its appeal lies in the spectacular views of the city and the Arabian Gulf, making it a top choice for both investors and residents seeking an upscale urban experience combined with waterfront living.


The Stats

  • Average Asking Sales Price: 1,300,000 AED ($353,943)
  • Average Transaction Sales Price: 660,000 AED ($179,694)
  • Average Rental Price: 76,494 AED ($20,826)
  • Average Gross Yield: 5.90%


Villa/Townhouse (2 Bedrooms)
  • Average Asking Sales Price: 3,340,000 AED ($909,363)
  • Average Transaction Sales Price: n/a
  • Average Rental Price: 390,000 AED ($106,183)
  • Average Gross Yield: 11.70%


Arabian Ranches

A tranquil and scenic suburban development, Arabian Ranches is one of Dubai’s most exclusive residential communities. Known for its spacious villas and townhouses set amidst lush greenery and serene landscapes, it offers a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle.

With world-class amenities like golf courses, equestrian centres, and community parks, Arabian Ranches is ideal for families and those desiring a more relaxed, upscale lifestyle away from the urban core.


The Stats

Apartment (3 Bedrooms)
  • Average Asking Sales Price: 4,000,000 AED ($1,089,057)
  • Average Transaction Sales Price: n/a
  • Average Rental Price: 260,000 AED ($70,788)
  • Average Gross Yield: 6.50%


Villa/Townhouse (2 Bedrooms)
  • Average Asking Sales Price: 4,123,750 AED ($1,122,750)
  • Average Transaction Sales Price: n/a
  • Average Rental Price: 220,000 AED ($59,898)
  • Average Gross Yield: 5.30%


Dubai Downtown


Few places in the world will grab yoiur attention like Dubai Downtown does.


Downtown Dubai, the city’s dynamic heart, is home to some of the most iconic landmarks, including the Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Mall, and The Dubai Fountain. This cosmopolitan area blends luxurious residential towers with high-end shopping and entertainment experiences.

It’s a hub of urban sophistication, attracting a mix of residents and tourists seeking to experience the pinnacle of modern luxury and convenience in one of the most vibrant parts of the city.


The Stats

Apartment (3 Bedrooms)
  • Average Asking Sales Price: 3,600,000 AED ($980,151)
  • Average Transaction Sales Price: 3,150,000 AED ($857,632)
  • Average Rental Price: 210,000 AED ($57,175)
  • Average Gross Yield: 5.80%


Villa/Townhouse (2 Bedrooms)
  • Average Asking Sales Price: 3,375,000 AED ($918,892)
  • Average Sale Price: n/a
  • Average Rental Price: 225,000 AED ($61,259)
  • Average Gross Yield: 6.70%


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5. How to avoid problems when buying property in Dubai?

Since Dubai has such a hot property market, there are, of course, those looking to make a quick buck at the expense of others, and this is something you need to look out for. Like every type of investment, there are pitfalls if you don’t dot your i’s. Fortunately, when you know what to look for, you can steer clear of headaches by getting savvy beforehand.


Watch For:

  • Scams and fake listings: Ensure agents and property developer entities register with RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority), both for completed and off plan property projects.
  • Overpaying: Research neighbourhood rates before signing any contracts, making any deals, or paying any money. Knowledge is power when it comes to property investment.
  • Paperwork gaps: Check for critical documents like the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) and NOC(No Objection Certificate). Ensure they’re signed by your real estate agent.
  • Bad locations: Crunch rental yield data to pick ideal areas. Do your own research, and never just believe what a seller is trying to tell you. See the facts for yourself.
  • Unauthorized sales: Verify the seller has legal rights.


As above, knowledge is everything, and staying both informed and vigilant will help to prevent possible grief. That said, our expert team at GuestReady can help by providing indispensable boots-on-the-ground intel like:

  • Property purchase price analysis
  • Rental rate benchmarks
  • Yield forecasts
  • Paperwork review
  • Buying decision support


Consider us your property management and investment safety net – guiding you to rock-solid purchases without nasty surprises.


Property investment in Dubai


6. Why buy property in Dubai?

Dubai caters to property investors by delivering an irresistible trio of high rental yields, rock-bottom taxes, and exceptional affordability. Let’s dive deeper into the key factors sparking a global buying frenzy:


Lucrative Rental Income


Tax Perks

  • No annual property taxes
  • No capital gains or private income tax
  • Only a one-time ownership transfer fee upon purchase of 4% to the Dubai Land Department


Surging Tourism & Development

  • 15+ million visitors yearly fuel rental demand (source)
  • Tourism bought in AED 180 billion in 2023 (source)
  • $7.1 billion tourism vision to draw 25 million by 2025 (source)
  • 18% increase in short-term bookings in just one year (source)
  • Best-in-class new residential properties filled with the latest tech and luxury


Hassle-Free Visas

  • 2-year renewable visa with $272K property
  • 3-year renewable visa over $544K
  • 10-year renewable visa above $2.7M


Room for Price Growth

  • Dubai ranked 5th globally for price growth
  • Prime areas saw over 7% rise last year
  • Fair valuation and prospects to expand


Sound good?

We can’t stress enough how beneficial and easy it can be to get into Dubai’s mature real estate markets for yourself and start enjoying everything this investment landscape offers, regardless of whether you’re purchasing property in Business Bay, the Jumeirah Village Circle, Dubai Sports City, or beyond.

Get in touch with the GuestReady team or check out our range of rental tools to see precisely how you can get started, what the latest opportunities are, and everything you need for a complete property investment package.


7. Is now a good time to buy property in Dubai?

As of Janurary 2024, yes, it’s a fantastic time to buy property in Dubai.

Those who invested three or four years ago have already seen 20% to 30% growth in their returns, and this number is set to change as Dubai’s real estate market grows and becomes more globalized.

Both property prices and rental figures are increasing, and since the coronavirus pandemic, tourism has opened up in Dubai, and short-term rental properties are now more popular than ever amongst tourists and investors alike.

It’s time for you to make the most of it.


8. Can foreigners buy property in Dubai?

Yes, foreigners can purchase property in designated areas for foreign ownership in Dubai, like the Dubai Hills Estate.

These areas are determined by the Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai and include regions such as Palm Jumeirah, Downtown Dubai, Dubai Marina, Arabian Ranches and Jumeirah Beach Residence.

It’s recommended that foreign investors buy property in Dubai through regulated real estate agents to mitigate the risk of scams and fake properties.


GuestReady manages properties in Dubai


9. Is buying a property in Dubai a good investment?

Yes, Dubai’s lack of property taxes and increasing population make it a great place to invest. The visa program makes it an attractive investment opportunity, as do the strong rental yields and relatively low property prices. Therefore, buying property in Dubai is a good investment because of the strong rental returns, absence of property taxes, consistent development opportunities, visa qualifications and lower property costs.


10. Dubai & UAE country manager view

The comprehensive insights on the tax benefits, robust rental yields, and the strategic importance of adhering to the 90-day rule in Dubai, present a compelling case for investors looking to expand their portfolios into this dynamic market.

At GuestReady, we recognise the potential Dubai holds, with its blend of luxury and strategic economic policies that drive significant investor interest from around the globe. This guide serves as an invaluable resource for both novice and seasoned investors, providing a clear roadmap to navigating the property market landscape in Dubai, which is renowned for its investor-friendly environment and high returns on investment.

Moreover, the detailed breakdown of the purchasing process, potential pitfalls, and the strategic recommendations offered in this article align perfectly with GuestReady’s mission to facilitate seamless property investments. Our expertise in managing property investments extends to ensuring that our clients can leverage these insights to optimise their investment outcomes.

The emphasis on the strategic selection of properties and the importance of professional management through services like GuestReady highlights the sophisticated nature of investing in Dubai’s property market.

By aligning our services with the nuanced needs of this market, we ensure that our clients not only invest wisely but also manage their properties effectively to maximise their returns and ensure compliance with local regulations. This holistic approach is what sets GuestReady apart as a leader in property management, particularly in high-stakes markets like Dubai.


11. Invest in Dubai with GuestReady

At GuestReady, we’re experts in the short-term rental market in Dubai. Get in touch for advice about the areas with the highest rental returns and how we can assist with your property purchase, either as a holiday home or as a pure investment property.

We help investors maximize their property rental income with online listing optimization, cleaning and maintenance services coordination, property décor and professional photography assistance.


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