Dubai has been an inspirational trend-setter in many ways; from reclaiming vast areas of sea to constructing beautiful and tall sky scrapers. In the same way, Dubai was the first one out of all the Emirates of UAE to get involved in freehold properties.
This move was taken when only UAE nationals could have the ownership of properties in UAE. A freehold property is one in which a buyer has all the rights of the land bought and anything over it, contrary to a lease when the property has to be returned to the original owner on demise of the lease, unless renewed.
What are Dubai Freehold Properties?
- In 2000, the Government of Dubai permitted expiates to acquire a maximum of 99 year lease on freehold properties in Dubai. Moving on, in 2002, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoom – crown prince of Dubai – went a step ahead and allowed nationals of other countries to acquire property on freehold membership, resulting in an exponential property boom.
- When a freehold property is purchased, the previous owner transfers it on the buyer’s name for life. This includes anything that is built on the property or is found under it. The buyer (new owner) then has the right to rent, sell or lease the property and treat it as his own. Before 2002 and this decision, the property was never sold but only given on a lease. Not only do buyers now get the property, but they now also get resident visas for themselves and their immediate family.
- There are only some areas where foreigners can buy the freehold properties. These include Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai land, Jumeirah and Jebel Ali.
How to buy a freehold property in Dubai
- Investing in a property takes a lot of research and diligent checking of the market – specially if the buyer is a foreigner in the city. Owning a freehold gives control of the property, making it convenient for the owner to handle it according to his/her wishes.
- A major step in the process of buying a freehold property in Dubai is to register it with the Land Department. Once the selling process is completed and the property is given to the buyer, the title of the property should be registered in the Real Property Register. This should be done at the Land Department and in the name of the buyer.
- A foreigner will only be able to register the property in his name after a no-objection certificate is submitted by the developers. This should proclaim that there are no due payments and all transactions have been completed
- Foreign buyers can buy the property but choose not to live in it. They can choose to make the property a holiday home. Only those foreigners which are entitled to a six-month multiple entry visa are offered visas when the property is purchased.
- It must be repeated that non-nationals of Dubai are allowed to buy freehold property only in the designated areas of Dubai. If they wish to acquire it in other areas, a long lease agreement must be made, which will only give the lessee the rights of a lease-holder and not an owner.