Dubai is the city of gold, attractions, skyscrapers, superlatives, dreams, and holidays. It’s an excellent place to live, find a new career, and do business. Whether you’re planning to purchase a house or a property to invest in, one of the major advantages is the simplified tax system in the region. 

But what are the important things to keep in mind when buying a new home in Dubai? Check out this home buying checklist for first-timers in the city of gold. 

1- Find The Best Type Of Property To Buy 

Dubai is a popular choice among investors because of its abundant and dynamic property types at reasonable price options. Dubai’s real estate market is booming. You can choose from apartments or condominiums, villas, and townhouses. Check out the details of these common residential properties below: 


The most popular residential property type in Dubai are apartments that range from studio-type units to 3-bedroom apartments. Duplexes (two full-floor apartments) and lofts (with a small second floor) are also available. Residential apartments include one to two bedrooms with various amenities, such as shared pools, spacious balconies, gyms, swimming pools, and CCTV surveillance. 


If you have a big family, a villa is a more spacious home for you than apartments. These independent housing units usually come with bigger living spaces, attached garages, and private gardens. You can choose from several bed types, such as 3 to 7-bedrooms, attached, semi-detached, or detached villas. The attached villas have shared facilities, whereas detached and semi-detached villas are more exclusive and private. 


Townhomes or townhouses share a common wall with other units. Semi-attached and attached townhomes in Dubai range from 3 to 6 bedrooms. 

Seek the expert assistance of a professional real estate service to assist you in choosing a residential property in Dubai. 

2- Determine Your Eligibility  

Ensure you qualify to purchase land or a house in Dubai if you’re a foreigner. It means that you must be allowed to reside in Dubai with a steady salary.  

The eligibility criteria to secure a mortgage or home loan in Dubai include the following: 

  • Must be a UAE national or resident 
  • At least 21 years old (up to age 65) 
  • A minimum of AED 15K monthly income for employed individuals and AED 25k for self-employed

Some banks allow a monthly income of AED 8k to apply for a mortgage loan in Dubai, subject to bank policies. 

3- Prepare the Mortgage Requirements  

If you’re buying a house on a mortgage, you need to apply and prepare the paperwork to process your application. The requirements vary depending on the bank. Generally, you need to supply the following documents when applying for a mortgage loan in Dubai:  

  • A clear copy of passport and visa  
  • A clear copy of your UAE ID 
  • A salary certificate as proof of employment 
  • Proof of residence (a copy of tenancy contract or Dubai Electricity and Water Authority or DEWA bill) 
  • Bank statements and payslips (past six months)
  • Your latest credit card statements  

Non-residents applying for a mortgage loan in Dubai only need a copy of their passport and their bank statements (last three months). 

4- Choose A Finance Institution  

You can take a home loan or mortgage from a bank or any trusted financial institution. Most banks allow foreigners to loan. Moreover, large international banks offer higher loan amount approval than local banks. 

5- Know The Down Payment or Deposit 

It’s crucial to determine how much you’ll spend buying your first home and your payment options. The down payment in the city of gold is usually 25% of the property’s total price. Some real estate developers sell off-plan properties that come with different initial deposit requirements.  

6- Know The Fees  

Property taxes don’t apply in Dubai. But what are the fees you need to pay when purchasing a property in Dubai? The applicable fees when buying a home in the city of gold are as follows: 

  • Dubai Land Department (DLD) transfer fee of 4% of the total sale price plus AED 540 for the administrative fee 
  • Abu Dhabi transfer fee of 1% to 2% of the total sale price 
  • Registration fee of AED 2,000 for a property less than AED 500,000 and AED 4,000 for property worth more than AED 500,000 
  • Mortgage registration fee of 0.25% of loan plus AED 10 fee 
  • Mortgage processing fee of up to 1% of the total loan amount 
  • Other fees include real estate agency fees, valuation fees, and conveyancing fees. 

7- Know The Legal Steps  

What are the legal steps to take when you buy a property in Dubai? First, you need to establish a buyer and seller agreement when dealing with real estate transactions. Once you have found your perfect home, the next step is to negotiate the terms of the sale. If you’ll use cash to buy a property, use this to your advantage to haggle the lowest price. 

Ensure that the mode of payment, the selling price, and other legal considerations are clear between you and the seller. When you reach a mutual agreement, the next legal step is to sign the sale agreement or the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Form F is a real estate firm in Dubai available on the official site of the Dubai Land Department.  

Here are the other legal steps you need to know: 

  • Pay Standard Deposit: You need to pay a standard security deposit of 10% of the property price to the Registration Trustee. You’ll receive the deposit after finalizing the property transfer. 
  • Apply For No Objection Certificate: The NOC ascertains that the property has no outstanding service charges. 
  • Effecting The Transfer: Once the NOC is ready, the last legal step is meeting with the seller (Dubai Land Department office) to effect the transfer. Ensure you have a manager’s cheque payable to the seller, the original identification documents (like passport, visa, and Emirates ID), the original NOC, and the signed MOU of contract F. 

The Takeaway

Dubai offers a wide array of residential properties to first-time buyers. However, the process will only be easy if you make sure that you’re eligible to buy a property by preparing the necessary paperwork. You also need to know the applicable fees, taxes, and legal steps when buying a property in Dubai. Consult a real estate professional to help you find your perfect home in the city of gold.

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