There has been tremendous growth in the Dubai real estate market, recently. While the entire world was in a slowdown due to covid, the city’s stable economy and powerful government regulations not only remained unaffected but also proved to increase the overall property buying numbers by 60%.
Dubai’s real estate market surged in 2020 and continued to improve for two years. In 2023, the sector is believed to grow at a slower pace, considering the recent hike in prices and rising rates.
But even with these changes, investors and high-net-worth individuals are interested in the developing market due to its future potential. This ability to pay more for a property and the willingness to buy even during the increasing rising rates is why many foreign buyers or non-resident individuals are interested in owning a space here.
But as a foreign investor or first-time home buyer in Dubai, you must be well-versed with the freehold property in Dubai, the freehold property law and the best freehold property in Dubai. In this article, we’ll answer all of that and give you helpful insights about the future market value of the sector.
Freehold Property Meaning
Dubai currently has more than 60 freehold areas, including some new developments.
Freehold property meaning is as the name suggests, directly based on the freehold areas. In Dubai, properties that are considered freehold are those located in these designated areas where non-nationals can have full ownership rights to the land.
These properties, known as “free from hold”, are owned outright by the individual and can be used for any purpose within local laws and regulations. The sale of any freehold property in Dubai does not require state approval and involves less paperwork.
Also read: Best Luxury Properties in Dubai
List of the 40 Best Freehold Properties in Dubai:
Dubai Marina is a highly sought-after location that boasts a robust infrastructure that caters to a luxurious lifestyle. It is home to a variety of amenities such as restaurants, spas, salons, parks, high-end shopping centres and more.
The area offers a variety of property options such as studios, apartments with 1-4 bedrooms, 2-6 bedroom penthouses and 3-5 bedroom podium villas.
The majority (80%) of Al Barari’s territory is composed of landscaped lakes, freshwater streams, and themed gardens, creating a European garden-like atmosphere in the middle of the desert. The community is situated near Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road.
Property options available for purchase include studios, 1 and 2-bedroom apartments, duplexes, and 3-6 bedroom luxury villas. The starting price for a 1-bedroom apartment is around AED 1,000,000 (USD 272,000) and the minimum price for a 3-bedroom villa is around AED 3,500,000 (USD 953,000).
The exclusive community of Al Furjan offers a wide variety of apartments and villas, along with comprehensive services and amenities for a comfortable living experience. The community is situated near Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road, Discovery Gardens, and the Ibn Battuta Mall. Property options available for purchase include 1-4 bedroom apartments and 3-6 bedroom villas.
The starting price for a 1-bedroom apartment is around AED 400,000 (USD 109,000), and for a 3-bedroom villa, prices begin at AED 1,600,000 (USD 435,600). Other options include studios, townhouses and land plots.
Al Warsan (or Al Warisan) is a multifaceted construction area that is currently under development, located next to the well-known residential area of International City, and comprising 4 sub-districts.
The area offers 1-2 bedroom apartments starting at AED 360,000 (USD 98,000) and 3-bedroom villas starting at AED 1,500,000 (USD 408,000). The neighbourhood is highly sought after by both couples and single professionals.
Business Bay is a highly desirable location in Dubai, situated near Downtown Dubai. Covering an impressive 60 million square feet, Business Bay is a mixed-use area that encompasses both commercial and residential buildings, as well as a significant number of luxury hotels.
All of Business Bay consists of freehold property in Dubai, and the area is expected to eventually have more than 200 buildings, including residential, commercial, and mixed-use structures. It offers a wide range of retail options along with a variety of beverage outlets.
Dubai Downtown is a prestigious community known for its iconic landmarks, such as the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Mall.
If you’re looking for a luxurious freehold property in Dubai, you should consider Downtown Dubai. It’s one of the most sought-after destinations for experiencing a high-profile metropolitan lifestyle in one of the posh areas of Dubai.
Jumeirah Beach Residence
JBR provides a diverse selection of residential units as well as penthouses that are available for both sale and rent. Due to the area’s beach lifestyle and extensive range of retail stores and cafes, JBR is highly sought after by young families and individuals.
Those living in this area have a wide range of amenities and facilities, such as swimming pools, state-of-the-art fitness centres, premium five-star hotels, designer outlets, cinemas, and restaurants and bars.
Jumeirah Lake Towers
Jumeirah Lake Towers, also known as JLT, is a community that surrounds four beautiful lakes. JLT has transformed into one of Dubai’s premier dining destinations, featuring a diverse range of global culinary treasures that are tucked away within the area’s many skyscrapers.
For investors looking for freehold property in Dubai, JLT is an ideal location.
Damac Hills is a freehold property in Dubai, which means that residents and property owners have full ownership and control over their properties.
As a freehold area, Damac Hills offers more flexibility and security to property owners and is a popular choice for those looking to invest in Dubai’s real estate market.
Palm Jumeirah, which is the biggest artificial island globally, is a unique destination on its own. It is situated along the magnificent shoreline of the Arabian Sea.
As a luxurious freehold area in Dubai, Palm Jumeirah is a sophisticated community with an exclusive selection of upscale hotels, townhouses, apartments, and villas, making it one of the most prestigious locations in Dubai.
Dubai Sports City
Dubai Sports City is a vast development that offers both residential and commercial properties. As a freehold community, it covers an area of 4.6 million square feet and houses around 15,000 individuals in villas and apartments.
The development offers affordable options for investors, with prices for under-construction projects ranging from AED 500,000 – AED 1.2 million.
Meydan, which can be found in Nad Al Sheba, is a sought-after location for investors interested in freehold property in Dubai.
With its unique Meydan racecourse, the area is designed to combine luxurious residential properties with extravagant commercial spaces, as well as various entertainment, sports, and recreational facilities.
Dubai Silicon Oasis
Silicon Oasis is a self-sufficient community that provides a mix of residential villas, apartments, and a fantastic commercial zone. It caters to individuals from all walks of life and offers a well-rounded lifestyle.
The strategic location of Silicon Oasis is also a major factor that draws the attention of investors looking for a freehold property in Dubai.
Bluewaters Island is a mixed-use development that offers freehold property in Dubai to both locals and ex-pats.
The island features a range of luxurious residential units, including apartments, penthouses and townhouses, all of which come with state-of-the-art amenities and stunning views of the Arabian Gulf.
Investing in freehold property in Dubai’s Bluewaters Island offers many benefits, including the opportunity to own a luxurious property in one of the city’s most prestigious areas, a strong rental potential due to its location and amenities.
Layan is a freehold property in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The community is situated in close proximity to major highways, making it a convenient location for residents who commute to other parts of Dubai.
The development offers a range of amenities, including parks, playgrounds, community centres, and sports facilities. There are also several retail outlets, restaurants, and cafes within the community.
Dubai Festival City – Badia Phase 1 & 2
Dubai Festival City is a large mixed-use development located on the banks of Dubai Creek. Badia Phase 1 & 2 are residential neighbourhoods within Dubai Festival City that offer freehold properties.
The properties in these phases consist of villas, townhouses and apartments with modern amenities and facilities.
The location of Dubai Festival City is convenient for residents as it is close to the airport and major highways.
Dubai Festival City – Hillside
Dubai Festival City – Hillside is a residential development located in the Dubai Festival City area. The development offers a range of freehold villas and townhouses.
Hillside is a gated community that features various amenities such as swimming pools, playgrounds, and fitness centres. The location of Hillside is also advantageous as it provides easy access to major highways and is in close proximity to popular destinations in Dubai.
Dubai Festival City – Marsa
Marsa is a new waterfront development located within Dubai Festival City, which is set to feature a range of residential, commercial, and leisure components. Marsa is expected to feature luxury apartments, townhouses, and villas, as well as a range of retail and dining options.
Discovery Gardens is a residential area that offers reasonably priced freehold property in Dubai. It is conveniently located near Ibn Battuta Mall, making it an ideal option for individuals and families seeking expansive living spaces amidst verdant surroundings.
The neighbourhood is composed of six different sections, each with a garden living theme.
Sky Court Tower – Dubai land
Sky Court Tower is a freehold residential property located in Dubai Land, Dubai.
As a freehold property in Dubai, Sky Court Tower offers investors the opportunity to purchase and own a property in Dubai, with full ownership rights and without the need for a local sponsor.
The Dubai Land area is known for its family-friendly attractions and amenities, such as parks, playgrounds, and schools.
Legends is a freehold property in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is situated in close proximity to the Dubai Cricket Stadium and offers easy access to major highways, making it a convenient location for residents who commute regularly.
As a freehold property in Dubai, Legends offers investors the opportunity to own a property in Dubai with full ownership rights, without the need for a local sponsor.
Old Town is situated in the lively Downtown Dubai area, offering a range of impressive benefits due to its prime location. The low-rise buildings provide homes with stunning views of the surrounding lakes, community, Dubai’s skyline, Burj Khalifa, partial Dubai Mall, and Dubai Fountain.
Meadows is a highly sought-after residential area that is popular among families and young professionals. The villas in the area are spacious and range from three to six bedrooms, with many of them featuring generously-sized private gardens and swimming pools.
Meadows is a top choice for ex-pat families, with a variety of schools located in and around the community. These include the Meadows International School and the Dubai British School, providing families with a good selection of educational options.
The Springs is a subdivision of Emirates Living and is a gated community consisting of fifteen sub-communities with charming villas.
This community is situated near other residential areas such as The Meadows, The Lakes, and Emirates Hills, and provides excellent value for money.
On average, a 3-bedroom villa for sale in The Springs will cost investors around AED 3.2 million, while a 4-bedroom unit will cost an average of AED 4.2 million.
Jebel Ali Village
Jebel Ali Village, a new gated community, seamlessly blends traditional charm with modern perspectives. Located in an area with a rich historical connection, Jebel Ali Village looks towards a bright future with its contemporary design aesthetic.
Jebel Ali Village offers 4 and 5-bedroom villas with exclusive single-row availability.
The modern design and layout offer two high-quality finishing options, with the choice of either a dark or light colour scheme. The living room balcony doors fully open to a spacious backyard, providing seamless indoor-outdoor living for residents to enjoy.
Jumeirah Golf Estate
Jumeirah Golf Estates is a freehold residential development located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
It is situated on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road and is in close proximity to other well-known residential areas such as Jumeirah Lake Towers, Dubai Marina, and Palm Jumeirah.
Jumeirah Golf Estates is known for its picturesque landscape and high-end amenities, making it a sought-after location for those seeking an upscale lifestyle in Dubai.
Mudon is a community with a strong sense of community that provides reasonably priced townhouses, villas, and apartments. It is surrounded by greenery and features parks and gardens, making it an ideal location for families seeking freehold property in Dubai.
Arabian Ranches 2
Arabian Ranches 2 is a follow-up to the original Arabian Ranches development and features a variety of spacious villas and townhouses in a gated community.
The development is designed to offer a luxurious lifestyle with landscaped parks, lakes, and sports facilities, as well as shopping and dining options within the community.
Veneto Project is a luxury freehold property development located in the heart of Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The Veneto Project is conveniently situated close to various leisure and entertainment facilities, including parks, cafes, restaurants, and shopping malls.
It is also easily accessible to major roads and public transportation networks, making it an ideal location for both residential and commercial purposes.
Al Thanyah First
Al Thanyah First is a highly desirable location in Dubai due to its central position and vibrant community.
It boasts a variety of high-quality apartments, luxurious villas, and townhouses suitable for families and working professionals alike. This dynamic neighbourhood offers an excellent range of amenities and facilities.
Falcon City of Wonders is a massive real estate project situated in the highly sought-after area of Dubailand.
Launched in 2005 by Falconcity of Wonders LLC (FCW), a private company established by Salem Ahmad AlMoosa Enterprises, the development is a master-planned community that includes a recreation of the seven wonders of the world, a theme park, commercial properties, sports facilities, and educational institutions.
Palazzo Versace is a luxury freehold property development located in the Culture Village of Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The project is a collaboration between Enshaa Group and Versace, the renowned Italian fashion brand. Palazzo Versace features a collection of deluxe apartments, villas, and penthouses, all designed with the iconic Versace touch.
City Walk is an excellent choice for those seeking an elevated lifestyle. The development offers a variety of exciting opportunities, such as upscale shopping, dining, and leisure activities, making it one of the most sought-after destinations in Dubai.
The neighbourhood’s lively ambience is a central feature of the Jumeirah community and is regarded as one of the city’s top tourist attractions.
Dubai Culture Village
Culture Village is a standout location in Dubai due to its distinctive architecture that beautifully blends traditional Arabic heritage with modern design elements. The development is divided into three zones – residential, retail, and commercial – providing an upscale community with a range of options.
It boasts some of Dubai’s most exclusive developments, including Palazzo Versace, D1 Tower, and Dubai Wharf. The Canal from Business Bay is also connected to this area, and it is adjacent to Dubai Creek Harbour, adding to the area’s charm and appeal.
Badrah is a residential community located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Developed by Nakheel, one of the leading real estate companies in the UAE, the development offers affordable freehold properties designed to provide a comfortable and convenient lifestyle.
Located in the heart of Dubai, Badrah provides easy access to key destinations in the city, including Dubai Marina, Dubai Media City, and Dubai International Airport. The development is also situated near major highways, providing convenient access to other parts of the city.
Al Waha Project
Al Waha is a residential development situated in Dubailand, Dubai. It features a luxurious enclave of 260 townhouses and villas that are built in a contemporary Mediterranean style.
The villas offer a distinctive lifestyle community, with 2, 3, and 4-bedroom options available, surrounded by beautiful lush greenery and landscapes.
Ibn Battuta Gate
Ibn Battuta Gate is a mixed-use tower located opposite the well-known Ibn Battuta Mall, featuring both commercial and residential units. This landmark building offers 156 elegantly furnished and unfurnished apartments that are available for both rent and sale.
While not a traditional community, Ibn Battuta Gate is a collection of towers that provide a range of property options.
The most distinctive feature of Ibn Battuta Gate is its arch-shaped structure, which connects the two main commercial and residential towers.
Ewan Project – DIP
Ewan Residence is a new residential complex located in Dubai Investment Park that offers a modern style of living in a dynamic environment. The complex features 1, 2, and 3-bedroom apartments and is commonly referred to as Ewan Residences.
Warsan 4 is a neighbourhood located in the southern suburbs of Dubai. It was designed to provide a luxurious and family-friendly living environment, with essential amenities located nearby for residents’ convenience.
The properties in Warsan 4 Dubai include a variety of options such as studios, and 1, 2, and 3-bedroom apartments, with a range of budget-friendly and high-end options.
With numerous amenities available such as private landscaped terraces, well-equipped gyms, swimming pools, balconies, kitchens, and recreational spaces, residents can easily find an apartment that suits their needs and lifestyle.
The community of Remraam in Dubai takes its name from the Remraam plant, a common plant in the UAE, and is known for its natural beauty and greenery.
The community is a tranquil haven, located away from the hustle and bustle of central Dubai. It comprises two sub-areas, Al Thamam and Al Ramth, which feature 56 low-rise apartment buildings surrounded by parks and other community facilities.
How to Buy Freehold Property in Dubai in 2023?
Step 1: It is crucial to find the right agent. Your agent or broker must not only understand your needs, but also be up-to-date on all the legal nitty gritty, and market conditions and have a proven track record.
Step 2: Buying is a fairly straightforward process. An Agreement for Sale/MoU must be signed once both parties agree to the terms of the sale.
Step 3: Then, a 10% deposit is required as proof of commitment.
Step 4: Afterwards, the seller will settle any outstanding fees with the developer, including service charges and permission to sell the property against a one-time fee.
Step 5: After all dues are cleared, the developer issues a NOC to the seller and the buyer is issued a new title deed. Here, the seller transfers the property to the buyer. The average property transaction in Dubai takes about 30 days from the date the Agreement for Sale is signed.
Benefits of owning a freehold property in Dubai:
- Individuals who possess Freehold Properties and their direct relatives are eligible for renewable UAE residence visas if the value of the property is above AED 1 million.
- They have full authority over the property and are not required to obtain approval from anyone before making modifications to it, except for changes to the exterior of the building, for which they must receive permission from the developer.
- In the event of the property owner’s death, the property will pass to their heirs, whether or not there is a will in place. This will allow the owner’s family to continue living in the home even after their death.
- The owner has complete autonomy to decide whether to sell or rent out the property.
- Non-residents of the UAE who are foreigners are also able to purchase freehold property in Dubai, even if they reside outside of the country.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQS)
Can foreigners buy property in non-freehold areas of Dubai?
Foreigners cannot own property in non-designated areas. Long lease agreements are the best option for foreigners who wish to own property in non-designated areas.
What is the difference between leasehold and freehold property in Dubai?
Leasehold ownership means that the individual owns the rights to the home or flat through a lease agreement, but they do not have any ownership rights to the land. On the other hand, freehold ownership grants the individual ownership of the home, standalone building, or property and the land it is situated on.
Which areas are freehold in Dubai?
- Business bay
- Downtown Dubai
- Barsha Heights
- Jumeirah Beach Residence
- Jumeirah Lake Towers
- Dubai Marina
- DAMAC Hills
- Palm Jumeirah
- Meydan City
- Dubai Investment Park
- Mohammed Bin Rashid City
- Umm Suqeim
What is freehold property law?
According to Dubai’s freehold property laws, foreign ownership is allowed in areas designated as freehold. Both non-resident foreigners and expatriate residents can acquire freehold ownership rights, usufruct rights, or leasehold rights for up to 99 years, without any limitations as of 27th September 2021.
Can foreigners build houses or towers in freehold property in Dubai?
Yes, foreigners are allowed to build houses or towers on freehold property in Dubai. Constructing an individual property in Dubai is highly appealing because it grants the owner complete autonomy and authority over the entire process
What is the process for foreigners to buy freehold properties in Dubai World Free Zone Authority (DWFA)?
To acquire a freehold property in Dubai World Free Zone Authority (DWFA), non-citizens must adhere to UAE laws. This involves obtaining a purchase permit from the authority and entering into a sales contract with the property developer. You must pay the purchase price, and settle any applicable fees, like transfer and registration fees.
How do we put our property on sale in Dubai freeholds, and who takes care of all paperwork related to it?
If you want to sell a property in Dubai freeholds, hiring a licensed real estate agent is necessary. The agent will assist in determining the asking price, promoting the property to potential buyers, and negotiating the terms of the sale. You can handle the transfer of ownership and all necessary documentation easily.
Can a tourist buy a freehold property in Dubai?
Yes, a tourist can buy a freehold property in Dubai.It is advisable to seek the assistance of a reputable real estate agent or legal advisor who can guide them through the process and ensure compliance with all relevant regulations.
Which areas are freehold in Dubai?
- Downtown Dubai
- Dubai Marina
- Palm Jumeirah
- Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT)
- Business Bay
- Dubai Sports City
- Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)
- Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR)
- Emirates Hills
- Dubai Silicon Oasis
Is it safer to invest in freehold property as opposed to leasehold?
Investing in freehold property is generally considered to be a safer option than investing in a leasehold property.
The buyer has complete control over the freehold property and can make changes to it without requiring permission from a landlord or property management company. Freehold properties also tend to retain their value better over time and are easier to sell than leasehold properties.
Which villas in Dubai are freehold?
Some of the popular freehold villa communities in Dubai include:
- Emirates Hills
- Palm Jumeirah
- Dubai Hills Estate
- Dubai Marina
- Jumeirah Golf Estates
- Arabian Ranches
- The Villa Project
How can I buy freehold property in Abu Dhabi?
The process for buying freehold property in Abu Dhabi depends on the specific property and location.
Here are the steps to follow:
- Identify the property
- Conduct due diligence
- Make an offer to the seller
- Sign a contract that outlines the terms and conditions of the sale.
- Make a deposit to secure the property
- Obtain a no-objection certificate
- Register the property with the Abu Dhabi Municipality
- Get the title deed
Do not let the extravagant amenities, influence your perception of the market value of your building or neighbourhood, as they do not determine it.
It is important to conduct thorough research and consult brokerage websites to obtain an accurate average price for the specific freehold property in Dubai you are interested in.
When determining the market value and understanding the supply and demand of a freehold property in Dubai, keep in mind that the key factors that are considered are the location, cost of construction materials, accessibility to public transportation and the perception of the community or area by potential buyers.