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 properties, the freehold property law and the best freehold areas 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 dubai

Freehold Property Meaning

Dubai currently has more than 60 freehold areas, including some new developments. Popular freehold areas include: 

  • Dubai Marina
  • Business Bay 
  • Jumeirah Village Circle
  • Jumeirah Lake Towers
  • Dubai Hills Estate
  • Motor City
  • Dubai Sports City
  • Dubailand
  • Downtown Dubai
  • Arabian Ranches
  • Nshama Townsquare
  • La Mer
  • Al Furjan
  • Emirates Hills
  • Meydan
  • Bluewaters

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 these properties does not require state approval and involves less paperwork.

Also read: Best Luxury Properties in Dubai

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. The owner has complete autonomy to decide whether to sell or rent out the property.
  5. Non-residents of the UAE who are foreigners are also able to purchase freehold properties, even if they reside outside of the country.

freehold property

Some of the best freehold properties in Dubai:

Dubai Marina

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.

Al Barari

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).

Al Furjan

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

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.

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 freehold and leasehold 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
  • Mudon

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.


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 Dubai freehold property you are interested in.

When determining the market value and understanding the supply and demand of a Dubai freehold property, 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.