Expats Purchasing Property In Dubai

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Expats purchasing Property in Dubai Jun 13, 2005
I have recently been offered a job in UAE that includes a housing allowance. I am trying to find out if expats can purchase houses in the UAE. This would allow you to capture the allowance aswell. The contract requires a deed of title, therefore the property cannot be in your name as the employer will not pay a mortgage for you.
Does anyone know if you can purchase houses in UAE in a company name registered in another country? If no one knows, maybe they know someone who might know?

dbmc
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Jun 14, 2005
Hey Dude,

Well apparently you can purchase properties in Dubai - do not get a mortgage here! The amount the want up front, you might as well buy the thing out right.

Problem is I think alot of people are not buying because of two reasons:

1. According to the constitution, it is still not possible for expats to own property, some local bloke will still own the land, and all you do is lease it for 99 years or whatever, fine you might think, but if he decides to bulldoze a bunch of villas to make way for a few high rise buildings which are more lucrative, there's not much to stop him.

2. Build quality! The speed at which things go up here is frightening and you often think, will these buildings actually have a decent life span. For example I know several people who have done the rent to buy scheme on villas in the greens and they feel like part of an experiment, nothinhg but problems from the start. Plus I know someone who bought a villa in the gardens and he's never been able to move in, was told a bunch of them were unsafe and they'd all have to be pulled down.
Chocoholic
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Jun 15, 2005
G'day mate,

Thanks for your reply. I think I will wait until I get there and assess the market then.
dbmc
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Jun 15, 2005
Chocoholic wrote:Hey Dude,

Well apparently you can purchase properties in Dubai - do not get a mortgage here! The amount the want up front, you might as well buy the thing out right.

Problem is I think alot of people are not buying because of two reasons:

1. According to the constitution, it is still not possible for expats to own property, some local bloke will still own the land, and all you do is lease it for 99 years or whatever, fine you might think, but if he decides to bulldoze a bunch of villas to make way for a few high rise buildings which are more lucrative, there's not much to stop him.

2. Build quality! The speed at which things go up here is frightening and you often think, will these buildings actually have a decent life span. For example I know several people who have done the rent to buy scheme on villas in the greens and they feel like part of an experiment, nothinhg but problems from the start. Plus I know someone who bought a villa in the gardens and he's never been able to move in, was told a bunch of them were unsafe and they'd all have to be pulled down.


Absolutely true. It all depends on the construction company. If the company has had good reputation of building then you can rely on them. And look out for the cement they are using and time allocated to harden the concrete structure .
sniper420
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Jun 18, 2005
HI ! YOU CAN OWN A FLAT -100% OWNERSHIP AND GET A MORTGAGE TOO........AND FUTURE PRICE APPRECIATION AS WELL.

BUT THE ONLY PROBLEM IS CALCULATION...WHERE DO YOU WANNA STAY...BUDGET....?
chap1979
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Jun 19, 2005
I would be looking for a house because I will be bringing over a dog. I will be working in Al Ain so I would want to live on the outter area of Dubai so as to cut down the amount of travelling that I will have to do. I have looked on the web at Arabian Ranches, what is that development like? Is there any construction companies or developments that you could recommend?
Thanks for your reply. I will have to wait until I get over there and look around.
dbmc
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ownership! Jun 30, 2005
After reading some of the above corrospondences - there are more issues raised than answered.

1. Arabian Ranches is not a bad place, although it is not on the outskirts of Dubai! It is on the outskirts of the currently developed area, it will stall take you between 45 and 60 min to reach Al Ain from there.
2. Quality of houses in the UAE depends on the contractor and the developer, to wit there are currently only two or three Developers who are allowed to offer "private ownership" - 99 year lease options - Emaar and Nakheel being the two larger
3. N.....l was responsible for the development of the houses that could not be occupied. I saw them for myslef! It was scary! But having said that it was not due to the poor construction or finish - this was excellent before the problems started! the main problem was due to a sub-contractor taking a short-cut on the pilling and bracing of the foundations - not in the construction its self
4. All houses/ villas/ appartments/ offices show cracks after the first year, this is a well known fact - these are settlement cracks; and the developers will send all residents a notification prior to the one year annerversary of the property, after which they come around and patch the cracks
5. I can't comment on poor workmanship or cheap materials. It does happen in every country, short-cuts to save money. I must however add the following: in the UAE if a construction be it a house, appartment, scaffold etc... fails... and anyone is injured... starting at the top with the engineer who signed off on it, down to the site forman who was directly responsibile for the work - are all thrown in jail until blame and responsibility can be apportioned!
6. If you are buying in a development you cannot nominate the contractor - these are pre-built structures. The only choice you have is the floor plan and finishing. You are normally allowed to make MINOR alteration works to the property once it has been handed over to you. This is only with the written permission of the property administrator, and is normally subject to a planning and approval process. You may not make major changes to the outside facade or even the colour of the building!
7. Loans and Mortages. You can shop around there are plenty of finance companies and banks who are prepared to underwrite a property. But as one respondant points out, some of them are not cheap. In most instances they will want between 20 and 30% cash deposit. Some institutions will only finance the a percentage of the release (or original) price.... Example:

Say a property is released by the developer for 1,000,000 AED. It is bought by a speculator who sells it to party number two for 1,200,000. Party number two sells it on to you for 1,300,000. The bank will want say 20% deposit (260,000), the balance with intrest is payable over 14 years (not 20 or 25 like in other countries). Alternativly the bank will only finance 70% of the original release price (1,000,000 * 70% =700,000) again over 14 years, leaving you to find the other 600,000 AED!

8. "Private ownership" for expats is only allowed (at this stage) within recognised developments and is strictly controlled, as an expat you cannot own a villa in the middle of Jumierah!
9. While Private ownership is not legally recognised by Federal Law it is up to each Emirate to interprete and institute thier own "local" issues - hence the 99-year loop hole. Many of the other Emirates are now amking use of this loop-hole to bring in extra capital and investment. Adding property to the investment portfolio of a country has got a stabilising influence! The advantage of this is that the Federal Governements standpoint on land ownership by expats is not moved! the rules are simply bent.
10. As to the stability of the property market, my personal opinion is that the local (Dubai) government will never allow this to fail, to much off shore investment is tied up in land deals, stable economy and a "happy" work force. Dubai runs on banking and tourism, a sudden turn-arround in the property market would be a disasterous move - especially with all the high profile "private ownership" projects i.e. Palms 1 through 3!
11. As far as I know off shore companies, individuals etc are all elligible to take part in the "private ownership" scheme...
12. If there is anything in the property market that could damage it, it is uncontrolled speculation. Yes, there are people out there who can afford to buy 40 homes valued at over 1 miilion a piece - all at once! And no, they will never live in any of them. They want to sell them at 1,200,000 AED each and make a tidy profit! This unfortunalty drives up the price for the mere mortals who don't have that kind of cash lying around! The Federal bank has instituted "controls" to limit speculative buying of properties (does this mean that the Federal Government secretly condones 99 year land purchases and wants to protect them?? :) )
The controls at present mean that a person can only buy 6 free hold properties every 6 months (could be 4 - stand open to correction), but this hardly stops it, and bearly limits it!

There I am DONE!
dbxsoul
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Jun 30, 2005
Do you ever take time to breath buddy? :lol:

Seriously you are an awesome source of information. What the devil do you do in life?
Liban
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Jun 30, 2005
a humble gardener :)
dbxsoul
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Jun 30, 2005
LOL :lol:

Yeah and I am Sheikh Maktoum :P
Liban
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Jul 01, 2005
did u know they are considering to pass a law in Ras-Al Khaimah , a state in UAE that government wont interfere with landlord and the tenant and landlord is free to increase or decrease the price.
sniper420
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Jul 01, 2005
To all of ou thanks for your replies.
To dbxsoul, I concur with Liban, you are an excellent source of information. Thanks very much for your input. I owe you several schooners one day if our paths ever cross.

Thanks mate
dbmc
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RAK Jul 01, 2005
have you ever been to RAK?
they should alter the law and pay people to stay there!
dbxsoul
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Jul 01, 2005
LOL.... Seriously!!
Liban
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Free-hold/ lease-hold Jul 02, 2005
ran across an intresting piece yesterday for what it's worth....


the two terms lease-hold and free-hold are being used interchangibly in the uae, and that this is in fact incorrect.

all properties being offered to expats (nakheel, emaar etc...) are in fact lease-hold. leased from a party for the period of 99 years, subject to a number of clauses agreed to by the parties. so at best you are still a glorfied tennant.

the term free-hold (when used in a european context) means exactly that - free of any incumberences, and you can do anything you want you want to with the property.
dbxsoul
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