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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ for the investor in Dubai

No, you don’t have to pay tax if you are a resident abroad. You only pay if the Dubai property is designed for living in, such as your own home, and student and employee accommodation. Then it is considered residential and exempt for VAT purposes. However, 5% VAT applies to commercial properties. 

Typically, developers delay the staggered payment schedule if a property is not completed on time.

While resident expatriates can generally borrow between 70% and 80%, non-residents can generally borrow 60% to 70%. It all depends on the lender, and the project they are lending on.

Typically, the prospective Buyer and Seller enter into an MOU, wherein the buyer commits to purchase the property and the seller commits to sell the property. In a purchase transaction, the buyer pays an initial booking deposit (of not more than AED 100,000 for villas and apartments) to the seller.

If the buyer withdraws from the transaction, the buyer forfeits his booking deposit. If the seller withdraws from the transaction, the seller refunds the booking deposit amount. The buyer pays the balance considered to the seller upon transfer of the property to the buyer.

The buyer of a freehold property in Dubai only needs to provide a copy of his passport papers to purchase a property in the primary market, i.e., directly from a developer. A company purchasing a property must provide the developer the company’s registration documents (Articles of Incorporation, Registration Certificate, POA of the person signing on behalf of the company, and Board of Directors Resolution). 

Either entity, i.e., a person or a company, needs only to sign a property reservation contract with the developer to purchase a property. On handover of the property to the property purchaser, the property purchaser will have to register his property at the Govt. of Dubai Lands Dept. to obtain a title deed. 

The property purchaser would be responsible for paying the fees to the Govt. of Dubai Lands Dept. to obtain a title deed (this normally amounts to 2% of the property value). The property value must be fully paid up so as to obtain a Title Deed from the Govt. of Dubai Lands Dept.

A property before a structure has been constructed upon it; Under construction property.

Dubai Land Department – DLD is a government agency that provides necessary legislation, organization, and services for any real estate transactions in Dubai.

Overall, residential properties are largely exempted from VAT unless you buy a hotel apartment from the developer for the first time, then you should pay 5% VAT.
Also, VAT does not apply to the 4% Dubai Land Department registration fees, but VAT does apply to the broker commission and to the trustee office fees.

‘Sweet Home’ offers its customers full guidance and support, starting from analyzing the customer’s requirements and needs to locate the most adequate property and the most attractive investment package for him.
1. Locating the adequate property in a good location and at a reasonable price.
2. Coordinating and guiding the financing procedure at the mortgage bank through closure.
3. Personal guidance through the signing of the contract.
4. Assistance in finding the most attractive funding package for the investor.

Commercial real estate will be subject to the five percent value added tax (VAT). This also applies to non-resident owners and tenants.

Oqood, which loosely translates to ‘contracts’ in Arabic, is an online service provided to the developers by Emirates Real Estate Solutions (ERES), with an aim of easing the registration process for property buyers and developers. 

Yes, you can sell off plan property before the completion date in Dubai.

Here are plenty of reasons why it’s a good investment. Dubai has 0% income tax on capital appreciation and rental yields and has among the world’s highest rental yields, with an average of 7-10%. Its properties have extra luxury space per square foot compared to other markets like New York, Sydney, London and Paris. With US $1million, the amount of internal square meters one could buy is 138, compared to other cities like Hong Kong, Mumbai and Berlin. Additionally, the city’s properties also includes interest rates between 3-5% with repayments that can last till 25 years.

Hotel apartments are under the category of commercial property.

Off plan property sales developers collect the 5% VAT on property price from the buyer and the same will be paid to Federal Tax Authority (FTA) on the buyer’s behalf.

Secondary market deals are 5% VAT applicable upon purchasing the property and payment receipts issued by FTA must be submitted to trustee’s office upon property transfer. 

Yes. Amlak, Tamweel, HSBC, Lloyds, Mashreq Bank, RAK Bank, National Bank of Dubai, United National Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and Standard Chartered Bank, to name a few, lend on both ready-to-occupy and off-plan projects. Each one has different rates and terms. Some only lend to residents. You can also get mortgages internationally for property in Dubai. HSBC in the UK currently lends an asset-based mortgage.

Firstly, lenders do not lend on every project currently being built. Often, developments are sold with no landings at all (given the favorable payment structure system in Dubai and not meaning they aren’t saleable). On the other hand, it is possible to get a mortgage on an off-plan property here, unlike most places in the world.

The maximum loan during construction period is 50% and off-plan properties are typically cheaper than ready properties. When you pay 50% of the purchase price, it is preapproved at the application time and is guaranteed to be paid off at completion, regardless of the individual’s financial situation.

After paying 50% for an off-plan property, you can take 25% to 30% cash out. If the property during construction has increased in value, you can borrow 75% to 80% of the property value and withdraw more cash out. This process requires property revaluation and mortgage reapplication. However, if you’re content with the numbers and you’d like to receive cash at a low mortgage rate, it’s also another option. It is recommended to choose a plan that you’re comfortable and committed with and will give you the freedom to save up or explore other investments when the property is completed.

Yes. This is preferable. Most lenders will work out how much they are likely to lend to you before you have a specific property in mind. This means you can then go looking for something you know you can afford.

DEWA is short for Dubai Electricity and Water Authority that handles water and electricity supply in Dubai. It provides citizens and residents with a continuous and reliable electricity and water supply.

Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) is the regulatory arm of DLD that regulates the real estate sector in Dubai. It handles the relationship between all contracting parties and organizes the properties’ exchange process.

Each financial institution has a checklist of loan criteria. The property purchaser will have to fulfill the financial institution’s loan criteria and provide the necessary documentation which includes but is not limited to: Copy of passport(s) for property purchaser(s), Bank Statement(s) of property purchaser(s) for 1 year, Credit History – Credit Bureau report (EQUIFAX, D&B etc.), bankers reference, credit card report.

Although you might naturally be curious, truth is that there is little meaning in visiting the property. Let’s assume you visited the apartment and liked it, let’s assume the tenant moves out after 10 years, will it still be in the same condition? Probably not.
At times, a touch up may be necessary or it might even be in a better condition than before. The locals usually take good care of their apartments and sometimes even renovate themselves. Therefore, it is not crucial to visit the apartment. Should you insist,  we will of course arrange for a visit, after notifying the management company and the tenant, taking the local terms/limitations into consideration.

Depending on the bank between 5.5% to 6.5% p.a. payable on a declining principal balance. It may be monthly or quarterly.

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