How to buy an apartment with a mortgage in Dubai


Dubai real estate market statistics at the beginning of 2023 recorded a growing interest in mortgage lending in the emirate. How to buy an apartment with a mortgage in Dubai? Can a foreigner get a mortgage in Dubai? Understanding the intricacies of mortgage lending in the UAE. 

Can foreigners get a mortgage in Dubai?

Foreign citizens can buy real estate in Dubai with a mortgage, but certain conditions must be met for this. We will talk about them in more detail below.

Residents and non-residents have the opportunity to take a mortgage in Dubai. For non-residents, the requirements are stricter, and they are often denied. Only a few banks issue mortgages to non-residents in the UAE. 

Resident status significantly increases the chances of obtaining a mortgage. For residents there are more favorable interest rates. How to get a "golden" resident visa in Dubai can be found in the detailed article on our website. 

Mortgages in Dubai for foreigners (including those with a resident visa) are not provided by all banks. Each of them has a specific list of countries whose citizens can apply for a mortgage, a list of requirements and necessary documents. 

Mortgage conditions in Dubai in 2023

What requirements do banks impose on foreign borrowers?

  • resident visa (in most banks, but there are also those that issue mortgages to non-residents)
  • an employment contract with a company registered in the UAE, or having your own business in the country
  • age from 21 to 65 years for persons officially employed in the UAE, up to 70 years for self-employed 
  • good credit history for at least 6 months
  • a confirmed level of income that meets the requirements of the bank. It depends on the type of property you plan to purchase. Usually, the minimum income required by the bank is at least 4500$ per month. But in some cases, when buying property in low-cost areas, it is allowed to have a salary of 3000$ per month. If you want to buy a villa, then the income must be at least 5000-6000$ per month. These are approximate figures that vary between banks in the UAE. 
  • each bank has its own list of countries whose citizens it has the right to issue loans. Before applying, you need to make sure that your country is on the list of a specific bank.
  • it is desirable to already have property in the UAE. The bank regards this as a significant advantage.

Mortgage features in Dubai 

Foreigners can buy property with a mortgage in Dubai only in freehold zones (zones of free property ownership). In Dubai, this is about 90% throughout the emirate. 

  • The minimum down payment is 20% of the total property value. For non-residents, banks approve a minimum deposit of at least 50%. 
  • Mortgage term - from 1 year to 25 years.

In September 2022, new rules for obtaining resident visas by foreigners began to operate. One of the innovations is that now a resident visa can be obtained if you buy a property with a mortgage in Dubai with a down payment of 205,000$ (at least 50% of the value of the object). The right to a golden visa for 10 years appears for those foreigners who are ready to make an initial contribution of 545 000$. 

Off-plan mortgage real estate in Dubai

UAE banks approve real estate transactions at the construction stage (off-plan) if a foreign buyer is ready to pay immediately at least 50% of the cost of the object. This is the minimum required initial deposit.

Most banks issue mortgages only for objects of large developers (emar, Meraas, Dubai Properties). 

For objects under construction (off-plan), developers in Dubai offer a profitable interest-free installment plan. Each object has its own payment plan. The initial booking fee is usually 5-10%. For some objects, installments for 1 or 2 years after the commissioning of the object are possible. 

Buying real estate off-plan in installments from the developer is often more profitable and easier for foreigners. It requires fewer documents than a mortgage, and there is no overpayment. 

Mortgage percentage in Dubai

Mortgage interest rates in Dubai are relatively low. They range from 4 to 7% per annum. The percentage of mortgages in Dubai is affected by the total amount of the mortgage loan, the size of the down payment and the property chosen for purchase.

Mortgage rates can be fixed or floating. Floating is usually lower, but highly dependent on the situation in the economy and the real estate market. There are always risks that the rate will rise sharply. To do this, you need to have a financial "airbag". 

Fixed rates are rarely fixed for the life of the mortgage. They are usually valid for up to 5 years. Based on the current market situation, experts advise paying attention to fixed rates for 1 or 3 years. 

Fixed rates for 5 years after some time may not be profitable for the client. It is still difficult to say how the mortgage lending market in Dubai will behave over the next 5 years. But if there is a downward trend in interest rates, a fixed rate for 5 years will be less profitable. 

UAE legislation allows foreign citizens to buy an apartment with a mortgage in Dubai. This can be done by residents and non-residents of the country. To understand the intricacies of mortgage lending in Dubai, we advise you to contact the experts of the OWRealty real estate agency. They will choose the right object. out of 500 in the database according to the client's goals and will help in the preparation of documents for a mortgage. 

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