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The Dubai property market offers expats fantastic value for money. For the fraction of the cost of British property, you can purchase the ideal home you’ve always dreamed of to go alongside the lifestyle you envisioned for yourself.


In recent years, legislation has been massively upheaved in Dubai, making it easier than ever before for expats to buy their own home. Whether you’re looking to move into a villa, townhouse, apartment or penthouse, you’re sure to find a property that’s perfect for you and your family.


Despite real estate costs being so low, there are fees for buying property in Dubai that you’ll need to factor into your purchase price before you make a decision. To make sure you aren’t caught out by these fees, we have listed the extra costs you might incur in this article.

Your Mortgage Deposit

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While this is not technically a fee, first and foremost you’ll need a deposit for your mortgage to purchase property in Dubai, just like you would in the UK.


Expats who are first time buyers need a 20% deposit as a minimum to secure a mortgage on a property that costs AED 5 million or less. If you’re a first time buyer and the property you want to purchase exceeds AED 5 million, you will need a 30% deposit. 


Regardless of property price, expats will need to put down a deposit of 40% if they have an existing mortgaged property in Dubai.


If you’re applying for a mortgage, you will need to pay a registration fee to the Dubai Land Department (DLD), equal to 0.25% of the loan’s value, plus an additional AED 290 in admin costs.

Your Property Deposit

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Once you and the seller have agreed to terms of sale, you will both sign a Memorandum of Understanding. This is a document that outlines your agreement, and acknowledges that both parties understand the terms and each other’s duties to complete the transaction.


The MoU is your contract for purchase of the property. As the buyer, you will be expected to provide the seller a security deposit manager’s cheque (usually 10%).


If you would like a property valuation before purchasing, estate agents in Dubai will usually ask between AED 2500 and AED 3500 for this service.


No Objection Certificate Fee

A No Objection Certificate (NOC) is a legal document drawn up by the property’s developer to say that they are happy for the sale to go through.


When purchasing property in Dubai, a NOC indicates that all service charges and utilities have been paid. NOCs generally range from between AED 500 and AED 5000 depending on the property.


Dubai Land Department Registration Fees

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Once a NOC has been issued, you and the seller will be able to apply for the official transfer of ownership at the Dubai Land Department. This is when you will pay the cost of the property — usually in the form of a manager’s cheque, which is made payable to the seller on the date of the transfer.


There is a transfer fee involved at this stage of the process. These fees are calculated at 4% of the purchase price, with additional admin costs at a maximum of AED 5000.


Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) Fees


The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority is the governing body that manages the utility connection for all buildings in the city. These fees vary depending on the type of property you buy and the community district where it’s situated. For apartments, you can expect to pay a few hundred Dirhams, and villas incur slightly higher costs.


Service Charges

Alongside the upfront fees for purchasing property in Dubai, there are recurring costs that may need to take into consideration. Service charges are paid by homeowners for the upkeep of the building. If you are looking to buy a villa or apartment, your service charge will be calculated on a square foot basis, meaning more substantial properties will incur higher charges.


Fees For Off-Plan Property

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If you intend on purchasing an off-plan property in Dubai, you can choose to buy directly from the developer or through a seller. Either way, the 4% DLD fee will still be applicable.


Additionally, you will need to pay RERA (the Real Estate Regulatory Agency) AED 5250 to issue an Oqood Certificate, which ensures the property will be registered in your name. This step comes after you have paid the down payment for the property.


Do the Fees For Buying Property in Dubai Mean You Get Less Value for Money?


There’s no denying there are several fees for buying property in Dubai, but there are additional costs for purchasing property all over the world. In the UK, there are charges for: 

  • Stamp Duty 
  • Valuation fees
  • Surveyor costs
  • Legal fees and conveyancing
  • General admin work

Even though the property purchase price won’t be the only cost of your new home, you still get incredible value for money when you buy your own property in Dubai. On top of that, the city offers a unique lifestyle that many want for themselves, but struggle to attain.


However, if you’re looking to save money when buying a property, Expat Mortgage can be of great help. We save our clients an average AED 150,000 over the duration of their mortgage, which is equal to £30,000.


There’s a great deal we can do to help keep costs as low as possible, so make sure to get in touch with our team for honest, expert advice.