© 2020 by ARG Law Partners. Contact us for Privacy Policy or Site Terms of Use.

Can a foreigner own property in Dubai? List of all freehold property areas in Dubai



Following the Freehold Decree in 2002, foreign nationals above the age of 21 can buy, sell, lease and/ or rent properties in designated freehold areas within the city.  For any investment or legal consultation around real estate investments in Dubai or the UAE, please inquire at communications@gulfvakil.com.

History of property ownership laws in Dubai

Until the year 2002, there was no legislature allowing expats in Dubai to own properties of any kind. Despite constituting a huge percentage of the local population expatriates had no option but to look elsewhere, often their home countries, to make tangible investments in real estate.


Noticing this barrier, the Government of Dubai introduced provisions in 2001 for expats to own a 99 years lease of properties in designated areas.


2002 Freehold Decree

It was in 2002, that the government issued the Freehold Decree, which allowed foreign nationals, who are 21 years of age or more, to buy, sell, lease and/ or rent properties in designated areas within the city. 


Ever since, Dubai has witnessed a prosperous real estate market which has allowed expats to not only own homes in the region but also has proven to be a very lucrative investment for many.

What is a 'freehold property' in Dubai?

Freehold proprieties in Dubai are those properties that are located in designated areas in which expatriates can own an absolute interest in the property. To elaborate, a freehold property is any estate which is “free from hold” of any entity besides the owner.


What are the designated areas for freehold properties in Dubai?

The following is a list of areas in the city where foreigners can own property:

  • Palm Jumeirah

  • The World Islands

  • Down Town Dubai

  • Old Town

  • Burj Khalifa

  • Business Bay

  • Dubai Marina

  • Emirates Hills

  • Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT)

  • Jumeirah Beach Residence

  • Discovery Gardens

  • Arabian Ranches

  • Mirdif (selected plots)

  • Dubai Investment Park (DIP)

  • Falcon City

  • Dubai sports City

  • Dubai Motor City

  • International City

  • Jumeirah Islands

  • Jumeirah Village


How to invest in property in Dubai?

For any investment or legal consultation around real estate investments in Dubai or UAE, please inquire at communications@gulfvakil.com.