Updated: Mar 20, 2021
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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:
The World Islands
Down Town Dubai
Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT)
Jumeirah Beach Residence
Mirdif (selected plots)
Dubai Investment Park (DIP)
Dubai sports City
Dubai Motor City
How to invest in property in Dubai?
For any investment or legal consultation around real estate investments in Dubai or UAE, please inquire at email@example.com.