Arguably one of the most progessive real estate markets in recent times, Dubai is now showing strong signs of growth following the economic turbulence of recent years.
Strategic positioned between several continents, Dubai is now one of the leading global commercial and financial centres, with an increasing number of international companies choosing to locate their headquarters in this intoxicating Emirate by investing in properties for sale in Dubai.
Many new developments offer high tech facilities for businesses, such as Dubai International Financial Centre, Internet City and Media City. Dubai is the perfect location to do business, not only for its tax free benefits but also its proximity to Central Asia, the Middle East, the Eastern Mediterranean, Africa and the Asian Subcontinent.
Since the government allowed foreign ownership on property for sale in Dubai within particular areas of the city, overseas ownership has increased significantly. The government encourages overseas property investment by tendering attractive deals to investors. When it can be as much as 40% cheaper to buy a property than to rent, most people opt to buy property in Dubai. With international companies setting up offices here, employment has risen, Dubai now attracts trained professionals and expatriates for better employment prospects, tax free high salaries and a higher standard of living. This has produced a long-term demand for property for sale in Dubai.
The government have invested $40 billion dollars into the real estate market in an attempt to meet the demand for property. Dubai has already received international attention for its pioneering real estate projects and extensive construction and real estate developments are underway throughout the city.
Travelling around Dubai is relatively cheap and easy thanks to low fuel prices and excellent transport routes throughout the city.
Dubai’s International Airport is one of many airports in Dubai and one of the busiest international passenger airports in the world. Dubai International Airport is located in the Al Garhoud district, just under 3 miles from Dubai city centre and has 4 terminals which service around 50 different airlines including Emirates, British Airways, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic Airways.
Getting around the city with public transport can be chaotic at peak times due to high traffic but it is still favoured among locals; the new and easy swipe card system makes it quite simple and inexpensive.
There are many car rental companies in Dubai who are often favoured by tourists and visitors alike because petrol is reasonably priced and requires either a national or international license to drive in the country.
When you are asking yourself the all-important question of location, your answer needs to be a bit more specific than just "Dubai." The emirate's real estate landscape is varied, and choosing the right district can make the difference between a successful investment and a mediocre or even failed one.
One of the most in-demand residential districts of Dubai at present is Al-Jumayra. Taking its name from the Arabic for "beautiful," this part of the emirate occupies an exceptionally scenic position on the seafront, and this helped make it one of Dubai's most desirable places to live. The district is home to a number of luxury developments with first-class amenities which are ideal for appealing to the city's more affluent residents and particularly to wealthy expats. Developments such as Bay Edge and Akoya Golf are well-positioned both to appeal to tenants as luxurious places to live or stay and to investors as potentially lucrative opportunities in a high-performance market.
While seafront districts such as Al-Jumayra are primarily desirable as residential locations, their popularity has led to other kinds of development setting up home there. Inside or immediately adjacent to these beachfront areas, you will find shops, offices and other commercial sites taking advantage of locations close to wealthy population centres. For those interested in commercial rather than residential property investment, these can also provide very attractive opportunities.
Dubai is one of the world's most important financial centres. Occupying a prime location between major nations and continents, it is a true hub of international trade. This, combined with an extremely pleasant tax climate, has led a number of prominent multinationals to make their home in the emirate, and there is also a thriving commercial and retail industry.
Combine this with a strong tourist market, fuelled by luxury tourists who want to enjoy the beautiful seafront while staying close to a major economic centre, and Dubai benefits from an economic situation that is strong and built on a sturdy, varied base.
Dubai's property market is a particular highlight of this economic scene, and the city has carved out a strong reputation as one of the world's most dynamic and popular property investment destinations. In the early years after foreigners were first allowed to buy property in Dubai, investors around the world flocked to take advantage of this. The market quickly picked up steam but, lacking the kind of regulation a busy international market needs, sadly overheated.
This led to a drastic and well-publicised crash just after the financial crisis hit. Ultimately, however, this was turned to the good. Dubai's authorities set about dissecting the crash in order to identify the problems, and quickly transformed the market into a well-regulated one with a number of important protections and buffers. Now, the market has bounced back to become as popular as before, and most experts agree that if a correction does hit it will be far less crippling for investors next time.
From sacred mosques to tall skyscrapers, Dubai has a variety of monuments and places of interest that will give tourists experiences they will never forget.
The Dubai Fountain
The Dubai Fountain is located on the Burj Khalifa Lake and shoots water jets as high as 500ft. The fountain has performances daily and is the world’s largest dancing fountain with 1.5 million lumens of projected light. Evening shows are from 6pm to 11pm every 30 min.
The Burj Khalifa is the tallest skyscraper in the world standing at 2,722 ft. Construction for this building began in 2004 and was officially opened in January 2010, the building contains parking, the Armani hotel suites and residential, and the At.mosphere restaurant.
Burj Al Arab
This luxury hotel is the third tallest hotel in the world but 39% of the height is just structural. The hotel is managed by the Jumeirah group and contains 202 bedroom suites and the Al Muntaha and Al Mahara restaurants.
Al Bastakiya is the older part of the city where construction dates back to the 1890s. The neighbourhood contains one and two story buildings surrounded by a network of narrow streets and you’ll notice the beautiful architecture of each different building’s features such as the carved doors and wooden ornaments that decorate the area. Al Bastakiya is more than just a historic place to walk around and take in the scenery; it also hosts museums, craft shops, art galleries and a mosque.
Located at the Northern end of Jumeirah Beach Road, this modern Mosque is one of the largest in the city and its magnificence is best seen at night when it is lit up by floodlights. Possibly one of the most photographed sights in Dubai (not far behind the Burj Khalifa or the Burj Al Arab), it is also one of the most visited place due to being the place of worship for many citizens of the city. Tours take place at 10am every Sunday and Thursday.
Dubai is a diverse place. It is popular with tourists and expats from around the world, East to West, making it a multicultural and excitingly varied place with communities from a huge range of nationalities.
It is particularly attractive to business professionals, who are attracted to the chance to enjoy a warm climate and scenic seafront in a city which is also "close to the action" from a business point of view.
While Dubai is a varied and multicultural place, it is important to remember when visiting or living there that it is also part of a Muslim country. There are therefore important cultural considerations to make when it comes to dress codes and public behaviour. Despite common assumption, however, it is not an alcohol-free city. Bars and restaurants that are attached to hotels and sports centres can obtain a licence to serve alcohol.
It is worth taking time to familiarise yourself with some of the subtleties of local etiquette before visiting or moving into the emirate. For instance, avoid crossing your legs, pointing, beckoning with fingers, or showing the soles of your feet as these are all things that may cause offence to locals.
Dubai is a very stylish place to shop for clothing and accessories, as well as electronics and everything else you might need.
Most of the centres and malls can be seen full of designer shops and usually the rich and famous are seen here, but don’t let that put you off visiting any of these gorgeous buildings.
Deira City Centre
Although the city centre isn’t as extravagant as the other malls and centres in the city, it still has a great layout of popular UK and international outlets such as Debenhams, Virgin Megastore, Zara and contains an Arabian Treasures area for souvenirs and textiles. Located in Al Rigga, the centre also has its very own multiplex cinema and is still a great competitor to the other shopping areas.
Found on the 26th Street just south of the creek in Dubai, the Wafi City mall has an Egyptian theme and its very own glass pyramids which tourists must visit. Wafi City has its own luxury spa attached to the complex and houses some luxury brands such as Rolex and Bugatti.
Situated on Mankhool Street in Bur Dubai, the Al-Ain Centre is an electronics centre specialising in all things technological such as PCs, PC accessories, cameras, phones, music players and other gadgets.
Until 2002, overseas buyers were not able to purchase properties in Dubai at all. Now, however, investors from around the world can benefit from a comparatively straightforward process when acquiring new investments within the emirate.
The first step in buying a property is to contact the current seller and express, verbally or in writing, your wish to buy. If buying on the secondary market, this takes the form of making an offer which may or may not be the same as the advertised price, and then waiting to see whether they will accept. When buying a new property from a developer or specialist investment firm, on the other hand, it is simply a matter of saying you would like to buy the property. Individual companies will have their own processes in place for reaching an agreement.
Once the sale of the property to you has been agreed, the next step is to have a formal and legally-binding sales contact drafted. Both parties must, of course, agree upon the final shape of the contract. Once this is completed and signed, the buyer makes a deposit and, assuming they are not purchasing with cash, obtains finance. There are a number of mortgage deals available from lenders inside and outside Dubai – though lenders within the emirate cannot lend so freely as they once could since overactive lending was one of the factors which caused the market to crash in 2008. When buying from a developer or other company, they will usually be able to offer their own finance deals which may well be the best and most accessible option.
If the property is already standing, rather than an off-plan purchase, it is the seller's responsibility during this time to ensure that everything is as stipulated. Then, once final payment has been made by the buyer, the deed will be transferred. Usually, if buying off-plan the final payment will only be due upon completion of the property. There are no purchase taxes to be paid upon final transfer, but there are transfer and registration fees and stamp taxes which could amount to anything between 1% and 7% of the total value.
There are certain laws in Dubai that you will have to properly consider if you intend to reside there or occupy your investment property for any part of the year. Indeed, many of these laws will be pertinent even if you only go to Dubai for a visit over the course of purchasing your investment property.
Many of these are pertinent for those visiting with a spouse or partner. Remember that cohabitation of unmarried couples, homosexuality, and sex or (especially) having children outside of marriage are considered illegal in the emirate. Furthermore, couples – even married ones – should be careful to keep public displays of affection to a minimum. Holding hands is not unacceptable, but you should not hug or kiss in public places.
While alcohol can be obtained legally in Dubai in licensed premises or duty-free at airport shops, you should be careful and responsible about its use. Being drunk and disorderly in Dubai is sure to land you in trouble, and the police take a zero tolerance approach to driving under the influence of even a single drink.
On top of this, showing disrespect to the religion or leaders of Dubai, can also lead to legal trouble. Carrying out the kind of disruptive activities which might be loosely termed "disturbing the peace" is also a good way to get the attention of the police.