Dubai property market attracts British investors

on Feb 27, 2015
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Britons are third on the list of top investors in the Dubai property market, only behind Indians and Pakistanis, a recent report in The Telegraph has revealed. Citing figures from the Dubai Land Department, the newspaper said yesterday that around 19,000 British citizens had so far bought property in the emirate. Last year alone, Britons spent £1.6 billion on Dubai property, the figures show.

The Telegraph cited Sunil Jaiswal, a British property investor, who highlighted some of the reasons behind Dubai’s appeal as a real estate investment destination.
“It’s a tax-free jurisdiction and one of the few places in the world where you can buy freehold land,”Jaiswal said. “Anybody can buy property here in certain areas. Although there are certain parts of Dubai where foreigners are only allowed to rent, they can still buy in 90 per cent of the best areas.”

Jaiswal explained that a studio or one-bedroom apartment in a decent, but not prime, location could be bought for £85-90,000 in Dubai. The price doubles for prime locations such as Dubai Marina. A four-bedroom family villa costs around £800,000.
Expats living in the UAE and buying a first property can borrow up to 75 percent of the value of the property if it costs DH5 million or less and 65 percent for properties worth more. For a second property the limit has been put at 60 percent.However, mortgage applicants buying off plan are limited to a maximum mortgage advance of 50 percent.

Buyers are not required to live in the UAE in order to purchase property in Dubai and many Britons take advantage of that fact. However, foreign investors can stay in the country for up to six months on a special visa issued by the UAE government, called the property holders visa. This visa does not allow people to take up employment in the emirate, however, as a different type is needed for those who want to work and live there.
Jaiswal told The Telegraph that while many people had left the country following the 2009 financial crisis, “those who stayed got good returns on their properties and Dubai’s bounced back”.

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