Real Estate in Abu Dhabi for International Buyers - Sonelin
April 17, 2024

Real Estate in Abu Dhabi for International Buyers

It is essential to know how the real estate market operates for international purchasers if you are interested in purchasing property there. Real estate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is subject to strict regulations, yet the market is open and easy to understand. Here is all the information a foreign buyer interested in purchasing property in Abu Dhabi needs to know.

Are foreigners allowed to purchase Abu Dhabi real estate?
Despite the fact that foreigners could not buy property in Abu Dhabi before 2019, the government changed the rules to enable it. Foreigners could only invest in buildings with 99-year leases before that law changed, which meant they could only own leaseholds. After a legislative amendment, authorities granted foreigners the right to purchase and possess freehold property in certain zones.

How must expatriate buyers comply with regulations?
Despite the fact that the new legislation allows expatriate acquisitions, there are still certain regulations that international buyers must follow when purchasing real estate in Abu Dhabi. The Abu Dhabi Executive Council designates investment zones that often prohibit foreigners from purchasing property. Foreigners may not have legal ownership of property outside of those regions. As a result, they may face automatic disqualification from purchasing in certain regions.

Construction status (i.e., whether work is ongoing or finished) may also affect the regulations. Due to the high degree of uncertainty that might result from the exchange of funds prior to the completion of a project, certain safety measures are usually required when dealing with the latter.

How is the buying process structured?
There isn’t always a lot of red tape involved in buying a home in Abu Dhabi. Everything is really open, and the processes are just the right amount of formal.

Buying with cash is easy because there are no obstacles to overcome when it comes to obtaining a loan. The use of a mortgage typically requires a minimum of six months of residence in Abu Dhabi prior to the acquisition. In addition, you should be prepared to pay any agent costs and put down a minimum of 25%.

Like the American homebuying process, the procedure relies heavily on formal, legally enforceable contracts elsewhere. In order to make sure the purchase price is fair, the property is often inspected after you agree to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Closing is usually when any outstanding mortgages are paid off if the transaction goes through. Additionally, the transfer of ownership is formalized during that period.

Advice on Purchasing Property in Abu Dhabi
Engage with a local real estate agent when purchasing property in Abu Dhabi. If they trust that you’re purchasing in a suitable place if they direct you to suitable investment zones.

It is also prudent to do some research. Find out who owned the property and when; conduct inspections; double-check the square footage; and determine if there are any transferable warranties. Check to see whether the property is currently mortgaged as well. You may then proceed with the necessary procedures to clear it and transfer ownership of the property to your name.

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