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Dubai Area Guides


Last modified on 24th May 2024. Dubai Real Estate Blog

By Vanmarc Montero

15 minutes read


Over the past decade, Dubai`s property scene has undergone an extraordinary transformation, emerging as a dazzling gem in the global real estate crown. The number of towering skyscrapers and luxury developments has multiplied rapidly, each adding more brilliance.

In 2013, following the global financial crisis, investors approached Dubai`s real estate market with cautious optimism, treading carefully as they evaluated the market`s potential. However, those early days laid the foundation for Dubai to evolve into the polished and radiant real estate hub it is today. 

Dubai`s real estate market has been on a remarkable journey of growth and refinement, attracting buyers from around the world interested in owning freehold properties. The city`s progressive policies and business-friendly environment have made it an attractive investment destination.

Freehold Property Meaning  

Freehold areas refer to designated zones in Dubai where foreign nationals can purchase properties on a freehold basis and have full ownership rights. Dubai led the way in offering freehold properties to expatriates and foreigners. In 2001, the government allowed expats to lease freehold lands for 99 years. Then, in 2002, they passed the Freehold Decree, which let foreigners aged 21 and older buy, sell, lease, and rent properties in certain areas of Dubai under freehold ownership. Over time, many areas in Dubai have been designated as freehold zones.

What are the different types of freehold properties in Dubai?

In Dubai, there are mainly two types of freehold properties:

Residential Freehold Properties:

These include apartments, villas, townhouses, and residential plots of land that individuals can own outright. Residents can live in these properties, rent them out, or sell them as they please.

Commercial Freehold Properties:

These are properties designated for commercial purposes, such as offices, retail spaces, and warehouses. Foreigners can own these properties outright, use them for business ventures, or lease them out for rental income.

Choosing an area to live in Dubai can be tough, especially since many freehold communities exist. Whether you`re looking for something trendy and luxurious or affordable and family-friendly, a freehold area in Dubai is perfect. Here`s a list of some of the most popular freehold areas in Dubai: 

List of Freehold Areas in Dubai for Apartments

  • Arjan
  • Barsha Heights
  • Bluewater Island
  • Business Bay
  • Culture Village
  • Discovery Gardens
  • Downtown Dubai
  • Dubai Creek Harbour
  • Dubai Harbour
  • Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)
  • Dubai Investment Park
  • Dubai Marina
  • Dubai Production City
  • Dubai Residence Complex (Dubailand)
  • Dubai Science Park
  • Emaar Beachfront
  • Jumeirah Beach Residence
  • Jumeirah Heights
  • Liwan
  • Jumeirah Lake Towers
  • Madinat Jumeirah Living
  • Mirdif Hills
  • Mirdif Tulip
  • Old Town
  • Park Gate Residences
  • Remraam
  • The Greens
  • The Views

Top 10 Freehold Areas in Dubai for Apartments

1. Downtown Dubai

Home to the iconic Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai is a popular spot for those who want to be in the heart of the action. Expect to pay a premium for the privilege, with studios averaging AED 1.38 million, 1-bedroom apartments for AED 2 million, and 2-bedroom apartments for a whopping AED 3.6 million.

2. Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR)

JBR offers stylish apartments with amazing views of the Arabian Gulf. Studios here go for AED 2.93 million on average, while 1-bedroom apartments are around AED 2.99 million. You can also find 2-bedroom apartments for AED 3.5 million and 3-bedroom apartments for AED 4.85 million.

3. Emaar Beachfront

If you`re looking for something truly unique, Emaar Beachfront is a new gated community on Dubai Harbour that boasts some of the city`s most stunning and expensive apartments. An average apartment here costs AED 5.26 million.

4. Bluewaters Island

This trendy development is home to Ain Dubai, the world`s largest Ferris wheel. Here, you can find chic apartments ranging from 1 to 4 bedrooms. Studios are unavailable, but 1-bedroom apartments start at a cool AED 3.6 million, with 2 and 3-bedroom flats going for AED 7.5 million and AED 11.5 million, respectively.

5. Discovery Gardens

This apartment community near Ibn Battuta Mall offers spacious residential units at affordable prices. The average price for a studio here is AED 451k, with 1-bedroom apartments going for AED 686k.

6. Dubai Production City (IMPZ)

Interested in affordable apartments? IMPZ offers studios for around AED 400k, with 1-bedroom apartments averaging AED 768k and 2-bedroom flats going for AED 1.1 million.

7. Remraam

This gated community offers affordable apartments in a peaceful setting with lush greenery. Studios here average AED 410k, while 1 and 2-bedroom flats go for AED 591k and AED 977k, respectively. You can also find 3-bedroom apartments for around AED 1.4 million.

8. Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT)

Over the years, JLT has become a popular freehold area with reasonably priced apartments. Studios here average AED 735k, while 1 and 2-bedroom flats go for AED 1.9 million and AED 2 million on average.

9. The Greens

A well-established freehold area with a family-friendly vibe, The Greens offers apartments along Sheikh Zayed Road. Studios are unavailable, but 1-bedroom apartments average AED 1.44 million, 2-bedroom flats go for AED 1.79 million, and 3-bedroom apartments for AED 2.34 million.

10. The Views

The Views is located next to The Greens and offers stunning views of the Emirates Golf Club. Studios here average AED 910k, while 1 and 2-bedroom flats go for AED 1.5 million and AED 2.5 million respectively.

List of Freehold Areas in Dubai for Villas

  • Arabian Ranches
  • Arabian Ranches 2
  • Arabian Ranches 3
  • Emirates Hills
  • Jumeirah Islands
  • Jumeirah Park
  • Palm Jebel Ali
  • Reem
  • The Lakes
  • The Meadows
  • The Springs
  • The Sustainable City
  • The Valley
  • The Villa

Top 10 Freehold Areas in Dubai for Villas

1. Emirates Hills

Picture red carpets and A-listers. This prestigious neighborhood boasts luxurious villas. Be prepared to invest big for these beauties: Expect to pay around AED 47.39 million for a 5-bedroom palace, AED 47.54 million for a 6-bedroom mansion, or a staggering AED 84.9 million for a 7-bedroom masterpiece.

2. Jumeirah Islands

Imagine turquoise waters and private beaches. Developed by Nakheel, these artificial islands offer luxurious family abodes. Looking for a 4-bedroom villa? Get ready to shell out an average of AED 19.9 million.

3. Arabian Ranches

This sought-after community is for families. Spacious villas and townhouses are surrounded by parks, lakes, and BBQ pits—perfect for creating memories that last a lifetime. Snag a 3-bedroom villa for an average of AED 4.2 million, or upgrade to a 4-bedroom for an average of AED 7.6 million.

4. Arabian Ranches 2 & 3

Following the success of the first phase, Arabian Ranches 2 and 3 offer high-quality finishes and modern amenities. Anticipate spending around AED 4.14 million for a 3-bedroom villa in Arabian Ranches 2 or AED 5.2 million for a 4-bedroom one. In Arabian Ranches 3, 3-bedroom villas average AED 3.42 million, while 4-bedroom options cost AED 4.42 million.

5. Jumeirah Park

Another Nakheel gem, Jumeirah Park, is a haven for families. Lush parks, excellent schools, and convenient retail centers are all on your doorstep. 3-bedroom villas costs average AED 5.6 million, while 4-bedroom villas go for AED 6.5 million on average.

6. The Meadows

Spread across nine charming sub-communities, The Meadows offers a calm escape with beautiful lakes and vibrant greenery. 3-bedroom villas average AED 7 million, 4-bedroom villas go for AED 8.6 million on average, and a grand 5-bedroom villa will cost around AED 10.1 million.

7. The Springs

This gated community in Emirates Living offers a cozy and secure environment. Perfect for young families, The Springs boasts a variety of amenities. Prices range from AED 2.6 million for a 2-bedroom villa to AED 4.2 million for a comfortable 3-bedroom option.

8. The Sustainable City

This eco-friendly community is a breath of fresh air. Their focus on energy-efficient villas makes them a great option for the environmentally conscious buyer. Invest in a 3-bedroom villa for an average of AED 4.04 million, or choose a 4-bedroom option for AED 5.5 million on average.

9. Reem

This gated community offers competitively priced villas and townhouses, making it an attractive investment opportunity. Here`s a breakdown: An average 3-bedroom villa costs AED 2.5 million, while a 4-bedroom option will cost AED 3.1 million.

10. The Lakes & The Valley by Emaar

If you love amenities, The Lakes is a great choice. This Emirates Living community offers sports courts, schools, and supermarkets. 3-bedroom villas average AED 5.5 million, while 4-bedroom options average for AED 8.1 million. The Valley by Emaar is an upcoming community with a convenient location and various shops and restaurants. The average price here is AED 2.3 million for a villa.

List of Freehold Areas in Dubai for both Apartments and Villas

  • Al Barari
  • Al Furjan
  • Al Khail Heights
  • Al Warsan
  • DAMAC Hills
  • DAMAC Hills 2
  • DAMAC Lagoons
  • Dubai Islands
  • Dubai Festival City
  • Dubai Hills Estate
  • Dubai Silicon Oasis
  • Dubai South
  • Dubai Sports City
  • Dubai Waterfront
  • Dubai Land
  • International City
  • Jumeirah
  • Jumeirah Golf Estates
  • Jumeirah Village Circle
  • Jumeirah Village Triangle
  • Meydan City
  • Mohammad Bin Rashid City
  • Motor City
  • Mudon
  • Palm Jumeirah
  • Sobha Hartland
  • Sobha Hartland II
  • The World Islands
  • Tilal Al Ghaf
  • Town Square
  • Wadi Al Safa 2
  • Expo City

Top 10 Freehold Areas in Dubai for both Apartments and Villas

1. Al Barari

Picture manicured gardens, sparkling lakes, and bespoke villas and apartments. This exclusive enclave is perfect for those who appreciate luxury. Expect to pay an average of AED 25.5 million for a spacious 6-bedroom villa, while 1-bedroom flats start from AED 2.9 million, and 2-bedroom apartments average AED 4.3 million.

2. Jumeirah

Always a top choice, Jumeirah boasts trendy neighborhoods like City Walk and La Mer. If apartment living is your style, this area offers great returns on investment. Be prepared to shell out an average of AED 8.02 million for a comfortable 3-bedroom flat or aim for a sprawling 4-bedroom Jumeirah villa for an average of AED 13.7 million.

3. Palm Jumeirah

The iconic palm-shaped island is a symbol of Dubai`s innovation and luxury. Here, you`ll find waterfront projects with stunning views. While an average 3-bedroom apartment here will set you back AED 8.5 million, Palm Jumeirah villas offer a chance to own a piece of paradise. For instance, a 4-bedroom villa can be yours for an average of AED 31.7 million.

4. DAMAC Hills

This rapidly developing area is a haven for families, offering luxurious apartments, villas, and townhouses around the Trump International Golf Course. Scenic views and world-class amenities are all part of the package. Apartments range from AED 950,000 for a 1-bedroom unit to AED 2.43 million for a 3-bedroom option. For a spacious villa, expect to pay AED 2.9 million for a 3-bedroom or AED 4.1 million for a 4-bedroom one.

5. Dubai Hills Estate

Another popular choice for luxurious living is Dubai Hills Estate. Keen on buying an apartment here? Sales prices for 3-bedroom options average AED 3.5 million. If a grand villa is more your style, 4-bedroom ones go for an average of AED 7.74 million.

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6. Dubai South

Home to Al Maktoum International Airport, Dubai South is a freehold development generating a lot of buzz. This area offers an integrated lifestyle with world-class amenities and properties. You can expect to pay an average of AED 1.8 million for a 3-bedroom apartment or AED 3.16 million for a 4-bedroom villa.

7. International City 

Located behind the sprawling Dragon Mart, International City offers some of the most affordable properties in Dubai, making it a great option for investors seeking high ROI. While it`s known for apartments, freehold villas are available in the sub-community of Warsan Village. The average sales price for a 1-bedroom apartment is AED 492,000, while a 3-bedroom villa can be yours for around AED 1.65 million.

8. Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC)

This popular freehold community has attracted investors with its variety of properties and convenient location. The average price for 3-bedroom apartments for sale is AED 1.95 million, with 4-bedroom villas averaging AED 3.14 million.

9. Dubai Silicon Oasis

Currently an investor hotspot, Dubai Silicon Oasis offers a family-friendly environment, abundant amenities, and a variety of properties at affordable prices. A 1-bedroom flat here averages AED 550,000, while a 3-bedroom apartment goes for around AED 1.45 million. If you`re looking for a villa, 4-bedroom options average AED 4.22 million.

10. Dubai Sports City

This is an ideal location for those seeking residence in proximity to sports facilities. It offers apartments and villas at an average cost of AED 1.37 million for 3-bedroom apartments and AED 4.13 million for 4-bedroom villas. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road serves as the primary access route to this community.

How to Buy Freehold Property in Dubai in 2024?

1. Plan and Prepare:

  • Research: Identify your ideal area and property type that aligns with your budget and lifestyle needs. Ensure the area allows foreign ownership.
  • Financing: Consider pre-approval for a mortgage if you plan to finance the purchase.
  • Broker: Partner with a reputable real estate agency like Driven Properties for expert guidance.

2. Agreement and Down Payment:

  • Contract: Draft and finalize a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA) with the seller. This document outlines the sale`s terms, including the property description, price, and payment schedule.

  • Down Payment: Pay the seller a specific down payment to secure your interest in the property.

3. No Objection Certificate (NOC):

  • Foreigner Requirement: Obtain a NOC from the Dubai Land Department (DLD) if you`re a foreign buyer. This confirms your eligibility to purchase property without legal hurdles.

4. Ownership Transfer:

  • DLD Registration: With the NOC secured, finalize the ownership transfer at the DLD. Both buyer and seller must be present. Here, the remaining property balance is paid, and ownership documents are updated to reflect your name as the new owner.

By following these streamlined steps, you can navigate Dubai`s freehold property purchase process with greater clarity and efficiency.

Benefits of Owning Freehold Property in Dubai

Regarding property ownership in Dubai, freehold offers unique advantages that can transform your life in the emirate. Here`s why going freehold might be the perfect fit for you:

  • Complete Ownership: Unlike leasehold properties, where you rent the land, freehold grants you complete ownership. This means the property and the land it sits on are truly yours. You can use it for your own enjoyment, rent it out for a steady income stream, or even pass it down as a legacy for your family.

  • Invest in Your Future: Dubai`s property market boasts a history of steady growth, making freehold ownership a potentially lucrative investment. Renting out your property can generate a continuous income flow, while the property itself has the potential to appreciate over time.

  • Visa Advantages: Owning freehold property in Dubai can unlock residency visa options for you and your family. Meeting specific property value requirements can simplify your path to living and working in this vibrant city.

  • Tax-Free Environment: Dubai`s tax-free environment for property ownership is a major perk. There are no property, capital gains, or inheritance taxes to eat into your hard-earned money.

  • Design Your Space: As a freehold owner, you can personalize your property within community guidelines. Renovate to suit your taste, or rent it out without restrictions imposed by a landlord.

  • Peace of Mind and Stability: Freehold ownership provides security and stability. You have a tangible asset in your name, free from the worry of lease expiration or unexpected rent increases.

FAQs About Buying Freehold Properties in Dubai

1) What is the difference between leasehold and freehold property in Dubai?

In Dubai, freehold grants you complete ownership of the property and the land it sits on forever. On the other hand, Leasehold gives you the right to use the property for a fixed period, typically up to 99 years. Think of it like a long-term rental agreement.

2) What is freehold property law?

The Freehold Decree was enacted in 2002. This property law in Dubai allows foreign nationals to purchase properties with full ownership rights in designated freehold areas. 

3) Can foreigners build houses or towers in freehold property in Dubai?

Yes, foreign investors can develop residential or commercial properties in freehold areas. However, you must navigate relevant approvals and regulations to ensure your vision meets Dubai`s standards.

4) What is the process for foreigners to buy freehold properties in Dubai World Free Zone Authority (DWFA)?

Foreign buyers can purchase freehold properties in DWFA zones by following the standard process of property registration and fee payments.

5) How do we put our property on sale in Dubai freeholds, and who takes care of all paperwork related to it?

Real estate agencies like Driven Properties can help you with everything, from listing and marketing your property to handling all the paperwork.

6) Can a tourist buy a freehold property in Dubai?

Yes, tourists can purchase freehold properties in Dubai during their visit as long as they follow the required processes.

7) Is it safer to invest in freehold property as opposed to leasehold?

Freehold properties are generally considered a safer investment. You own the property outright with no time constraints or renewal concerns.

8) What is the difference between freehold and freezone areas?

Freehold areas cater to property ownership for individuals, allowing foreigners to own land and buildings. Freezone areas, however, are designated for businesses to operate under specific regulations and benefits.

9) Which freehold areas in Dubai offer the highest ROI for apartments?

Areas like Dubai Silicon Oasis, Jumeirah Lake Tower, Jumeirah Village Circle and International City tend to offer higher returns on investment for apartments.

10) Can foreigners buy property in non-freehold areas of Dubai?

No, foreign nationals can only purchase properties in designated freehold areas of Dubai.

Final Conclusion

Dubai`s freehold areas open the door for international buyers to truly own a property. Forget renting – with freehold, you`re the owner! From beachfront apartments to family villas, there`s something for everyone in Dubai`s diverse freehold zones. Dubai makes things easy for investors. They have clear laws, amazing infrastructure, and a property market that keeps growing. Plus, owning a freehold means you get the whole property, not just a lease. It`s yours to live in, rent out, or even pass down to your family.

Not sure where to start? Partner with us. We`ll guide you through the process and answer all your questions. So, ditch the rent and unlock your Dubai dreams – freehold style!

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