Updated on 29 July 2019
Dubai has been a hot property market for years. Whether you want to move to Dubai, or are looking for investment, there are always interesting properties for sale.
Buying a property in Dubai is an attractive investment. And if you're wondering if a company can buy a property in Dubai, the answer is definitely ‘YES’.
This article answers the question and explains the type of companies that can own a property in Dubai and what conditions apply.
What kind of properties can you buy in Dubai?
The most important thing to understand is that not all properties in Dubai are available for sale to foreigners. The only properties a foreigner can buy are in special Designated "Freehold" Areas.
Let’s take a quick look at the legal provision:
Article 4 of the Law No.7 of 2006, Concerning Real Property Registration in the Emirate of Dubai, permits non-UAE and non-GCC nationals as well as companies to own freehold property, the right for a long lease or a usufruct right up to 99 years in the areas of the Emirate of Dubai designated for foreign ownership under regulations delivered by the Ruler of Dubai, the so called ‘Designated Areas’. The ownership rights in ‘Designated Areas’ in Dubai depend on the type of the company (offshore/ onshore) and place of incorporation (Emirate).
Buying a property in Dubai with an offshore company
Updated, July 29th: Previously, companies in the other offshore jurisdictions in the UAE, such as RAKICC, were unable to buy and own property in Dubai. However, with the recently inked MOU between the Dubai Land Department (DLD) and RAKICC, companies registered with RAKICC would now be permitted to own freehold property in Dubai.
Consequently, companies incorporated in in RAKICC (Ras Al Khaimah International Corporate Centre) and JAFZA (Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority) can own property in Designated Areas in Dubai.
Unfortunately, companies registered with international jurisdictions such as, the British Virgin Islands, Seychelles, or Hong Kong, are still not permitted to buy property in Dubai.
Buying a property in Dubai with onshore companies
LLC and Private Joint Stock Companies
Onshore companies incorporated in Dubai such as limited liability companies and private joint stock companies, with non-UAE or GCC shareholders can buy property in the Designated Areas in Dubai.
Free zone companies
All free zone companies in Dubai are permitted to own property in the so-called Designated Areas. The free zones in Dubai include DMCC, Dubai Internet City, Dubai HealthCare City, Dubai South and many more.
Free zone companies
, which are formed in other Emirates, are not allowed to hold property in Dubai.
Summary of ownership possibilities in designated areas in Dubai:
All nationals can own property
Onshore companies incorporated in Dubai can own property
RAKICC companies can also own property in Dubai, per updated regulations
Free zone companies with 100% foreign ownership incorporated in Dubai can hold property
JAFZA offshore companies still have the right to own property, at a higher cost compared to RAKICC companies