getting mortgage in Dubai as a non resident

  • Sohaib serves as the Director of Emerhub in the United Arab Emirates

    Sohaib Ikram

    Sohaib Ikram serves as the Director of Emerhub in the United Arab Emirates.

As a foreigner interested in buying property in Dubai, one of the key questions is – can I get a mortgage as a non-resident? Well, it is not just possible, it is also easier to get a mortgage in Dubai as a non-resident.

In this case study, Marlissa Lahi shares her firsthand experience of securing a mortgage in Dubai as a non-resident.

My Experience of Getting a Mortgage in Dubai as a Non-Resident

Getting mortgage in Dubai as a foreigner

I came to Dubai for the first time during the Pandemic as it was one of the very few places in the world that remained open. 

When I stepped into Dubai it gave me a feeling of certainty. The infrastructure, the ambition of the King, and the attitude of “We can do it, no matter what” mesmerized me. 

I would not want not to take part in it.

Those were mostly the factors that made me decide to purchase a property in Dubai Marina. 

The plan was to purchase it in cash. Because I thought getting a mortgage was never an option as a foreigner. I was not even a resident, I was just a visitor. But the joke’s on me, of course, it is Dubai – everything is made possible!

Process of Getting a Mortgage in Dubai as a Non-Resident

The process of getting a mortgage in Dubai as a non-resident was easier than I thought. I have explained everything step-by-step below:

Connecting with a mortgage broker

In Dubai, you don’t need to first choose a property to apply for the mortgage. You can apply for the mortgage right away. For that, you can get in touch with a mortgage broker. This service is free of charge.

I was lucky enough to meet a good mortgage broker who thoroughly explained the mortgage process. 

Preparing the required documents to apply for a mortgage

For a business owner like myself, the bank requested the following documents:

  • The proof of ownership of the Company 
  • Both my company and my financial standing: the last 12 months of bank statements of both the company and personal bank statement

As a non-resident, banks in Dubai are concerned about your income, not salary. So, you don’t need to have a job and provide salary slips as long as you have a steady income.

Getting the pre-approval

1 week after applying for the mortgage, the broker told me that the pre-approval was granted based on the initial documents. So, the next step for me was to look for the properties.

Looking for property

Everything in Dubai moves very fast. Agents are heavily competing as they purely work on commission with no salary. So, finding properties was not difficult. 

When I started looking for the property, my criteria were clear:

  • The property should be attractive to be both, a holiday home and for a long-term stay
  • Location, location, location.

Dubai Marina perfectly met these criteria. We worked with an agent who was able to curate options and chose the apartment during our second viewing.

Apartment on mortgage as a foreigner - Dubai Marina
View from my apartment in Dubai Marina

Signing the Uniform Sales and Purchase Contract (SPA)

The uniform sales and purchase contract equally protects the buyer and the seller. This is a contract where both buyer and seller agree on the price and commit to close the transaction within 2 months. 

This means that the property should no longer be marketed. Also, if any party bails out of the transaction, a penalty of 10% will be applied.

However, if the mortgage does not go through, the penalty will not be imposed.

Valuation 

After I signed the SPA contract, the bank conducted a property valuation. Valuation determines the market value of the property and whether it is suitable for the mortgage or not. The client pays the cost of the valuator which is about 1000 dirhams.

Offer letter from the bank

Once the valuation was done, the bank provided me with the offer letter. After signing that, I received a manager’s check from the bank for the mortgage amount. 

You need to physically go to the bank to sign the offer letter. 

Transfer of property

With the manager’s check, you have the money in your hand and can get the property transferred in your name.

The transfer of property was done in the trustee’s office and the agent managed the appointment. For that, both the buyer and seller need to be there. But if you are not able to come, you can give power of attorney to someone who can represent you.

This process practically took 5 minutes and I received the documents of transfer via email. 

Benefits of getting a mortgage in Dubai as a Non-Resident

Getting a mortgage in Dubai as a non-resident comes with additional benefits. These include:

  • Minimal documentation: As a tourist visa holder, I only needed to provide company ownership documents and 12 months of company and personal bank statements. In comparison, residents have to provide extensive documentation to get a mortgage. 
  • Fast Process: I did not have to wait for months to get my residence status and then apply for a mortgage. Instead, everything was done within a few weeks.
  • Eligibility for a Golden Visa: In Dubai, if you purchase a property of 2 million dirhams or more, you are eligible to apply for a Golden Visa. Golden Visa is a long term residence visa that allows you to stay and work in Dubai without needing a sponsor. This is also good for investors who plan to start a business in Dubai

How can Emerhub help

With first-hand experience and established contacts, Emerhub connects you with reliable brokers and banks. We give you the whole picture of the process and assist with getting bank approval and the Golden Visa. 

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