Although Dubai has always been home to a considerable number of different nationalities, I.e., over 200, and is considered one of the most multi-ethnic and multi-cultural places in the world, with residents from all corners of the globe and giving the city its vibrant melting pot feel. Yet only after the UAE government passed the Property Law in 2002 did all these foreign residents become eligible to own and purchase property in Dubai. Special areas called ‘freehold zones’ were designated throughout the city, where property purchase was allowed for people of all nationalities. Soon many of these zones were recognized as the top freehold areas in Dubai for investment purposes.
The property law passed by the UAE government was instrumental in revolutionizing the city’s economy. Allowing foreigners and expats to purchase and own property here transformed Dubai into a hotbed of economic activity, real estate, and global investment. The city captured the world’s attention as an investment ground with competitive property prices and excellent ROIs.
Fortunately, most of the tourist-dominated and popular areas in Dubai are freehold. This means that foreigners are not restricted to limited off-the-beaten-path areas to buy property. They can purchase right in the heart of the city, in sought-after places like Dubai Marina and Downtown. In fact, most areas in Dubai are freehold zones. It can be overwhelming for the overseas investor to select one. Thus we list down some of the top freehold areas in Dubai that are extremely popular among tourists and where there is a massive demand for real estate. But first, let’s understand what exactly freehold zones are, what allowances these offer to the expat, and what benefits you’ll gain if you buy property here.
What are Freehold Areas and Why You Should Invest in One
Freehold zones are specially designated places in Dubai where foreigners, non-residents, and expats can buy and own property without any perquisites. They are allowed to buy both residential and commercial property. Moreover, once they become owners, they are free to do as they like with their properties, live in them, rent them out, dispose of them, or pass them on through inheritance.
There are also no restrictions on citizenship, financial background, or local sponsorship during the purchase of property by a foreigner in the freehold zones. Thus these areas are extremely popular among foreign entrepreneurs and investors as a hotbed of economic opportunity in the Middle East. What’s more, the fact that most of the attractive places in Dubai are freehold only adds to their appeal. High popularity means more demand for property and high returns on investment.
Why You Should Invest in a Freehold Area
Here are some of the major benefits of buying property in a freehold area in Dubai:
- 100% ownership without conditions for as long as you like.
- No restrictions on what you can do with your property
- Property ownership makes you eligible for long-term resident visas
- You get high returns on your property investments and experience an increase in capital value each year.
Top Freehold Areas in Dubai for Investment
Without further ado, let’s explore the best freehold areas in Dubai that are bound to deliver you exciting returns.
An investors’ favorite – Dubai’s Downtown is on the top of our best freehold areas list. The reason is it is one of the most popular places amongst tourists as it houses most of the city’s major landmarks and attractions like the Dubai Mall, Dubai Fountain, and Burj Khalifa.
Dubai’s Downtown area is a hotbed of commerce, finance, and recreation. It has many luxury apartments, offices, and business centers to choose from. Due to the area’s massive demand for real estate, property prices are high here, guaranteeing fantastic returns to investors. The area is an excellent choice for short-term rental options.
A mixed-use community, Business Bay is another prime freehold location in Dubai. It is equally popular among locals and tourists and is home to the city’s central business centers and offices.
Located near Downtown, it is an area filled with high-rise towers that house 1,2, and 3-bedroom apartments, along with a few exclusive luxury penthouses and 4 to 5-bedroom apartments.
Besides residential apartments, other real estate options include podium villas, hotels, banks, offices, and business centers.
Previously known as Tecom, Barsha Heights is an up-and-coming residential and commercial freehold area in Dubai. It houses a host of residential towers and commercial setups like shops, restaurants, mid-range pharmacies, salons, and supermarkets.
Most apartments at Barsha Heights are 1-3 bedroom units, with some larger options also available.
Jumeirah Beach Residence
Jumeirah Beach Residence, or JBR, as it is most commonly known, is one of Dubai’s highly sought-after and exclusive areas. It is a hot favorite place to reside for foreigners and expats, due to which it enjoys a prestigious status. JBR’s landscape is dotted with modern high-rise towers and landscaped spaces that offer a premium lifestyle to residents.
Property prices at JBR are higher, and real estate options include modern and spacious apartments. These include a range of units ranging from studios up to four-bedroom apartments, duplexes, and penthouses.
Jumeirah Lake Towers
Also known as JLT, Jumeirah Lake Towers gets its name because of its design and location. It is built around four artificial lakes and has recently become a popular freehold area amongst investors. The area comprises a total of 70 towers with reasonably priced apartments equipped with all essential lifestyle amenities.
Considered one of the most visually pleasing and picturesque communities of Dubai, Dubai Marina is a must-visit destination in the city. The Marina is built along an artificial canal that joins the Persian Gulf and is dotted with high-rise luxury towers, retail outlets, upscale restaurants, and a Marina with yachts and boats cruising its’ waters – providing a southern European feel to the place.
Dubai Marina is also home to most of the city’s expat population, who enjoy a luxury cosmopolitan waterfront lifestyle along the canal promenade. The area has become symbolic of Dubai’s luxury image and consequently enjoys high property prices compared to other communities. Many real estate options are available at the Marina, including luxury apartments, penthouses, villas, and studios.
MBR City is short for Mohammed bin Rashid City. It is a modern development that houses a large park, an artificial lagoon, and residential units. Apartments at MBR City are high-end and spacious yet come with a reasonable price tag. Nonetheless, these are equipped with state-of-the-art amenities and futuristic design. Other real estate choices for investors are villas and townhouses.
The popular MBR community also accommodates a range of retail options, schools, and commercial units, making it popular among families.
Damac Hills is a very popular freehold area in Dubai and is prominent on our list of top freehold areas for investment in Dubai. It has been developed by the prestigious developer Damac and is located in the heart of Dubailand.
Damac Hills offers residents and investors the very finest of property options, ranging from spacious apartments to luxury villas and townhouses. The area also boasts some of the finest modern amenities for its residents.
The Trump International Golf Course is a significant attraction in Damac Hills, around which all the real estate units have been strategically designed to provide stunning lush green golf course views.
Dubai Sports City
As the name depicts, Dubai Sports City is of particular interest to sports and wellness enthusiasts as it is home to many of the city’s sporting venues and facilities. It also comprises reasonably priced apartments and villas, both low and mid-rise.
Dubai Motor City is home to the Dubai Autódrome, a motorsport circuit, and thus has a sporty theme-based ambiance. It’s well-designed with cobbled streets, landscaped green spaces, and plenty of real estate options, including apartments, offices, and villas.
The community has recently gained popularity as one of the choicest freehold areas in Dubai that offer great value for money on property investments.
Jumeirah Village Circle
Jumeirah Village Circle, or JVC, is one of Dubai’s finest and most modern new developments. It is aesthetically designed amidst lush gardens that offer a green ambiance to the community. The area also houses excellent lifestyle facilities, healthcare, schools, retail, and recreation.
Due to its immense popularity among residents and high demand for property, JVC attracts global investors in large numbers with options to choose from elegantly designed villas, apartments, and townhouses.
Palm Jumeirah is hands down one of the landmark projects of Dubai and an area so highly sought-after that property prices here peak at the highest end of the price range.
Palm Jumeirah is an artificial island off the coast of the Arabian Gulf designed in the shape of a palm leaf. It has stunning beaches, resorts, waterfront luxury apartments with state-of-the-art amenities, landscaped gardens, parks, swanky cafes, and much more.
The island is connected to the mainland yet has its monorail for easy mobility. Palm Jumeirah is renowned worldwide for its luxury residential and commercial real estate and is a sought-after investor’s delight.
In contrast to Palm Jumeirah, International City is one of Dubai’s most affordable freehold areas. It has plenty of apartment units that offer a good ROI. The name of the locality comes from the ten building clusters that form the self-contained community. Each cluster is named after a different country.
Despite lower property prices, International City offers high rental yields to property owners, thus quickly becoming a famous freehold zone for investors.
Another affordable freehold area in Dubai, Discovery Gardens is ideal for investors looking for mid-ranged smaller units. The site is strategically located behind the Ibn-e-Batuta Mall and houses studios, 1- and 2-bedroom apartments.
As the name suggests, the community is built around a garden theme and has several green spaces that provide visual relief amidst the concrete cityscape. It is a popular choice for families due to its quaint and laid-back lifestyle.
Arabian Ranches is the picture-perfect suburban community that offers its residents a quality lifestyle. Slightly on the higher end of the price scale, the community is exclusive for buying villas built on modern Mediterranean and Arabic designs.
Suppose you’re looking to buy property in an upscale suburban community replete with quality amenities like golf and riding clubs, tennis courts, and excellent schools. In that case, Arabian Ranches should be your top choice.
Al Furjan is another popular freehold area in Dubai. It is located next to Discovery Gardens and has plenty of real estate options, including apartments and villas. The area has convenient access to major roads like Sheikh Zayed Road.
The community has competitive market prices and offers investors excellent investment returns.
Choose the Best Freehold Area to Buy Property
Dubai has a surplus of fantastic freehold zones that house quality real estate developments. Foreign investors of all economic categories can find properties here based on their varying budgets. From high-end luxury neighborhoods like Palm Jumeirah to more affordable options like Discovery Gardens, Dubai has something for everyone.
Still unsure which freehold area will be the best investment option for you? Consult one of our real estate experts today to get assistance in finding the perfect freehold property in Dubai.