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Home: Living Here: Dubai: Dubai Freehold Properties

Dubai was the first emirate of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to get involved in freehold real estate, at a time when UAE and GCC nationals were only permitted to own property in the United Arab Emirates. Buying real estate in the Emirates is slowly changing and becoming more available to expats.

History of Freehold Real Estate in Dubai
In 2001, the Dubai government agreed to allow expats to have a 99-year lease of particular Dubai property, but in May 2002, the crown prince of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoom, issued a decree allowing foreigners to buy property on freehold ownership. After Sheikh Maktoum's decree, this sparked the real estate boom in Dubai's residential property.

The purchase of property on freehold basis means that the property is put in the owner's name for life, and the owner has the right to sell, lease or rent his/her property at their own discretion. Property owners and their immediate family, will obtain renewable Dubai residence visas for life, which can cost Dhs. 5,000 per person. Freehold property in Dubai is currently limited to areas of Bur Dubai closest to the end of Dubai, where Dubai connects with Abu Dhabi. Some of these areas include Sheikh Zayed Road, Jumeirah, Jebel Ali, and Dubailand.

Below is a list of Dubai real estate developers and the property they have for sale.

Emaar LogoEmaar Properties
It is known as the region's largest real estate company, which was started as a public joint stock company in 1997. It was the first company to get into freehold property and their projects are below.

Burj Dubai - Set to be the world's tallest tower surrounded by a combination of residential, commercial, hotel, entertainment and leisure outlets.

Dubai Marina, Dubai, UAE Dubai Marina - The world’s largest man-made marina and is amongst the world's largest master planned waterfront developments. The first phase of development will be of six waterfront apartment towers (Marina Crown, Al Seef Tower, Manchester Tower, Sahab Twin Towers) and 64 luxury villas.

Golf Towers - Two residentail high-rise towers which will overlook the Emirates Golf Club, which are scheduled to be finished in mid-2007 with 1, 2, and 3 bedroom apartments.

Other Emaar Projects -
Emirates Living (Emirates Hills, The Meadows, The Springs, The Lakes, The Greens), Arabian Ranches (Gazelle, Savannah) and Emaar Towers.

Nakheel LogoAl Nakheel Properties (Nakheel Corporation)
It is a Dubai Government company that is the most popular real estate company dealing in Dubai freehold property. Below is a list of their various projects.

The Palm Islands - Three man-made palm tree shaped islands, the Palm Jumeirah, the Palm Jebel Ali and the Palm Deira, which are also refered to as the 8th wonder of the world.

The World - A collection of 300 manmade islands shaped like the continents of the world, being built on the coast of Dubai.

Jumeirah Lake Towers - Land developed that will contain man-made lakes, waterways and a beautiful landscape with a series of attractive residences, offices and retail outlets. The project is located between Interchange 5 and 6 off Sheikh Zayed Road and will contain a total of 45 uniquely designed towers, grouped into groups of three. It will cover a total of 730,000 square metres, with man-made lakes covering 116,000 square metres and is expected to be completed by the end of 2005. Towers in this project include the Jumeirah Lake Terrace, and Saba Towers.

International City - Located in Al Warsan, International City will have a country themed architecture of residences, business opportunity, and tourist attractions expected to be completed by the end of 2006. Its residencial area will contain units of studio, one and two bedroom apartments.

Other Al Nakheel Properties Projects -
Gardens Shopping Mall, The Gardens, Jumeirah Islands and Dubai Waterfront.

Damac PropertiesDamac Properties
Popular freehold company that has property in the Dubai Marina, The Palm Jumeirah, and The Palm Jebel Ali. Below is a list of their sale freehold projects.

Marina Terrace, Dubai, UAE Marina Terrace - This waterfront tower is Damac's first luxury project located in the Dubai Marina with apartments starting at Dhs. 550,000 (US$ 150,690).

The Waves, Dubai, UAE The Waves - Also located in Dubai Marina consists of two freehold residential towers. Tower A is 27-floors and Tower B is 10-floors with a total of 230 apartments.

Lake Terrace, Dubai, UAE Lake Terrace - Designed by the award winning architects responsible for Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Lake Terrace comprises of waterfront apartments, which will be located inside of the Jumeirah Lake Towers.

Palm Terrace - Situated on oceanside of the trunk of The Palm Jumeirah, consisting of 1, 2, and 3 bedroom apartments and penthouses.

Palm Springs - Situated between two world-class hotels on the crescent island of The Palm Jebel Ali, consisting of 1, 2, and 3 bedroom apartments.

Other Damac Properties Projects - Lake View, and Park Towers.

Saba Real Estate Group (Saba Properties)
New freehold real estate company that has 3 towers in the Jumeirah Lake Towers, which have been described below.

Saba Tower (Commercial) - Dubai's first freehold office development project, which will be a 36 storey tower with offices ranging from 1,300 sq ft to an entire floor of more than 9,000 sq ft, with prices starting at Dhs. 435 (US$ 120) per sq ft.

Saba Twin Towers (2 & 3) - 36-storey freehold residential twin-towers, which will comprise of studio, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 bedroom apartments starting Dhs. 239,000 (US$ 64,900).

Other Dubai Freehold Properties

Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) - A beach resort overlooking the Arabian Gulf that is set to be finished at the end of 2005. It will contain super premium penthouses, terrace apartments, duplex apartments and garden apartments or the spacious and luxuriously designed 4 bedroom and 3 bedroom apartments. The project was developer by Estithmaar Realty (Dubai Properties), which is part of the Dubai Government.

Marina Diamond
Will consist of studio, 1 and 2 bedroom apartments and will be located at the Dubai Marina.

Madina Tower
34-storey residential tower being built in the Jumeirah Lakes, which is located opposite the Dubai Marina. The tower is being handled by Reef Real Estate Investment Company and will consist of one, two and three bedroom apartments.

A larger collection of the real estate development profiles can be found here on Dubai freehold properties.

Useful Links
TEN Real Estate
History of Freehold Property in the United Arab Emirates - TEN Real Estate
Real Estate and Property in the UAE - TEN Guide

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