Finding the Cheapest Property in Dubai


Are you looking to purchase property in the glamorous city of Dubai but don’t know where to begin your search? Is it cheap to buy property in Dubai? Do you want to know which areas are most affordable or how to own property as a foreigner? If so, you’re in the right place. This comprehensive guide will provide you with key tips and factors to consider when looking for the cheapest property in Dubai so that you can find your dream home without wasting your life savings.

We’ll cover everything you need to know about affordable property in Dubai, from costs and pricing to locations, types of homes, ownership laws and more. Whether you’re a first-time home buyer looking for the cheapest options or want to invest in Dubai real estate without overspending, you’ll be equipped with all the information needed to find the best deals by the end of this guide. 

Cost of Buying Property in Dubai

What is the average price of property in Dubai? How affordable or expensive is real estate in this Gulf city? Let’s take a look at some key figures and current market trends when it comes to Dubai property prices:

  • In recent years, an excess supply of homes in Dubai has led to a notable price decline. So, in general, property in Dubai is becoming more affordable relative to a few years ago.
  • The current average price for homes in Dubai is AED 1,900 per square foot.
  • For apartments or flats, average prices range from AED 1,100 per square foot up to AED 2,200 per square foot, depending on the community and type of property.
  • Budget studios or one-bedroom flats start from around AED 500,000, while two-bedroom apartments range from AED 700,000 to over AED 1 million on average.
  • For a budget villa or townhouse with 3-4 bedrooms, expect prices starting from AED 1.5 million. High-end villas go for over AED 10 million.

Property prices in Dubai cover a wide spectrum. How much you’ll pay depends mainly on factors like location, type of home, size, facilities/amenities, and current real estate market conditions. There are options to buy homes across all budgets. Next, let’s look at the cheapest communities to target your property search.

Which Area in Dubai is the Cheapest?

When looking for the most affordable property in Dubai, the area or community where the home is located will be a key price-determining factor. Here are some of the most popular areas to buy property in Dubai:

  • International City: International City offers the cheapest property in Dubai for buying apartments and studios. Located near Dubailand, this massive development is divided into different themed districts representing countries like China, England, Persia, Italy, Greece and more. Studios and small 1-2 bedroom flats start from AED 180,000 here. However, one downside is that many buildings are quite old.
  • Discovery Garden: Discovery Garden is another popular, cheaper community ideal for budgets under AED 700k. This large apartment complex is near Ibn Battuta Mall and Emirates Road. It offers many modern 1 and 2-bedroom apartments starting from AED 300,000.
  • Jumeirah Village Circle (JVC): Jumeirah Village Circle is a top pick for affordable villas and townhouses under AED 1 million. It provides easy access to Sheikh Zayed Road and Dubai Marina without the high price tag. 3-5 bedroom townhouses here start from approximately AED 750,000.
  • Dubailand: As an outer region far from Downtown Dubai, vast communities like Dubailand tend to be cheaper for buying property. Areas like Sports City, Studio City, and Remraam offer great deals on 1-2 bedroom apartments ranging from AED 350,000 to AED 600,000.
  • Silicon Oasis: Technology park communities like Silicon Oasis also offer affordable apartments, with modern 1 and 2-bedroom units starting under AED 500k. It lies close to Dubai Academic City and Dubai Mall.

If you’re on a tight budget, don’t focus on the upscale Downtown, Marina, or Palm communities. Instead, explore outer regions or specific communities with affordable housing options to discover the cheapest property in Dubai under AED 1 million.

Buying Process & Ownership Laws for Foreigners

Can you own 100% property in Dubai? As a foreigner, can you actually buy and own property freely in Dubai? What is the purchase process and ownership structure like? Let’s clarify some common misconceptions about foreigners purchasing Dubai real estate.

Can Foreigners Buy Property in Dubai?

The quick answer – yes, absolutely. Dubai actually actively welcomes and encourages foreign investment into the local property market. As an expat, you can easily buy, own and sell property in Dubai just like the locals, without citizenship or residency requirements. The only condition is that foreigners can only buy property in certain designated areas approved by the government. But most popular expat communities fall under these designated zones.

Dubai Property Ownership Structure

Unlike some countries, Dubai allows 100% freehold ownership for foreigners without any local partner requirements. However, all Dubai properties need to be registered under specific mandatory ownership structures:

  • Freehold Ownership: Exactly as it sounds, 100% ownership and control forever. This is the most common structure foreigners use to buy a property in Dubai.
  • Leasehold Ownership: Time-limited ownership for a defined duration per the lease contract. Commonly, the lease terms can range from 25 to 99 years, after which the property returns to the main master developer.

In terms of process, some key steps are:

  1. Find a property and negotiate deal terms with the seller/developer
  2. Make an offer deposit payment, usually of up to 10%.
  3. Your chosen Dubai real estate agent will handle all paperwork, registration through official Land Department channels, transfer deed documentation, etc.
  4. Once registered under your name, you are the legal owner and can utilize, rent or sell this asset over time like any other investment.

Additional Costs & Expenses 

When finding the cheapest property in Dubai, the sale price is only one portion of your total costs. Make sure to factor in other key additional fees and ongoing expenses:

  • Admin Fees: Under Dubai property law, charging admin fees is illegal. However, some agencies try to charge the buyer incorrectly. This should not exceed AED 2000.
  • Commissions: Realtor commissions in Dubai are up to 2% of the sale price, depending on negotiations. Some sellers/developers even cover this fee.
  • Registration / Transfer Fees: To formally register and transfer ownership to your name via the Dubai Land Department, fees are 4% of the property sale value.
  • Mortgage Processing: If taking a home loan, bank mortgage processing fees are 1% of the financing amount on average.
  • Service Charges: All communities charge an annual service fee for common area maintenance, upkeep and cooling expenses. This varies across communities but often falls between AED 10 to 25 per square foot.
  • Utilities, AC, DEWA: Expect monthly costs of AED 1500 – 2500 depending on the size of the home.
  • Property Taxes: The UAE does not levy annual real estate taxes. As a property owner, you just pay the standard 5% VAT on purchase and rental income.

When house hunting, calculate at least 10-20% above the actual property prices to cover all additional buying costs and ongoing expenses. This will give you a realistic idea of the total budget required to invest in Dubai real estate.

How to Save Money on Dubai Property

Looking for top money-saving tips when buying property in Dubai? Here are handy guidelines to reduce overall purchase costs and ongoing expenses:

  • Compare Communities: Carefully research and compare different communities regarding amenities, build quality, and facilities management. Lower service fees or better-maintained communities often save you more over the long term.
  • Negotiate Better Deals: In a buyer’s market with ample inventory, negotiate prices, agent fees, payment plans and other terms with developers or sellers.
  • Consider Resale Homes: Resale or pre-owned secondary homes can save 15-30% over buying directly from off-plan developer projects.
  • Share Accommodation: To reduce rental yields significantly, consider sharing larger flats or villas with other working professionals or students.
  • Leverage Technology: Smart home devices and apps help monitor the consumption of AC, water, and electricity – reducing utility bills.


We’ve now explored all the major factors when searching for the cheapest property in Dubai. From market pricing, top budget locations, ownership structures, and tips to save money- you’ve got all the key information needed to navigate the real estate market in Dubai like a seasoned pro!

The overarching focus should be choosing communities that align with your lifestyle and budget. Compromise on distance from central Dubai or luxury amenities, not build quality or ease of living over the long term. Strike a balance across these aspects to find your dream home in Dubai – without breaking the bank!

So, are you convinced Dubai offers terrific value for property buyers on modest budgets? Reach out to the experts at Autograph Realtors for specialized assistance in picking the cheapest and most profitable properties in line with your needs. With market-leading industry expertise, we are your trustworthy “property matchmaker” ensuring a smooth buying journey from start to finish!

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