How to Buy an Off-Plan Property in Dubai Directly from a Developer: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Buy an Off-Plan Property in Dubai Directly from a Developer: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you considering investing in an off-plan property in Dubai? Buying off-plan means purchasing a property that has yet to be constructed, directly from the developer. 

All foreigners from any country of the world are able to purchase a property in Dubai Freehold Areas. There is no capital gains tax in Dubai. And no rental tax. This makes Dubai an attractive destination for those who are looking for a place to invest their money. With so many different nationalities represented, Dubai is a cosmopolitan city that has something to offer everyone. With the city’s real estate market now very established, yet still to reach its full potential, there is significant opportunity available to investors.

The off-plan buying process can be beneficial and straightforward if you follow the right steps. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you through this process:

Step 1. Research and Choose a Developer

Start by researching various developers and their reputation in Dubai. Look for reviews, past projects, and overall trustworthiness. Ensure the developer is registered with the Dubai Land Department (DLD). The “Dubai Rest” app is your friend. It’s now time to move to Dubai for a safer and happier life for you and your family and all tax-free.

Step 2: Get Your Finances in Order

Figure out your budget, considering the down payment, instalments, and any additional fees. Remember, unlike completed properties, you won't be able to get a mortgage for the down payment, so you'll need that saved up front. To give you an example, let’s say you would like to buy a 2 bedroom apartment in Dubai Hills Estate. Price is around AED 2,500,000 (USD 680,000). 

You would need 10% down payment: USD 68000And within 30 days another 10%: USD 68000Also a (DLD) Dubai Land Department registration fees of 4%: USD 27,200Total Upfront: USD 163,200

The next 10% instalment is usually after 5 or 6 months depending on the developer. As a foreigner you can get a mortgage after paying 50%. Usually a mortgage is straightforward for a completed or ready property. But since this is an off-plan property, it is not going to be easy. But there is a possibility that the banks will finance the remaining 50% for you. Hire a mortgage broker or get in touch with me. But ideally you divide lets say USD 68000 by 5 months: USD 13600 per month if you continue paying to the developer directly.

Step 3: Pay the Booking Fee / EOI

To secure your property, you'll need to pay a booking fee or EOI (Expression of Interest), usually a percentage of the total property price or a fixed amount. This fee confirms your interest and intention to purchase the property.

The concept of an EOI (Expression of Interest) before the launch of any project in Dubai is starting to become common in Dubai. Let’s say you know what you want, the developer, type, etc. You would need to submit an EOI amount of around $60,000 well in advance directly to the developers bank account. This $60,000 will be applied towards your down payment and 1st instalment. 

If you don't submit an EOI to the developer, there are chances you will not get a unit, and if you do, they will not be the best ones, lower floors, not great views etc. But with whats happening in Dubai, it is a must to submit an EOI to get a unit.

So I highly recommend submitting an EOI. To do that, you would need to send me your passport copy, driving licence, mailing address, cell phone number and email address. I will register you with the developer, and submit the EOI form on your behalf. You offcourse, would have to wire transfer the EOI amount directly to the developers bank account and not to our account. 

Step 4: Register with the developer (No Commission)

Best of all there is no commission to be paid to us. The developer will take care of that. So our services to you are completely free. And one benefit of working with a realtor is that I will not just sell you one developer. I will sell you something that is ideal for you. And if you go directly to the developer, of course they are trained psychologists sales people, they will convince you to buy just their property. So please, make a smart decision. Our agency name is Ultra Homes Real Estate and I am Azfar Naim, Broker Number 67041 (Rera Licensed).

Step 5: Sign on the Dotted Line (Almost!)

Once you are able to secure your property from a developer you trust or the ones we recommend. You will need to sign a reservation agreement. And complete the 20% payment and the 4% DLD fees via wire transfer. The reservation agreement can be sent digitally via docusign, or physically by a courier to your address.

Step 6: Sign a Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA)

You will be sent a physical copy of the Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA) within 3 months. This is a legally binding contract, so make sure you understand everything before signing. This document outlines all the terms and conditions, including payment schedules, construction timelines, and penalties for delays. If you are buying from government backed developers such as Emaar and Meeras, there is no need to hire a lawyer. Only when you are dealing with private developers is you might consider hiring a lawyer just to understand the contract. The culture in Dubai though doesn't really apply to hiring a lawyer. As the developers are strong and have the best legal team. And that is why I highly recommend investing with Emaar as your first investment. 

Step 7: Register the Property with DLD

The next step is to register your property with the Dubai Land Department. This provides legal recognition of your purchase and ensures your investment is secure. Ensure all registration fees and charges are paid on time. The developer will register you with the Dubai Land Department, so you don't have to worry about this step. Make sure your, mobile and email are correct. As you will receive an email with the Oqood or pre-title deed.

Step 8. Make Scheduled Payments

Follow the payment schedule as per the SPA. Timely payments are crucial to avoid any penalties or delays in the project's completion.

Step 9: Sit Back, Relax, and Watch Your Property Take Shape

The developer will handle the construction. Stay in touch with the developer to monitor the construction progress. Regular updates and site visits will give you an idea of the project's timeline and stage of development. I am here to provide you with videos and images of regular site visits.

This is an exciting time! Imagine the possibilities of your future Dubai home. If you would like to avail the 10 year Golden visa, you can do it by just paying the downpayment and 1st installment. But for that you would need to be in Dubai for around 2 weeks for the visa process. Once you get the Golden Visa, your family can apply and get the Golden Visa in around 10 days. So the process is long but worth it. 

Step 10. Final Payment and Handover

Upon project completion, make the final payment as per the agreement. The developer will then hand over the property to you, and you can proceed with furnishing and moving in. And we will provide one year free property management. So we will come with you to the snagging of the property before the hand-over. And make sure you get the property without any issues. We will also rent out and manage the property for you completely free for one year. So here is another benefit of working with me, I am by your side, always.


Buying an off-plan property in Dubai directly from a developer can be a rewarding investment if conducted with due diligence. You are able to select your favourite floor, unit number, direction, colours etc. Follow these steps to ensure a smooth and successful purchase process. If you’re ever in doubt, consider consulting with a real estate professional for additional guidance.

Feel free to contact us for any further assistance or queries regarding purchasing off-plan properties in Dubai. Happy investing, Azfar! WhatsApp +971509988557 oe email