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Discover the Difference between Leasehold Property Ownership in Dubai

HomeNewsDiscover the Difference between Leasehold Property Ownership in Dubai

It is no secret that investing in a property in Dubai has become a popular option for people worldwide.

If you are one of the people looking to buy property in Dubai, you should brush your knowledge of the city’s existing types of property ownership.

For foreigners, there are two basic types of home ownership in Dubai—freehold, and leasehold.

When you mentally empower yourself with the knowledge about property ownership, you can make good property purchasing decisions.

Looking back, you will see that Dubai was the first emirate in the UAE to open its designated areas or zones to foreigners and expatriates to own properties.

In 2001, the Dubai government passed a law to grant foreigners the right to own leasehold properties in the city.

In the following year, 2002, the government passed another law, giving foreigners the right to purchase freehold properties.

However, there are differences between the two ownerships. And that lies in the rights buyers get. So, let us evaluate both the ownership types:


Purchasing a property on a leasehold basis will grant you the right to own the property for a fixed term, usually 99 years. Notably, this type of ownership allows you the right to own the property and not the land on which the property stands. And the ownership of the land lies with the freeholder.

The freeholder leases the land to construct the property for the specified term. And the property ownership goes back to the freeholder once the term ends.


Investing in a freehold property will entail the ownership of the property and the land on which it is built. And there are no time restrictions.

You can do whatever you like with the property–sell, rent out or occupy the property.

Another notable aspect is that purchasing a freehold property amounts to owning land.

Remarkably, the Dubai Land Department will register you, the buyer of a freehold property, in the registry as the landowner apart from granting a title deed for the property.

The Benefits of the Property Ownership

You will reap substantial benefits from both the property ownership:

Leasehold Property

If you own a leasehold property in Dubai, you can continue to stay in the property as a leaseholder by renewing the lease at the end of every term. As a result, you will have limited liability for repairs and maintenance. These responsibilities are of the freehold owner.

Freehold Property

Purchasing a freehold property can entail many benefits. For example, you will be the owner of the property as well as the land. And, you can have control over everything. For example, you can do it if you want to repair the property. You need to seek no permission from any authority. Moreover, you can nominate an heir to pass on the property after your death.

There are more on the offer. The ownership will also make your family eligible for renewable UAE residence visas, subject to fulfilment of certain conditions.

Again, the availability is not an issue as there are ample properties in the freehold areas in Dubai. And you will find the properties corresponding to different budgets, tastes, and requirements.

Finally, buying a freehold property for eventually selling it is also a good option. Given the prevailing trend, you can get a return on investment up to 9 per cent.

Again, if you do not want to invest in a property, you can rent a property for your family. If your budget permits, you can consider one of the villas for rent in Dubai. In that case, you should get acquainted with the Dubai Tenancy Law to know your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.


Before investing in a property in Dubai, you should make yourself aware of the city’s nitty-gritty aspects of the property market. It will help you make the best decision. Moreover, you should not fail to assess your financial health to ensure that you can bear the financial burden associated with the purchase.

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