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8 Dos and Don’ts When Buying a Property in Dubai Festival City

If there’s a place in Dubai that combines business and leisure perfectly, it’s Dubai Festival City.

Known as a modern entertainment and business hub, Dubai Festival City brings the elements of work, fun, and life all in one place. It has a 3.8-kilometre water frontage along the eastern side of the Dubai Creek and is deemed the biggest mixed-use development in the Middle East.

Considering the work-life balance it provides, Dubai Festival City is regarded as an excellent place to visit, or even move to, which also makes it a viable site for buying property.

To make the most out of this investment, you need to bear in mind the following eight dos and don’ts when it comes to purchasing property in Dubai Festival City:


1. Shop around to learn about all your options.

Like marriage, property purchase comes with a significant commitment. And much like marrying the first person that you go on a date with, buying the first home you look at is not necessarily a good idea.

While there could be nothing wrong with the first candidate, failing to explore and consider what other properties have to offer before signing on the dotted line limits your options. This could cause you to miss out on a better property nearby and potentially lead to overpayment.

To make sure you don’t close your doors prematurely, visit at least three properties for sale in the area. Check all of them out, and weigh all your options more thoroughly before making a decision.

Take note that this doesn’t mean you can’t go with the first property you considered. If you still think that one is perfect for you, then go ahead and buy it. Looking at other options provides you with a point of comparison, leaving you with no doubt that you’re making the right decision.

2. Consider your purpose for buying the property.

A real estate purchase decision should be in line with a specific purpose. This is why you need to think about your goals first before you start shopping around for apartments in Dubai Festival City.

After all, what you aim to achieve could affect the type of property you need to buy.

For example, if you’re looking for an investment property, you’ll probably want something easy to rent out. For this, you need to consider the type of property in the city with the highest ROI.

Generally, two- or three-bedroom apartments are great options because they do well in terms of rental yields.

3. Understand the purchasing process.

When buying a property in Festival City and the rest of the Dubai emirate, you’ll get to choose between off-plan or resale properties.

For off-plan properties, a foreign national is required to submit their passport and a reservation form outlining the terms of the deal. You may also need to pay a reservation fee of five to 15 percent before a Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA) is drawn up to reflect the commitment of both parties (buyer and seller) to the deal.

If the property is still being constructed, make sure the SPA indicates a completion date and a compensation should the completion be delayed.

For resale properties, you’ll need to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a private seller. This paperwork defines the terms and conditions of the deal, which includes a 10 percent deposit for the property purchase in case of in-house or third-party financing.

Only after the payment is completed can the deed be transferred to the buyer.


4. Invest in a pre-purchase inspection.

For the sake of your peace of mind, make sure that you hire professionals to inspect the property you plan to purchase. Whether or not the seller discloses everything about the property, having the place checked first will allow you to determine if it is worth the price.

With their keen eye, experience, and expertise, professional home inspectors can help you see any potential problems that may emerge under that fresh coat of paint.

5. Exercise due diligence.

You must also exercise due diligence when buying a property. Ask plenty of questions and learn more about the reputation of the people you’re dealing with, be it a real estate agent or a developer.

If you’re buying from a developer, learn more about what they can deliver, especially in terms of quality and timely project completion. In this case, you’ll need to visit the property you’re planning to buy to see first-hand what you should expect.

If you’re buying through an agent, be sure to check their registration with the Dubai Land Department.


6. Buy based on wants alone.

Whether you’re buying a property you intend to live in or one that you’d like to rent out, you need to ensure that your decisions are based on needs first before the wants.

For properties you’ll be living in, you’ll want something you will love in the long run. While a two-bedroom home with a luxurious gourmet kitchen seems attractive while you’re single, it may be less so once you begin to dream of starting a family of your own.

To be sure, write down everything you need. Arrange the items according to their priority level and use the list to assess each property you visit.

7. Forget to consider proximity.

There are several residential options in Dubai Festival City, each with its own charm. Of course, the tiebreaker could be the nearby amenities and facilities.

For example, if you want to live close to Dubai Festival City Mall, you should consider taking up residence at Al Badia Hillside. But if you’re after shorter travel to and from the airport, an apartment at Marsa Plaza is perfect for you.

8. Fail to check the math.

When engaging in a property purchase, you should do the math yourself, especially if you’re buying a property to turn into an investment. This way, you’ll be able to determine if the property would be profitable.

To determine the property’s rental value, subtract the following costs from your expected rent or income:

  • Maintenance
  • Taxes
  • Insurance
  • Repairs

The resulting number is the amount of cash flowing through the property. Your goal should be to have a healthy and steady cash flow.

Make a Smart Choice

While there’s no single formula that applies to all, a property purchase decision should always incorporate due diligence and thorough planning. Make the smart choice by knowing what you should and shouldn’t do when buying a home in Dubai Festival City.

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