Can Ex-Pats Get a Mortgage in Dubai?

While it used to be challenging for non-Emirati nationals to access property finance in the Gulf, today it’s very possible for expats to get a mortgage in Dubai. The change has come as more and more expats move to Dubai and purchasing property in the Emirate becomes more appealing from the perspective of ex-pats who want to lay down roots and also benefit from what appears to be the long-term appreciation of property in the Emirate. 


There used to only be a few mortgage products for ex-pats looking for a Dubai property mortgage, and these were only offered by a few lenders. Today, however, many lenders offer Dubai mortgages, including both domestic and international players. The competition between lenders to capture the ex-pat buyer market in Dubai has increased in recent years, as more players have entered the market. This can actually work in your favour as a borrower it often creates the possibility for us to negotiate with lenders as they look to expand their client base and win clients from rival Dubai mortgage lenders.


Generally, ex-pats can get a mortgage in Dubai, if:

  • You have a valid permit to reside in Dubai and the property you want to purchase is in a freehold area
  • You have lived and worked in Dubai for more than six months and have been employed by the same employer for that period (lenders like to see continuity with an employer to reduce risk, particularly if you are new to Dubai)
  • You have a good income with a solid amount of disposable income left over after your liabilities as paid that will meet the lender’s affordability criteria
  • You can put forward a deposit of at least 20% of the property price (although bear in mind that loan-to-value will vary from lender to lender)
  • You have a clean credit history in Dubai, your country of origin and any other countries you have lived in or conducted business in
  • You are at least 21 years of age and the mortgage term will not pass your 70th birthday at maximum


Enness’ Offer

Enness is an international finance broker. We specialise in arranging high-value finance and mortgages from our international offices. We have a dedicated team in Dubai that broker large Dubai mortgages, Dubai equity release and ex-pat mortgages for Dubai residents. We can arrange a mortgage in Dubai for foreign nationals looking to purchase different types of investment properties, as well. We can broker:

  • Ex-pat mortgages in Dubai for villas, apartments and mansions
  • Investment property purchases for Dubai-based ex-pats
  • Dubai mortgages for ex-pats that are self-employed, entrepreneurs or business owners
  • Ex-pats who have income in Dubai and abroad (we can negotiate that lenders will consider both, rather than only your Dubai-based income)
  • Ex-pats with multiple income streams and income in different currencies
  • Ex-pats who will purchase a primary residence that they may wish to rent out in the future if they return to their country of citizenship or move to another country


Why Do People Question Whether Ex-Pats Can Get A Mortgage In Dubai?

Whether you’ve moved to Dubai recently or you’ve lived in the Emirate for a while, getting a mortgage in Dubai can be a daunting prospect. While there may be lots of similarities between property financing in your home country and Dubai, it can be challenging to understand the nuances in the application process, what lenders want to see in terms of documentation and making sure you can borrow the amount you want. Sometimes, ex-pats are turned down for a Dubai mortgage or they are offered mortgages with a very low loan-to-value ratio, and as a result, many ex-pats and foreigners believe it’s challenging to get a mortgage. In many cases, getting approved for a loan isn’t that challenging, but going through the mortgage application process and actually completing the deal is sometimes more difficult as an ex-pat. An expert in brokering mortgages for ex-pats residing in Dubai, Enness will be able to help you access a mortgage, maximising the amount you can borrow and lowering your overhead costs as much as possible.


Mortgage In Dubai For Foreigners

Foreigners can access Dubai mortgages with relative ease. However, getting the best deal can be more challenging than in your home country as lenders can view ex-pats as riskier borrowers than Emirati nationals, which can impact the loan-to-value ratio and rates if you are working without a broker to negotiate for you. Lenders viewing ex-pats in this way is rarely to do with your quality as a borrower or your financial standing, which will often be in perfect order. Instead, it can simply be a reflection of lenders taking a more cautious approach given you may only have a limited Dubai credit history and they may need to take credit history from other countries into consideration, review more documents as part of the underwriting process and because you could, in theory, leave the country and not return with more ease than a domestic citizen.


Getting A Mortgage In Dubai: Documents You’ll Need To Prepare

When it comes to answering the question: can expats get a mortgage in Dubai, although the answer is usually yes, if your financial background supports borrowing, it can be helpful to know what to prepare to make getting a mortgage in Dubai as straightforward as possible.

Working with a broker ahead of time to prepare the documents you’ll need as part of your application will always help facilitate and speed up the process. Getting a mortgage in Dubai for foreigners will usually see you need to prepare more documents than you might in your country of origin, and some of these might take time to arrange or you may need to get notarised copies or translations of certain documents. We will help you identify what these documents are ahead of time so we can present your case to lenders and also help you get a head start in collecting them. Where we can help you with this, we will. 

Lenders usually require a standard set of documents as part of a Dubai mortgage application and your ability to collect these will influence how easily you can get a mortgage as an expat. You’ll usually need to give a copy of:

  • Your passport or ID
  • Your UAE residence permit
  • Working contracts and salary slips 
  • Bank statements (as a means of detailing income)
  • Details of any liabilities or debt (school fees, car leasing, student loans, etc) you hold
  • Credit history in Dubai and any other countries you have lived in or have associations with

To approve a mortgage in Dubai for foreigners, lenders will sometimes need further information. What this is will often depend on the lender we approach on your behalf and your requirements for finance. Foreigners can get a mortgage in Dubai but may need to supply. some or all of the following documents, or other information as requested by the lender:

  • Tax returns (three years or further)
  • Information around your revenue if you are self-employed, an entrepreneur or a business owner. These may range from your business accounts to your Trade License, which will provide proof that your business (if it operates from or in the UAE) has the right to operate there
  • Details surrounding your end-of-service benefits. Although mortgages rarely have terms beyond the standard retirement age in Dubai, lenders often want to see what kind of benefits you have as part of your employment package
  • Details of your international assets (property, investments, liquid capital in savings, luxury assets etc.) to provide a broader oversight of your global wealth and financial standing
  • Documents that detail or document your source of wealth if you have significant capital reserves or have recently experienced a liquidity event i.e., you have sold a business or received a lump-sum payment as part of a divorce settlement
  • Information about structures you derive income from – for example, if you are the beneficiary of a trust