Getting a Mortgage in Dubai
Mortgages are still a fairly new concept in the UAE property market. They are becoming increasingly common as part of the property buying process, yet information and resources on mortgages are still scarce. Fortunately, Mortgage Finder, the UAE’s leading mortgage consultancy and a part of the regionally famous Property Finder Group, helps to make the process easier by providing a one-stop solution for your mortgage needs. We at LuxuryProperty.com are delighted to have partnered with Mortgage Finder, adding to our comprehensive advisory service by ensuring that our clients get the very best mortgage advice.
But how exactly does the mortgage process work in the UAE? Below, we have a thorough guide for how you can apply for a UAE mortgage and finance the home of your dreams.
Who can get a mortgage in the UAE?
Mortgages are available for UAE nationals, expat residents and non-residents who are looking to purchase a residential or commercial property, or even a plot of land.
How do I apply for a mortgage in the UAE?
Before you apply for a mortgage, it is important to understand exactly how much you can borrow. An online mortgage calculator is a handy tool to determine your monthly mortgage payments based on the price of the property, the interest rate and the loan term (a maximum of 25 years in the UAE). You can find a mortgage calculator on the official website of the Dubai Land Department or on the Mortgage Finder website.
Under the current regulations set forth by the Central Bank of the UAE, expats and non-residents purchasing property valued at under AED 5 million are required to have a down payment of at least 20% of the property value (it is 15% for UAE nationals). This increases to 30% for properties over AED 5 million (25% for UAE nationals), and if the finance is for a second or subsequent property purchase then the requirement goes up to 35%. Some banks are offering even further flexibility, allowing you to fold some of the buying fees into the loan so expats can effectively get a loan-to-value ratio (LTV) of as much as 84.8%, which goes up to 90.1% for UAE nationals.
Those looking to purchase property off-plan will require a down payment of 50%, regardless of the property value.
Once you know how much you will need to borrow and how much you can expect to pay, the next step is securing pre-approval for the loan.
What is pre-approval?
Simply put, pre-approval is an official declaration from the bank that they have reviewed your application and will loan you the amount you have requested. You will either receive a letter or an email from your preferred bank notifying you of pre-approval, which will be valid for 60 days.
As a buyer, pre-approval gives you a sense of security. You can go ahead with your property search until you find the right home with the knowledge that once you have picked out a property, getting it financed will not be a problem. For sellers, pre-approval is a signal that they are dealing with a serious buyer, giving them the confidence to proceed with the sale process.
It is important to note that banks may have certain hidden costs associated with their services, so make sure you read all the fine print before signing anything.
What paperwork is required to obtain a mortgage?
The paperwork required can vary slightly depending on your circumstances. In most cases, for UAE nationals and expats, the following documents are required:
- Copy of passport, visa and Emirates ID
- Proof of employment in the form of a salary certificate
- Bank statements and pay slips from the past six months
- Most recent credit card statements
- Proof of address - either a tenancy contract or copy of DEWA bill
For non-residents, the document requirement is even more straightforward:
- Copy of passport
- Past three months of bank statements
How long does the whole process take?
Typically, it takes three or four working days to get pre-approval, followed by another week to get the mortgage offer letter from the bank once the purchase has been finalised. The timing will of course be subject to any additional procedures or paperwork that might be involved.
This, in a nutshell, is the process involved to get a mortgage in the UAE. Of course, there might be other smaller processes or costs involved along the way. We would always recommend speaking with a trusted mortgage broker, such as Mortgage Finder, to clarify your options and to fully understand the steps involved before you obtain a mortgage.
Details on pre-approval process and necessary documentation courtesy of Mortgage Finder.