1. What developers are the main players in the Abu Dhabi market?
Aldar is the largest by far but you also have Bloom, Reportage, Q Properties and Siadah
2. In which area can non-residents purchase property?
Mainly on the Islands of Maryah, Reem, Saadiyat, Yas, Jubail, Raha Beach – but also in some inland communities such as Reef, Masdar and Ghadeer
3. Does Aldar or other developers provide mortgage programs? If yes, what is the % rate?
They do occasionally – their last plan was 1.99%
4. Is there any instalment plan, when you buy property? Interest free instalment?
If you buy “off-plan” there is an instalment program to handover – some developers offer “post handover” instalment programs
5. How long does it take to buy a property? What fees must non-resident pay to register new property?
The process can take one to two months. The buyer’s fees will be 2% of the value of the property to register the purchase with the government. When buying off-plan this can sometimes be waived by the developer.
6. Do you need to pay any taxes when you buy or sell your property?
There is a transfer fee of 2% usually paid by the buyer on a disposal. There is no capital gains tax.
7. Will you receive an investor visa if you purchase property in Abu Dhabi?
If you have an equity amount of AED2,000,000 in the property then you can get a 5 year visa.
8. What other benefits can non-resident receive, if he/she buys property in Abu Dhabi?
Residents can open businesses in the UAE.
9. What authority controls developers and all real estate purchase transactions? What are the measures against developers in case of unfinished construction?
The Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMAT). If any property construction is delayed by 6 months then the buyer can open a case for their money back.
10. If you buy an apartment, do you need to buy parking as well or it is for free?
Usually for free.
11. What are the advantages in Abu Dhabi compared to Dubai? How are prices holding up in the Abu Dhabi market compared to Dubai?
Abu Dhabi is more stable with less sever price fluctuations. The oil income means that even in recessions the economy is very resilient.
12. Can non-resident purchase property on a secondary market?
Yes but it is not easy. A cheque for the purchase amount will need to be brough to transfer so the buyer will need a relationship in the UAE either with a bank or broker to issue this cheque.
13. How is the real estate market situation in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in general?
It is stable and slowly improving. Villas in particular are doing well.
14. How prices differ if you buy at the prelaunch or already built property?
“Pre-launch” of “off-plan” as it is called here should be offered at a discount to the built/ready market
15. How long have Helen and Ben worked in Abu Dhabi real estate market?
Since 2012 – 10 years
16. Is it better to buy directly from a developer or via a real estate agency?
To be honest the developer will sell you what they have, a broker should be choosing the best unit for you.