How about having a house in Abu Dhabi? Imagine soaking in the sun and having opulent sheikhs as your next-door neighbors. Well, that can only happen if you have a property in Dubai and provided you choose to make it your home.

Can Expats buy property in Abu Dhabi?

If you also dream of buying real estate in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, then here is good news for you.

Expatriates are allowed to hold properties in the designated area. However, you should remember that a foreign national is not allowed to bear a freehold in certain areas.  Also, the property ownership rules are far different from the rules for emirate citizens. To get these benefits, you will need to become a citizen of the UAE by marriage for example.

If you are keen to buy a property in Abu Dhabi, then here are a few laws you must be aware of the following:

1. Musataha investment partnership:

Through Musutaha contracts, you get the entitlement to use and alter the construction or layout of the estate for a specific period. Under this investment partnership, you can own the real estate unit for up to 50 years.  As far as the renewal period of the real estate is concerned, it is made in agreement with the concerned party for the same period.

2. Ownership deed:

Under the ownership deed, the expats are given the ownership of residential units for 99 years. Also, the expatriates who own these lands get the right to fully dispose of the houses, villas, or apartments they buy.

3. Long-term lease:

The long-term lease will not be less than 25 years. 

4. Usufruct:

Expatriates can own residential properties for over 99 years. This usufruct contract enables the expats to hold the property without changing it. 

Amended provision in Abu Dhabi real estate law

Those expatriates who have bought their real estate under ‘Musataha’ or ‘Usuruct; contracts for more than 10 years will hold the right to dispose of their properties. Moreover, the landlords won’t be able to mortgage the property without the consent of ‘Musataha or ‘Usuruct; holders.


1. Can expats buy property in Abu Dhabi?

Yes, now expats can buy real estate in nine areas of Abu Dhabi. Foreign nationals can buy properties in the following areas:

  • Yas island
  • Saadiyat
  • Mariya
  • Lulu 
  • Al Raha Beach
  • Sayh AL Sedairah
  • Al Reef 
  • Masdar city.

2. Is it worth buying property in Abu Dhabi?

Investing in a property in Abu Dhabi is like buying any other property around the world. Your real estate in a country like Abu Dhabi can gain you a net come of 7%. Apart from this, there are other ways you can benefit from your real estate in Abu Dhabi. Another way could be to sell the property, once the price shoots after a few years down the line.

3. Is Abu Dhabi tax-free for expats?

There are no personal income tax levies in the United Arab Emirates. So, there are no individual tax registration or reporting obligations. 



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