10 Hidden Costs & Fees of Buying Property in Dubai

Purchasing a property in an opulent city such as Dubai requires you to be economically knowledgeable as well as street-smart. This ensures you maintain your budget and be observant of all the loopholes in and around the buying process. As such, you are more pragmatic about your expenses and will end up saving yourself from burning unnecessary holes in your pockets.

In this space, we are going to get you acquainted with some of the lesser-known charges that are not so obvious on the surface when buying a property in Dubai. Even if they don’t seem immense initially, when they add up, they can cause havoc and wreck your budget. So, preparing yourself beforehand and including them in your budgetary plan is always smart.

Unexpected Expenses of Purchasing a Property in Dubai

Dubai is, as many would opine, a truly global city, having experienced development at an accelerated speed, unlike any other city in the world. It garners the attention of not only people from around the UAE and the Middle East, but from across the Earth.
The real estate market here is one of the most dynamic in the world, getting a constant boost from the immense demands.

Very often, in the spur of the moment or lack of industry information, people underestimate the unanticipated expenses that come along with buying a property in a city of chic stature such as Dubai. Evaluating these expenses will help you make more cohesive decisions and empower you to filter and refine your buying process further. So, let us get to know what these hidden costs and fees are all about.

Registration Fees

DLD (Dubai Land Department) documents, audit certificate, examine, and map properties of the ever-expansive urban landscape of Dubai. It is tasked with ensuring the best practices are adopted and adapted to meet the unique characteristics of the property market of the city. Serving as a visionary force in the Dubai real estate market, it registers your property.

As such, you need to pay a registration fee to it when the ownership is being transferred to you, from whoever you are buying the property from. It is usually a percentage of the purchase price of the property and must always be paid by the buyer of the property.

Agent Fees

If you are relying on a real estate agent, be it an independent freelancer or sourced from a reputed agency, you have to bear a sum of fees as their agent fees. Usually, the agent fee is around 2% of the value of the property but it is not set in stone and can fluctuate depending on the area of the purchase and the type of property.

There is also a conveyance fee that ranges anything between AED 6,000-10,000 but it is only charged if a conveyer service is employed during the buying process. Fortunately, for you, in some cases, the seller covers the agent fee depending on the nature of the buying/selling process of the concerned property.

Mortgage Costs

In the event you are purchasing your property with a mortgage, you need to include the associated costs that come along with it in your budget. This will include processing fees, arrangement fees, and interest rates, among others.

The percentage of this fee varies from bank to bank since there are always various offers and deals going on. You need to pay the current mortgage to get approved for the NOC (No-Objection Certificate) for registering your property with the DLD.

Legal Fees


Handling the real estate nuances can be quite tricky to manage on your own, especially if you have no experience in purchasing a property before. This is especially true for those who are outside Dubai looking to buy a property there. Therefore, hiring a lawyer is recommended who will take care of all the legalities of your property purchase process.

This legal fee is also highly fluctuating and heavily depends on the complexities involved with the specific property in question and the transactions that will entail.

Off-Plan Property Costs

Off-plan properties refer to the properties that are still in their developmental stage and have not been completed. Off-plan properties are investment-worthy since they often come with an attractive price and serve as great rental options. They are hugely popular with expats.

Purchasing an off-plan property usually involves different payment schedules wherein installments are tied with distinct construction milestones. Therefore, before making your purchase, make sure you review the terms and conditions of the additional payments carefully.

Utility Deposits and Connection Fees

For your property to become inhabitable, you need to equip it with basic amenities of water supply and electricity. These come with a utility fee and must be paid beforehand to ensure there is no lack of basic facilities in the property you are purchasing.

You might also have to bear a connection fee related to the same. These are done for setting up the aforementioned services.

Service Charges and Maintenance Fees

Just like any other machinery in your household, you need to ensure there are regular servicing and maintenance done to your home. This is especially true for properties that are in a complex, development, or community.

The service and maintenance fees include everything from landscaping, security, and upkeep of the shared common areas. The amount of these fees heavily depends on the type of the property, its location, and the extension of services you are receiving.


Considering the amount of money it involves, it is smart to include the insurance expenses in your hidden costs of buying a property in Dubai. These insurances may seem unnecessary to some but they can play a huge role in protecting your investment from various risks out of your control such as a natural disaster, theft, or breaking of a fire.

The amount of insurance is also highly subjective and depends on how much coverage the insurance you bought is providing you with and securing you against.

Currency Exchange Rates

As we said earlier, the real estate of Dubai grabs the attention of people from around the world. Even expats form a huge portion of the house-hunters in the city, always scouting the best location in Dubai to buy property in.

So, in case you are one of them, you need to consider the fluctuations in the currency exchange rates. When you are not buying the property in UAE Dirham, this can act as a variable cost.

Community Fees

The community fees, although may seem similar to the service and maintenance fees are different by nature. It usually is charged on properties that are, as the name suggests, present within a community. These fees are charged upon the usage of community halls, swimming pools, decks, gymnasiums, game rooms, parks, and running tracks, among others, in the property.

The higher the upgrade of amenities in your property, the higher the community fees will be. This rings true for properties developed by high-end and reputed property developers.

To Conclude

Apart from the aforementioned costs, there are also various other aspects, such as accessibility, infrastructure, economic factors, market trends, and regulatory compliance, among others that can add to the hidden costs of buying a property in Dubai.
So, keep track and maintain a record of all the expenses and prepare yourself better before you head out to make the purchase.

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