The Best Areas in Dubai to Buy Property for Foreigners

The Best Areas in Dubai to Buy Property for Foreigners

In 2006, a freehold property law was passed in Dubai which gives foreigners and expatriates the opportunity to fully own a property. These are designated as freehold areas by the Dubai Land Department.

A freehold area is a location where properties are “free from hold” of other individuals and institutions except their owner.

The best areas to buy property for foreigners in Dubai are Downtown Dubai, Dubai Marina, Palm Jumeirah, City Walk Dubai and Business Bay.

These are prime real estate locations because they’re near important amenities, they offer good quality of living and they have the best Return of Investment (ROI).

These areas offer different types of properties including apartments, villas and residential plots that you can fully own as a foreigner in Dubai.

Here, we look closely at what each of these areas have to offer and why they make ideal locations for investment in Dubai.

Downtown Dubai

Downtown Dubai

Known as the “heart of Dubai” and “the center of now,” Downtown Dubai is easily the city’s most prestigious address.

The 500-acre mixed-use development by Emaar Properties features residential, commercial, hospitality, shopping, leisure and entertainment areas with the Burj Khalifa as its most important structure.

Why Invest in Property in Downtown Dubai

Being central to almost everything, Downtown Dubai is prime real estate, which means that you’re guaranteed to get a good Return on Investment or ROI here.

Downtown Dubai also has the best views of the city! In real estate, you know that having a fantastic view of the landscape can add a lot of value to your property.

This area also has some of the most stylish and spacious apartments that you can find in Dubai, and amenities are better than other locations.

The Prices of Properties in Downtown Dubai

According to data from Bayut, the average sales price for a 1-bedroom apartment in Downtown Dubai is $389,338 and $824,416 for a 2-bedroom villa.

Here, we compare average prices for different types of properties in the area with their Return of Investment (ROI):

ApartmentApartment ROIVillaVilla ROI
Studio$254, 0225.90%

The most popular residential buildings in Downtown Dubai include Burj Khalifa, The Address Residence Fountain Views, Burj Al Nujoom, The Address Sky View Towers, and The Residences.

Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina

Built along a 3.5-kilometer stretch of shoreline, Dubai Marina is reminiscent of the French Riviera with most residences offering a view of the marina and the yachts on the harbor.

It’s also known in Dubai as the “tallest block” with some of the city’s tallest buildings built near each other including the Cayan Tower, Marina Pinnacle, and 23 Marina.

Why invest in property in Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina is a great investment because it is the only place in the city that offers access to over 10 kilometers of Marina. Investing in this area is choosing to live the Riviera lifestyle.

Its location is also near some of the top attractions in Dubai as well as the major businesses in the country. 

It’s a 20-minute ride to the Jebel Ali Industrial Zone and 30 minutes away from the Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International Airport.

Dubai Marina also has a 6-7% annual rental yield returns because it’s one of the most in-demand locations for tourists and expats in the city.

The Prices of Properties in Dubai Marina

The average sales price for a 1-bedroom apartment in Dubai Marina is $276,348 and $1,297,612 for a 2-bedroom villa.

Here are the average prices for properties in the area and their ROI:

ApartmentApartment ROIVillaVilla ROI

The most popular residential properties in Dubai Marina include the Marina Diamonds, DEC Towers, Marina Gate, Manchester Tower, and Marina Pinnacle.

Palm Jumeirah

Palm Jumeirah

Known as the largest man-made island in the world, the Palm Jumeirah is built from reclaimed land shaped like a palm tree on the Persian Gulf.

It’s home to some of the most exclusive apartments, townhouses, and villas in Dubai, mostly offering beachfront access right in your backyard.

Why invest in property in Palm Jumeirah

Owning a property in Palm Jumeirah is owning exclusivity and luxury in one starting with your own private beach access, the only in the entire city.

This community is also designed to have everything that you need without going to the city center. It has schools and nurseries, medical clinics and pharmacies, and malls and spas.

Being on a manmade island, Palm Jumeirah also offers a unique lifestyle of being separate from the city but still near its amenities.

The Prices of Properties in Palm Jumeirah

With its unique location and beachfront access, expect to pay a premium for a property in Palm Jumeirah.

The average sales price for a 1-bedroom apartment on the island is $444,880 and $652,345 for a 1-bedroom villa.

Here are the average prices for properties in the area and their ROI:

ApartmentApartment ROIVillaVilla ROI

Some of the top residential communities in Palm Jumeirah include the Shoreline Apartments, Garden Homes Palm Jumeirah, Signature Villas Palm Jumeirah, Marina Residences, and The Crescent.

City Walk Dubai

City Walk Dubai

Located in Jumeirah, City Walk Dubai is a 900,000-square meter mixed-use development named after being one of the best spots in the city for a walk.

It consists of 34 low rise residential buildings and several retail, dining and cultural establishments in a hip urban neighborhood setting that’s perfect for young residents.

City Walk Dubai is also filled with different murals from urban artists in the city to complete its vibe.

Why Invest in Property in City Walk Dubai

Designed to be an urban community with access to important amenities and activities, City Walk Dubai is a prime spot for property investment. 

This neighborhood’s best feature is its accessibility to public transport, and it’s also near important establishments for shopping, dining, and entertainment.

The Prices of Properties in City Walk Dubai

Because of its proximity to the most important establishments in the city, City Walk Dubai offers competitive sales prices starting at $521,930 for a 1-bedroom apartment.

City Walk Dubai is an apartment-only residential complex, so there are no villas in the area.

Here are the average sales prices of apartments in the area and their ROI:


Building 12, 9, 1, 22, and 21A are the most popular residential buildings in the City Walk complex.

Business Bay

Business Bay

A mixed-use community alongside the Dubai Canal, Business Bay is a trendy district near Downtown Dubai.

It’s home to some of the biggest businesses in the city and its fast-paced lifestyle makes it attractive for young professionals who want to be where the action happens.

Why Invest in Property in Business Bay

Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or a corporate professional building your career in Dubai, Business Bay is the perfect place to live in.

Dubbed as the skyscraper district of Dubai, this area sits right on the Dubai Canal giving you sweeping views of the water while being near important establishments.

You also get the chance to live near your workspace since most of Dubai’s offices and major business hubs are in this area.

Another great advantage of buying property in Business Bay is its connectivity to public transportation. It even has a dedicated metro station to cater to its residents.

The Prices of Properties in Business Bay

Although it’s near the prestigious Downtown Dubai, average sales prices in Business Bay are not as high as its neighboring community.

The average sales price for a 1-bedroom apartment in Business Bay is $334,885 and $571,755 for a 2-bedroom villa.

Here are the average sales prices in the area and their ROI:

ApartmentApartment ROIVillaVilla ROI

The top residential buildings in Business Bay include the SLS Dubai Hotel and Residences, the Executive Towers, Bayz by Danube, Al Habtoor City, and DAMAC Towers by Paramount Hotels and Resorts.

Finding the best area to buy property in Dubai

Choosing the best location to buy property in Dubai will depend on factors such as your lifestyle, needs and budget.

You can be in a beachfront villa in Palm Jumeirah or in one of the apartments in Dubai Marina. Whatever you decide to invest in, you’re guaranteed to get good ROI since Dubai is a hot location for real estate. 

So, if you’re ready to take that leap, talk to a financial planner to prepare your finances for investing in a property in Dubai.