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Buying an off-plan property in the UAE?

Article-Buying an off-plan property in the UAE?

Dream home - souqalmal.png
Souqalmal offers tips for cautious buyers when it comes to buying an off-plan property

The real estate sector continues its rise in the UAE with as many as 11,200 new apartments and villas coming up for delivery in Abu Dhabi alone this year. With sales prices maintaining a downward trend, attractive payment plans and many new projects in the offing, the real estate sector in Abu Dhabi is fast turning into a buyers' market. 

While all that is true, buying a new off-plan property is still a big decision that must be taken only after accounting for factors such as location, developers' reputation, and project completion date. While it can be daunting for first-time buyers' to enter the market, the process gets a lot easier if you are aware of the rules and carry out thorough research before sealing the deal. 

So if you’re looking to buy an off-plan property in Abu Dhabi, take a look at some of the most important factors to keep in mind, shortlisted by the team at

Understand the market

With a number of realty projects underway in the UAE and many more coming up soon, the market is flooded with choices for every type of buyer. Carrying out market research will help you understand the trends, prices, and timelines and enable you to arrive at a well-informed decision. For instance, out of the 11,000+ houses that are slated for completion in Abu Dhabi in 2019, half of the supply is concentrated on islands such as Al Reem and Yas Islands, making them attractive for buyers interested in possession-ready properties. 

Similarly, the current market price can also help you shape your decision. According to the most recent property market report by Asteco, sales prices of apartments start at AED 800 per square feet at Reef Downtown, while those at Al Bandar start at AED 1,425 per square feet. Villas are priced starting at AED 530 per square feet at Hydra Village, while starting prices peak at AED 1,440 per square feet at Saadiyat Beach Villas. 

Plan for the future

The location must never be taken for granted even if it means you have to shell out some extra money. When choosing an off-plan property, think of the convenience the locale will offer in the future. Is the property located near all the major roads and highways? Are there schools, hospitals, and shopping malls nearby? Will you save a significant amount of time on your daily commute? Consider all these things before zeroing in on a project. Also, pay attention to the general development around the area where the project is being constructed and whether all basic amenities are in place.

Check track record of the developer

Seeing as buying a property is a huge investment, it is absolutely essential to gather information about the property developer before entering into a contract. Make sure to carry out thorough research on the past projects by the developer, completion date, quality of work and client feedback. Also, remember to check if the developer is listed in the Real Estate Development Register.

Know rules and regulations

Ensure that the developer is licensed with the Abu Dhabi’s Department of Municipal Affairs (DMA) and all payments are deposited into the Escrow account set up by the company. Also, get a "disclosure statement" along with the sale and purchase agreement carrying all relevant details of the deal. Your off-plan sale and purchase contract should mention the expected completion date of the project and how the developer will compensate you in the event of any delay.

Seek legal/expert opinion

Buying a property entails a lot of paperwork and it is always helpful to run it by a lawyer or property expert who can help decode the terms of the deed. Apart from helping you review the sale and purchase agreement, professionals can also advise you on the transaction and the reputation of the developers. 

TAGS: Investment
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