Real Estate Financing Options in the UAE

The real estate financing landscape in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has undergone significant changes over the past decade. In the early 2010s, the market was dominated by cash buyers. Yet, in recent years, there has been a growing trend toward financing real estate purchases due to the increasing cost of property in the UAE and the availability of more attractive financing options. With the many options available, deciding which is ideal for you might take time. In this article, we will discuss the different types of real estate financing in the UAE, including conventional mortgages to rent-to-own arrangements. 

What is Real Estate Financing?

Real estate financing is a loan used to buy property in the UAE. Borrowers can use this loan to cover the remaining cost of a property after making a down payment. The loan can be from a bank or financial institution, and it may have fixed or variable interest rates and different repayment terms. It can also use to refinance an existing mortgage or to buy a new property.

Types of Real Estate Financing Available in UAE

Conventional Mortgages

Conventional mortgages are the most common type of mortgage in the UAE. Banks and other lending institutions offer them, and they have lower interest rates than those for different types of mortgages, such as Islamic mortgages. It requires a down payment of 20% to 25% of the property's purchase price. The lender finances the remaining amount, and the borrower repays the loan over up to 25 years.

Conventional mortgages can be either fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgages. Fixed-rate mortgages have fixed interest rates that remain the same throughout the life of the loan, whereas adjustable-rate mortgages have variable interest rates that can alter over time.

The type of conventional mortgage that is right for you will depend on your circumstances. If you have good credit and a steady income, you can get a fixed-rate mortgage with a low-interest rate. An adjustable-rate mortgage may be a better option if you have less equity in your existing property. It is essential to compare interest rates and fees before committing to any conventional mortgage. You should also ensure that you understand the terms and conditions of the loan before you sign anything.

Here are some of the critical advantages of conventional mortgages:

  • Lower rate of interest than other types of mortgages

  • More flexibility in repayment terms

  • More widely available than Islamic mortgages

Islamic Financing (Sharia-compliant)

Islamic mortgages are a type of mortgage that is compliant with Sharia law. Sharia law prohibits charging interest, so it does not involve the amount of interest. Instead, it consists of the borrower making a down payment and paying several installments over a set period. 

The financial institution purchases and leases the property to the borrower under the Islamic mortgage. The borrower pays rent to the financial institution, and a portion of the rent is applied to buying out the financial institution's part of the property. The practice repeat until the borrower has purchased the entire property and owns it outright.

Islamic mortgages are a popular option for people in the UAE who want to finance a property purchase while adhering to Sharia law. They offer many advantages over traditional mortgages, including:

  • No interest payments: Islamic mortgages do not involve the amount of interest, which can save borrowers money in the long run.

  • Tax benefits: Islamic mortgages may be eligible for certain tax benefits, which can further reduce the cost of homeownership.

  • Compliance with Sharia law: Islamic mortgages are compliant with Sharia law, which is essential to some people.

Home Finance Companies

Real estate financing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can be obtained from traditional banks and specialized home finance businesses. These businesses focus exclusively on mortgages, which allows them to provide their clients with competitive rates, terms, and services. They may also offer specialized financing plans to meet the needs of specific clientele, such as first-time homebuyers or international workers.

Here are some of the key benefits of obtaining real estate financing from a specialized home finance business in the UAE:

Traditional banks and specialized home finance businesses can provide real estate financing in the UAE. These companies deal in mortgages, allowing them to provide their customers with competitive rates, terms, and services. They may also offer customized financing plans for clients, such as first-time homebuyers or foreign workers.

The following are some of the primary advantages of receiving real estate financing from a specialized home finance business in the UAE:

Expertise: These companies are well-versed in the local property market and many other types of financing available.

Competitive rates: These companies provide more competitive rates than traditional banks.

Flexible terms: These companies are more flexible with loan terms, such as the repayment time or the required down payment.

Customized plans: These companies also provide unique financing plans to fulfill the needs of a specific clientele.

Here are some essential factors to consider when selecting a property financing company in the UAE:

  • What type of funding do you need? Do you need a mortgage, a home equity loan, or a different kind of financing?

  • What is the interest rate? Ensure you understand how the interest rate will affect your monthly payments.

  • How long do you intend to repay the loan?

  • How much money have you set aside for a down payment?

  •  What are the final charges and additional costs related to the loan?

Developer Financing

Developer financing is a loan from real estate developers to buyers of off-the-plan properties. Off-plan properties are being developed, and developer financing allows customers to pay for the property as it is being built. It may be an excellent option for buyers who need help getting traditional financing or want the convenience of making payments over time.

Developer financing often includes the following advantages:

  • More flexible than typical financing payments, such as the flexibility to make interest-only payments or balloon payments.

  • Some developer financing plans do not demand a down payment, making it easier for buyers to get a property.

  • Depending on the loan terms, developer financing may offer lower interest rates than traditional financing.

Overall, developer financing might be an option for customers searching for a flexible, cost-effective approach to finance an off-the-plan residence. Yet, it is critical to analyze the loan terms.


Rent-to-own (RTO) agreements have grown in popularity in the UAE recently. These arrangements enable tenants to save for a down payment on a home by assigning a part of their monthly rent payments to the down payment. It can be helpful for tenants to accumulate equity in a house and become homeowners.

Many RTO arrangements are available in the UAE, each with its unique set of terms and conditions. Some RTO arrangements require a 10% or more down payment, while others may require a lower down payment. The duration of the RTO agreement will also vary, ranging from three to ten years or more.

Tenants who cannot qualify for a mortgage or do not have enough cash for a down payment may benefit from RTO arrangements. However, before signing any RTO agreement, it is critical to carefully understand the terms and conditions, as hidden fees or additional costs may be associated with the arrangement.


Investors in the UAE have many choices when it comes to financing real estate. Each kind of mortgage financing, such as a traditional mortgage, an Islamic mortgage, a mortgage from a specialized home finance company, a mortgage from a developer, or a rent-to-own agreement, comes with its own set of benefits and restrictions. It is critical to research and evaluate these choices depending on one's unique situation, financial objectives, and personal preferences. If you need help deciding whether a real estate financing option in the UAE suits you, you should talk to a financial counselor or an expert like a Foxhills sales representative.


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