Freehold districts are locations where you can, as a foreigner, own property in its entirety. The government of the UAE is keen on protecting national interest over landed property such that it has put measures in place to prevent bulk ownership of Emirati lands by foreigners. As a result of these measures, property ownership by foreigners is limited and only areas marked as freehold are open to all levels of foreign investment without interruption. Thankfully, many of these are apartments in off-plan projects in Dubai and other parts of the country.
How many Freehold Districts are in Dubai?
Reading the penultimate paragraph, one may be tempted to think that the property options for foreigners in the city are, therefore, limited. But that is not the case, according to Emirates.Estate a vast land mass, has been designated as freehold. Research revealed that there are about 53 total freehold zones/areas in Dubai, and that provides for a large quantum of land. To put that into perspective, half of those lands are yet to be fully developed, so space and landmass are not a problem as far as free zones are concerned in the city.
Additionally, there is a salient feature that is often not discussed enough, which is the value of these free zones. As a result of the openness to foreign investors, these freehold zones are one of the most valuable in the market. The reasons aren’t so far-fetched; you can find most of the pearls of Dubai in the freehold Zones, ranging from record-breaking real estate to fancy outlets and tourist beaches. Most of the good stuff is in or close to the freehold zones. So you will not be missing out on anything living and working in these areas.
Furthermore, the best apartment units and types are in the free zones. A lot of people, even Emiratis, love to live in the city centers because that is where all the actions are! You could be staying next door to a celebrity and not even know it! More so, as Dubai grows, those locations will also improve in value and increase with time.
Business and Taxes in the Freehold Zones
Another fundamental benefit of freehold locations is that in Dubai, you can work, earn, and do business tax free as a foreigner provided you transact and run your enterprise from the Free zone. This is another major perk to living and working in the area. Coming from European countries where taxation nearly breathes on the neck of every citizen, it is such a rest to find a place from where you can transact business tax free.
Furthermore, according to Article 4 of the Freehold Zone Law of 2006, a foreigners who invest in the freehold zone can exercise both personal and commercial rights over them. They can choose to live in them, or convert them to commercial use. You can choose to gift them out or sell them, etc.
Differences Between a Freehold and a Leasehold
A leasehold is a form of agreement where a person is only granted ownership over land for a specific term of years. Although the term of years may be long (up to 99 years), within which a person can authorize authority over a land, the property reverts back to the government upon the expiration of that period. The owner/lessor may then apply for another term of years. It therefore means that you have as a lessor under this term is right to possess, and where you sell the land, your purchaser only gets whatever duration that is remaining from your previous grant.
Meanwhile in a freehold, you own the land perpetually. Leaseholds are often too quickly condemned because although what you have according to the law is a mere possession of the land for a specific period, you are only required to pay certain ground rents, or fees for renewal of another term of years. So it is not as though you are meant to re-purchase the property at the end of the terms initially given.
To sum up
Conclusively, this article has discussed the concept of freehold zones, by answering some salient questions people ask bordering on the extent of right foreigners have in them, and the limit or otherwise of properties in the location. It was discovered that properties in the freehold are the most diverse, the free zones are one of the most developed tourism wise, and they are tax free zones for business persons. You can get a wide range of properties on this website in the freehold zones, remember, it is the only section of the city where you can truly be in charge.