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How to Start a Real Estate Business in Dubai in 2024

Table of Contents

How to Start a Real Estate Business in Dubai in 2024​

Introduction

From the array of record-breaking marvels and high-rises flanking the Sheikh Zayed Road in the Downtown region to the gigantic palm tree-like structure growing out of the coastline, Dubai is every bit breathtaking and can make your heart skip a beat in a wink with its contemporary vibes! Studded with the world’s tallest Burj Khalifa and most beautiful The Museum of the Future, the UAE’s most glittering city, is the top choice of most entrepreneurs like you who are looking to enter the skyrocketing real estate industry in the UAE. It seems like the craze for the property or real estate business in Dubai amongst investors from the world over can never run out of steam. The Business Bay area recorded 10,853 real estate transactions, the highest last year, revealed statistics from the Dubai Land Department (DLD), with other top locations including Dubai Marina, Al Barsha South 4, Burj Khalifa, Al Merkadh, Al Hebiah 5, Jebel Ali 1, Hadaeq Mohammad bin Rashid, Al Thanyah 5, and Palm Jumeirah. The city of skyscrapers recorded a total number of 122,658 real estate transactions worth AED528 billion in 2022. The ValuStrat Price Index exhibits the growth of property values by 19.9 per cent in 2023. However, property prices in Dubai’s residential segment are expected to ease in 2024, which makes it the best time to enter the real estate industry.

Your Options for Real Estate Business in Dubai

Your Options for Real Estate Business in Dubai

The growing expatriate population, influx of tourists, and increasing business activities in Dubai generate high demand for real estate services, including property sales, purchases, rentals, and property management. Below are some most popular types of real estate businesses that you can pursue in Dubai, catering to different segments of the market and offering diverse opportunities for investment and entrepreneurship.

  1. Real Estate Brokerage: Real Estate Brokerage firms play a vital role in connecting buyers, sellers, landlords, and tenants, driving transactions and earning commissions. Acting as a middleman between buyers and sellers, real estate brokers facilitate property transactions such as sales, purchases, and rentals. They earn commissions on successful deals and provide services such as property valuation, market analysis, and negotiation. If the brokerage business is more up your alley then you are sure to get fat on the profits without burning a hole in your pocket with your real estate venture in Dubai. The demand for real estate agents in Dubai indeed presents significant earning potential compared to many other countries. With the city’s thriving real estate market and lucrative property deals, real estate agents in Dubai can earn substantial incomes. The reported average monthly income of around AED 20,000 reflects the financial rewards associated with this profession in the city.

 

  1. Property Management: If not for property management companies, Dubai probably can never look so spick and span all the time, given the city’s unique environmental challenges such as frequent sandstorms and a weak water drainage system. Property management companies oversee the day-to-day operations and maintenance of real estate assets on behalf of property owners. They play a vital role in ensuring the cleanliness, maintenance, and aesthetic appeal of properties in Dubai. Services may include tenant screening, rent collection, property maintenance, lease management, and financial reporting. Property management companies in Dubai can serve the city and its habitants in diverse ways while making a fortune:

 

  • Regular Maintenance
  • Professional Cleaning Services
  • Landscaping and Greenery
  • Emergency Response
  • Infrastructure Maintenance
  • Compliance with Regulations 

 

  1. Enhanced Resident Experience: By maintaining clean, well-managed properties, property management companies contribute to the overall quality of life for residents in Dubai. They create pleasant living environments that residents can enjoy, despite the challenges posed by hot climate, pests, sandstorms and other environmental factors. You may indulge yourself in any of the below businesses or services when you choose this real estate business activity in Dubai:

 

  • Property Management Companies
  • Community Management Services
  • Concierge Services
  • Smart Home Technology
  • Fitness and Wellness Centers
  • Retail and Dining Outlets
  • Green Spaces and Parks
  • Transportation and Connectivity 

 

  1. Real Estate Investment: This type of real estate business in Dubai refers to the practice of investing in real estate assets with the primary goal of generating returns through various strategies such as rental income, capital appreciation, or both. It involves acquiring, owning, managing, and selling properties for profit. Real estate investment can take many forms and may include residential, commercial, industrial, or mixed-use properties. Some common types of real estate investment strategies include:

 

  • Buy and Hold
  • Fix and Flip
  • Real Estate Development
  • Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)
  • Real Estate Syndication
  • Real Estate Wholesaling
  • Vacation Rentals
  • Commercial Real Estate Investments 

 

  1. Real Estate Consultancy: Real estate consultants provide advisory services to clients seeking expertise and guidance on various aspects of the real estate market. This may include investment analysis, market research, feasibility studies, and strategic planning for property development or investment. As a real estate consultant, you can offer specialised knowledge, analysis, and strategic guidance to individuals, investors, developers, corporations, and government entities seeking assistance with real estate-related matters in the UAE. 

 

  1. Property Valuation and Appraisal: Valuation firms assess the market value of properties for various purposes, including sales, purchases, mortgage financing, insurance, and taxation. Valuers use a combination of methods to determine the fair market value of real estate assets. Property Valuation and Appraisal firms may specialise in specific types of properties or sectors, such as residential, commercial, industrial, hospitality, or specialized-use properties. If you have or can acquire expertise in valuing different property types and understanding the unique factors influencing their value in Dubai’s real estate market, this real estate business type is for you. 

 

  1. Real Estate Marketing and Advertising: Marketing agencies specialize in promoting real estate projects and properties through various channels, including digital marketing, advertising campaigns, branding, and lead generation. They help developers and brokers reach potential buyers or tenants and generate interest in their properties. If you choose this business type, you or your team should have expertise in developing and executing marketing strategies, campaigns, and promotional activities to effectively market properties and generate leads for real estate transactions.
  1. Real Estate Legal Services: Law firms specialising in real estate provide legal advice and assistance to clients involved in property transactions, disputes, contracts, and regulatory compliance. Real estate lawyers handle issues such as property title searches, contract drafting, due diligence, and dispute resolution. If this type of real estate activity interests you, you sure specialise in handling legal matters related to property acquisitions, sales, leases, development projects, financing, and regulatory compliance in Dubai’s complex legal and regulatory environment. 

 

  1. Interior Design and Renovation: Interior design firms offer services to enhance the aesthetics and functionality of residential and commercial properties. This may include interior decoration, space planning, remodelling, and renovation to meet the preferences and needs of property owners or tenants. If you’re a professional interior designer or an individual with expertise in interior designing, construction, and renovation, this real estate business activity can check all the boxes.

 

  1. Real Estate Technology (PropTech): Property Technology companies develop innovative solutions and platforms to streamline processes, improve efficiency, and enhance transparency in the real estate industry. PropTech startups focus on areas such as property listings, online marketplaces, property management software, virtual tours, and blockchain-based property transactions.

Good to Know Points Before You Start A Real Estate Company in Dubai in 2024

  • You must be at least 21 years old to be eligible to apply for a permit to conduct real estate business in Dubai. If you’re not then you are required to acquire your guardian’s consent letter and approval from the city’s authorities to become a shareholder in a real estate company.
  • Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED) and Dubai Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) are the two competent authorities responsible for licensing businesses in the real estate sector in Dubai. The former grants licences with the permission of the latter, which is part of the Dubai Land Department (DLD).
  • You must meet certain legal requirements and be ready with specific documents to start your real estate company in Dubai such as a Police Clearance Certificate, an Initial Approval from DED, Ejari of your Office, an NOC from the current visa sponsor if you are already a UAE resident, etc.
  • To be able to operate your real estate business in Dubai legally, you must have a relevant licence in line with your chosen business activity.
  • You need to enrol on a formal qualification from the Dubai Real Estate Institute (DREI) and qualify for the RERA test to get the required credentials. After obtaining your RERA training certificate, you can apply for an estate brokerage license.

Steps to Start a Real Estate Business in Dubai in 2024

The real estate industry in Dubai has always been on an upward trajectory and is certain to stay the same in 2024 as well. Thanks to the city’s rising profile as an alluring city to live and work, healthy prospects for sustainable economic growth, premium infrastructure, and corroborating regulations! Here is your ultimate and inclusive guide to setting up a real estate company in Dubai.

Step1: Be specific about your business activity in the real estate sector

Develop a comprehensive business plan outlining your goals, strategies, financial projections, and operational requirements. Conduct market research to understand the real estate landscape, demand trends, and competition in Dubai and wisely choose your business activity. 

 

Step2: Choose the legal structure of your real estate company in Dubai

Decide on the legal structure for your real estate company in Dubai, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or free zone company. While making this crucial decision, you must consider various factors, including ownership requirements, liability protection, taxation, and operational flexibility.

 

Step3: Reserve your company’s name and obtain an initial approval 

While selecting your real estate company’s name, ensure it complies with the naming guidelines set by the DED. After trade name reservation, acquire initial approval from DED to be able to proceed with the next steps of getting a trade licence. You also need to submit a “good conduct” certificate from the police.

 

Step4: Rent a physical space in the chosen jurisdiction

Secure a perfect office space for your real estate company in Dubai that squarely fits into your needs and goals, ensuring compliance with zoning regulations and licensing requirements. Consider factors such as location, accessibility, size, and amenities when choosing office premises. If you’re renting the property, do not forget to get the RERA-approved tenancy agreement (Ejari). In Dubai, you primarily have two choices for your rental office – a Business Center Office and a Standalone Office. Go with the first one need an all-inclusive fully-furnished office without breaking the bank.

 

Step5: Register your real estate company in Dubai

Register your real estate company with the relevant authorities in Dubai, depending on your chosen legal structure. For mainland company registration, apply for a trade license from the DED or the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) if you plan to engage in real estate brokerage. On the other hand, if you’re establishing a free zone company, choose a suitable free zone jurisdiction in Dubai and follow their company registration process.

 

Step6: Attain the mandatory license and permits

Obtain the necessary licenses and permits required to operate your real estate business in Dubai, including a real estate brokerage license from the Real Estate Regulatory Agency if engaging in brokerage activities.

Next Steps

Congrats, your real estate company is set up in Dubai. However, it’s still not operational until you have:

  • Residency: Register for immigration and acquire residency for the business owner.

  • Staff/Professionals: Register with the Ministry of Labour and process necessary documentation for employees.

  • Broker Cards: Get broker cards from RERA if applicable.

  • Corporate Bank Account: Open a business account with the bank that meets most of your business requirements.

  • Technology and Tools: Invest in real estate technology solutions, CRM software, and marketing tools to streamline operations, manage client relationships, and enhance productivity.

  • Knowledge of Law: Stay informed about the latest regulations, laws, and compliance requirements governing the real estate industry in Dubai. Ensure compliance with RERA regulations, escrow account requirements, anti-money laundering (AML) laws, and other relevant regulations to maintain transparency and integrity in your operations. Also ascertain if you are obligated to register with the Federal Tax Authority, UAE (FTA) and other government entities.

  • Networking and Partnerships: Build relationships with other real estate professionals, developers, investors, legal advisors, and industry stakeholders in Dubai. Explore opportunities for collaboration, joint ventures, and strategic partnerships to expand your network and access new business opportunities.

Let’s put the first brick of your real estate company in Dubai

Get in touch with LFL professionals with hands-on expertise in car rental business formation in Dubai so you navigate the complexities of setting up your business more effectively while ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. We guide you through the entire company setup process, from choosing the right business structure to obtaining necessary approvals from government authorities.

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