If you are a property investor, an off-plan property in Dubai is considerably easier to purchase with the right mortgage. The process of finding the right mortgage requires a thorough understanding of the nuances of the local real estate market, as well as the available financing options. With a wide array of options, choosing the right off-plan mortgage in Dubai that aligns with your financial situation can be challenging. This definitive guide provides an in-depth look at everything you need to know when seeking an off-plan mortgage in Dubai.

You’ll learn how these mortgages work, the pros and cons, and tips from finance experts on qualifying for the best rates and terms. Whether you’re a seasoned real estate investor or just starting, this guide gives you the knowledge to make the smartest financing decisions when investing in off-plan property in Dubai.

What Is an Off-Plan Property Purchase in Dubai?

Off-plan property in Dubai refers to a residential unit still under construction and incomplete. As an investor, you purchase the property based only on the property plans, specifications, and a show unit. The keys are handed over only once the construction is finished per the agreed specifications in the Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA).

When investing in an off-plan property, it is important to understand the risks and challenges associated with such investments, including the possibility of delays in construction, changes in market conditions, and fluctuations in exchange rates. Additionally, it is important to clearly understand the mortgage terms, including the interest rate, repayment period, and fees associated with the loan in Dubai.

Off-plan property purchases have become popular in Dubai’s real estate market over the years for several reasons:

  • Buyers can acquire properties at a lower price compared to ready properties. Property values generally appreciate over time, so you can benefit from capital gains once the construction is completed.
  • Buyers can pay installments throughout the construction instead of a lump sum payment. This reduces the financial burden.
  • Buyers can request specific design customizations to the property before the construction starts as per their needs and preferences.
  • Buyers do not have to pay maintenance or service fees until they receive the keys. The developer takes care of all costs during the construction period.

However, off-plan buying also carries risks like delays or cancellations in project completion. It is important to conduct thorough due diligence on the developer and study the property plans in detail before investing in an off-plan property in Dubai. With prudent decision-making, off-plan properties can be a rewarding investment option.

Types of Off-plan Mortgage in Dubai

Various types of off-plan mortgages are available in Dubai, each with different features and benefits.

Types of off-plan mortgage in dubai

Installment Payment Plan

With the installment payment plan, you make a down payment to secure the property and then make fixed monthly payments to the developer until completion. The interest rate is usually higher than other options since the bank is taking on more risk by not immediately disbursing the full loan amount. This option offers flexibility since you can pay more or less each month.

Progressive Payment Plan

With the progressive payment plan, you receive the full bank loan upfront. You then make fixed monthly payments to the bank, including principal and interest. This option is attractive because you get the full loan early, but the interest rate is usually lower than the installment plan.

Deferred Payment Plan

The deferred payment plan allows you to make interest payments to the bank only during construction with no principal payments. Once the property is completed and handed over, you repay the principal and interest in fixed monthly installments. This option is attractive for cash flow since you only pay interest during construction. However, the amount of accumulated interest can be high.

Securing an Off-Plan Mortgage in Dubai

To secure the right mortgage for your investment needs, working with a reputable mortgage broker or financial advisor with extensive local real estate market knowledge is advisable. Such an advisor can help you simplify the complex process of securing a mortgage and guide you to the best financing options for your investment goals. Finding the right mortgage is a critical step towards achieving success as a property investor in Dubai.

Securing an off-plan mortgage

Step 1: Determine your budget and down payment

The first step is determining how much you can afford for a down payment and monthly mortgage payments based on your income and expenses. For off-plan properties in Dubai, a minimum down payment of 20-25% of the purchase price is typically required. Calculate your budget and down payment range to identify properties that fit your needs.

Step 2: Find a reputable developer

Do thorough research on various developers and their projects to find one that is reputable, has a proven track record of completing high-quality projects on schedule, and offers properties in your desired area and price range. Check online reviews from other buyers and rankings of top developers in Dubai.

Step 3: Select a property and negotiate the best deal

Once you find a development you’re interested in, review floor plans and listings to choose a property that suits your needs. Work with the developer or a licensed broker to negotiate the best price. Ensure all agreed terms, like maintenance fees, service charges, and handover dates, are documented in the SPA.

Step 4: Apply for an off-plan mortgage approval

You can apply for an off-plan mortgage through banks like Emirates NBD, ADCB, or Mashreq with a signed SPA. You must provide documents like your SPA, passport, visa, bank statements, and salary certificates. The approval process typically takes 4 to 6 weeks.

Step 5: Sign the final paperwork and start payments

After your mortgage is approved and the developer is nearing completion of the project, you will sign the final property transfer paperwork, make your remaining down payment, and start making monthly mortgage payments. Once the property is ready, you can complete the handover and move into your new Dubai home!

FAQs About Off-Plan Mortgages in Dubai

When considering an off-plan mortgage in Dubai, you likely have questions about the process and key considerations. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:

What is an off-plan mortgage?

An off-plan mortgage is taken out to purchase a property still under construction. The funds are used to finance the purchase of a residential unit that has not yet been built. Off-plan mortgages typically have a lower down payment, around 20-25%, and a fixed interest rate.

What are the benefits of an off-plan mortgage?

Off-plan mortgages offer several advantages, including:

  • Lower upfront costs. The down payment is typically lower, around 20-25% of the purchase price.
  • Fixed interest rate. You can lock in an interest rate, which protects you from potential rate hikes during construction.
  • Capital appreciation. Property values often increase substantially from the time you purchase off-plan to the completion of construction. Your equity in the home increases even before you move in.

What are the risks of an off-plan mortgage?

Some risks to consider with an off-plan mortgage include:

  • Delays or cancellations. There is a chance construction could face delays or, in rare cases, be cancelled altogether. Ensure there are provisions in your contract to protect you financially in these scenarios.
  • Specifications may change. The final product may differ from what was initially promised. Review the plans and specs carefully.
  • Interest charges accrue. Even though you do not occupy the home yet, you must make payments on the mortgage, meaning interest charges accumulate during the construction period.

How does the approval process work?

The approval process for an off-plan mortgage in Dubai is similar to a traditional mortgage. You need to provide information to verify your income, employment, down payment amount, and other financial qualifications. The property plans and details are also carefully reviewed to determine an appropriate loan amount in line with the expected future value of the completed residential unit. Conditional approval may be provided before construction commences, with final approval and mortgage funding occurring closer to completion.


In closing, an off-plan mortgage in Dubai can be a great option when purchasing property, but it’s important to understand the risks and requirements involved. Do your research to find reputable developers with a proven track record. Consult with legal and financial advisors to ensure you fully grasp the mortgage and sales contract terms. Be prepared for project delays and budget accordingly.

While off-plan mortgages in Dubai come with uncertainties, they offer opportunities to buy property at discounted prices in a competitive market. Enter the process with eyes wide open and trusted advisors at your side, and you may find an off-plan mortgage that enables you to achieve your property ownership goals in Dubai.

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