Dubai or Singapore? Why is it Better to Invest in Dubai Real Estate?

Dubai or Singapore? Why is it Better to Invest in Dubai Real Estate?

During a more detailed comparison of Dubai and Singapore, it becomes clear that there are not many differences between them. Both cities are extremely successful, economically developed, and quite cosmopolitan. However, in terms of purchasing real estate, Dubai is still more attractive. Let’s discuss the reasons for this, and why it is more profitable to buy an apartment in Dubai than in Singapore, in this article.


Different Opportunities in Similar Cities

Singapore is a clear example of the Asian economic miracle. In five decades, the city-state has become one of the most innovative and most developed in the world. In this sense, the city is quite similar to Dubai, which has similarly become a “pearl” in the desert and a wonder of the Middle East region. Both cities demonstrate phenomenal success in all fields and compete for attention on the international stage. They are also considered among the safest cities in the world due to their low crime rate.

However, along with similarities, there are differences:

  • People who want to reside in Singapore permanently have more options available through the citizenship programme. Here, a foreigner can apply for citizenship after two years of his stay in the country with a residence permit In Dubai, it is almost impossible for an average person to obtain citizenship. This is an honor only afforded to a few people on the explicit recommendation of the Emir (the active ruler of a specific Emirate).
  • Even though Singapore has one of the lowest income taxes in the world, at 28%, there are still no taxes on personal income in Dubai and the UAE.
  • In terms of infrastructure, Singapore is an older city. This is why the public transport system is highly developed. Despite the available metro, trams, and buses, it is less convenient to move from place to place in Dubai. You need to have personal transport to travel around the city quickly.

There are more opportunities in terms of real estate in Dubai. Let us look at the reasons for this.

Arguments for Dubai

No.1 It's Easier to Acquire and Own Property in Dubai

There is a restriction on the purchase of real estate for foreigners in Singapore. Here, you can only buy an apartment without prior permission from the state. Even if you have enough funds, it is prohibited to purchase any other housing units without the approval of government authorities.

The second restriction is the prohibition on purchasing several apartments by one person in a house. There is also a ban on the purchase of residential units prohibited for free sale by the law system, such as:

  • land plots
  • private houses
  • prefabricated houses

You can't just buy a land plot and start to build your own home there. This does not mean that it is impossible to purchase a house prohibited from free trade. Firstly, you have to contact the authorized body and get the required permission.

Dubai has its own restrictions for foreigners on the purchase of real estate, but they are largely unnoticeable. They do not apply to specific property types, only to their location.

A foreigner can buy any housing property, such as an apartment, a townhouse, a villa in Dubai, and any commercial facilities (even a whole factory), but only in freehold territories or a free economic zone (FEZ, a free zone). Here, foreigners can freely buy real estate in full ownership and deal with it as they wish. In total, there are more than 40 free economic zones and about 60 freehold zones in Dubai.

No.2 Difference in Figures

It may be unknown to some people, but real estate, even in the elite areas of Dubai, is cheaper than properties in Singapore. The general housing market contrasts sharply with many indices. To understand the scope of the gap, below you will find some statistical information which is relevant at the time of June 2022.

The price-to-income ratio 3,21 17,63
Mortgage in the revenue share 22,67% 107,8%
The availability of loans index 4,41 0,93
The rent-price ratio – the city centre 11,4 39,67
The rent-price ratio – outside of the centre 10,88 27,81
Gross rental yield (the city centre) 8,77% 2,52%
Gross rental yield (outside of the centre) 9,19% 3,6%

Rental Costs

Monthly rental costsDubaiSingaporeDifference
One-bedroom apartment in the city centre 5805 AED (2179 $, 14 603 ¥) 8105 AED (3043 $, 20 394 ¥) +39,62%
One-bedroom apartment outside of the centre 3547 AED (1331 $, 8920 ¥) 5770 AED (2166 $, 14 516 ¥) +62,68%
Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre 10 166 AED (3817 $, 25 581 ¥) 15 993 AED (6005 $, 40 245 ¥) +57,33%
Three-bedroom apartment outside of the centre 7130 AED (2677 $, 17 941 ¥) 10 065 AED (3779 $, 25 326 ¥) +41,17%

Цены на недвижимость

In the city centre 14 260 AED (5354 $, 35 882 ¥) 73 196 AED (27 484 $, 184 197 ¥) +413,3%
Outside of the centre 8858 AED (3326 $, 22 290 ¥) 34 528 AED (12 965 $, 86 891 ¥) +289,77%

No. 3 Visa in Exchange for Real Estate Purchase

While it is still almost impossible to obtain UAE citizenship, foreigners can make use of another way to settle in the country. They can use residency visas, which can be obtained by concluding real estate investments. There are three available options:

  • A 3-year visa for the purchase of a residential unit worth a minimum of AED 750,000 ($204,190; ¥1,384,413).
  • A 5-year visa. This visa is available to anyone with a real estate investment of more than AED 5,000,000 ($1,361,278; ¥8,916,373). It is important to avoid using a mortgage, loans, or any other type of funding for the purchase of a property. The applicant should own his investment property for at least 3 years. Holders of 5-year investor visas are allowed to sponsor their dependents and families.
  • A 10-year visa. In 2022, a purchased residential unit should be worth AED 2,000,000 ($544,508; ¥3,691,769) instead of AED 10,000,000 ($2,722,544; ¥18,458,849). It may be acquired on credit. This visa category is available to major investors and entrepreneurs who invest in the UAE economy.

Assistance with Selecting Buy-to-live and Buy-to-invest Real Estate in Dubai!

Have you encountered any issues while trying to choose a home? Emirates.Estate specialists will help you carry out a careful selection of real estate units according to your needs and preferences, conduct a detailed consultation, and provide the necessary support during the buying and selling transaction.

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