For those who meet the eligibility requirements, mortgages are an option for buying a property in the UAE. As the UAE is becoming increasingly foreigner-friendly, it is possible for expats and non-residents, in addition to UAE nationals, to get a loan from a bank to purchase a property, but the requirements, eligibility criteria and terms may vary. 

After finding the right lender and property and getting the
pre-approval letter, the last part before finalizing the purchase transaction and becoming the owner is taking care of the mortgage down payment.  What is a mortgage down payment? How does it work in the UAE? Keep reading to gain a better understanding so that you are prepared to complete the mortgage application and property purchase. 

What is a down payment?

Most banks won’t lend 100% of a property's value. Borrowers usually need to put down 20% to 30% in cash as a deposit. This deposit is known as a "down payment" and it’s a legal requirement for banks to ask for a deposit or down payment as a form of protection against future fluctuations. For a first-time purchaser to obtain a mortgage, the UAE Central Bank requires a 20% down payment (15% for UAE nationals) plus related costs.

Expatriates and non-residents who wish to buy a property below AED 5 million are required to pay at least 20% of the property's value as a down payment (15% for UAE nationals). For properties worth more than AED 5 million, that amount will go up to 30% (or 25% for UAE nationals), and 40% for homes worth more than AED 10 million.

What does the down payment do?

As a borrower, if you can make a down payment, you are showing the bank that you are capable of saving, that you're able to afford the mortgage, and most importantly, that you're not a risk to the bank. Furthermore, the down payment protects the bank in case the borrower defaults on their repayments and the bank is forced to sell the property to recover its losses.

UAE Banks - minimum down payments

Listed below are the minimum down payments required by major UAE banks for property purchases by UAE nationals, expats, and non-residents:
Bank UAE Nationals UAE Expats Non-residents
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank from 15% from 25% from 50%
Al Masraf Bank from 15%
Arab Bank from 15%
Commercial Bank International from 20% from 20%
Commercial Bank of Dubai from 15% from 25% from 25%
Dubai Islamic Bank from 15% from 20% from 25%
Emirates Islamic Bank from 15% from 20%
Emirates NBD from 15% from 20% from 20%
First Abu Dhabi Bank from 15% from 20% from 35%
HSBC from 20% from 20% from 40%
Mashreq from 15% from 15% from 50%
RAKBank from 20% from 20%
Standard Chartered Bank from 25% from 25%
United Arab Bank from 20% from 20% from 20%

Don’t forget

Getting a mortgage in the UAE involves a number of key limitations, which will differ depending on whether you're an expat, UAE national or non-resident:
  • The mortgage amount cannot exceed 85% of the home price for residents, 80% for expats, and between 50% and 80% for non-residents.
  • UAE nationals and expats can expect mortgage rates to range between 3–6.5%, while non-residents will pay slightly higher rates.
  • A mortgage payment cannot exceed 50% of a person's monthly income.
  • You can obtain a Golden Visa if you purchase a property with a loan (from specific local banks only). 

Going forward

No matter where you are in the mortgage and home-buying process, we’re here for you. Rather than contacting different banks directly, we can simplify the process and save you time. With access to banks and their mortgage offerings, we can make sure you get approved for the best mortgage option. Moreover, we can assist you from start to finish and help you find the right property.
A person calculating a down payment with a house and plans seen in the background.
Our mortgage specialists have decades of industry experience. Call us and talk to one of Kredium's expert mortgage advisers. Also, check out our mortgage offers for:
With our platform, you can view a large selection of properties in Dubai and use a mortgage calculator whenever you want. Start the search for your dream home here if you haven't found the right property yet. Calculate your down payment here to learn your monthly instalments and other costs based on property size and price.
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