Buying Property in the UK From the UAE

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Buying Property in the UK From the UAE

The UK property market is famous across the world for its affordable prices, high rental yields and unrivalled stability.

More and more international investors are choosing UK buy-to-let investment properties as their investment strategy to make the most of the favourable market conditions.

One of the most common places that overseas buyers come from is the United Arab Emirates, as investors from the Middle East choose the UK’s affordability and high returns.

Cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi are becoming hot holiday destinations and investment locations for UK citizens, and the opposite is also true.

While ex-pats are choosing the UAE thanks to its sunny skies and luxurious living, Arab investors are buying property in the UK from Dubai because of the investor-friendly market climate.

This blog post will break down why you should consider overseas investment in UK property from the UAE, how to buy property in the UK from Dubai, and how you might be taxed on your investment property.

Let’s get started!

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Why Consider Buying Property in the UK From Dubai?

There are many reasons to consider investing in UK real estate from overseas, so here is a brief summary of some of the best reasons to invest in the UK:

  • The UK has affordable property prices, which have shown signs of significant growth in the coming years. Savills’ forecast predicts that house prices will fall by 10% in 2023, making the market far more affordable, before prices rise once again. Areas like the North-West will likely rise by 11.7% by 2027.
  • Some of the best areas to invest in the UK have property prices far below their comparisons in the UAE. Liverpool, for example, has an average property price of ££177,803, according to Land Registry data, while Dubai has an average price of roughly £288,000. This is a saving of over £100k!
  • The UK real estate market is famous for its stability and endurance of tough times. Despite the effects of the cost of living crisis, house prices have remained at a healthy level. As of March 2023, The average house price in the UK is £285,009, up 4.1% compared to last year.
  • There is potential for high rental yields in some of the UK’s biggest cities. Liverpool and Manchester properties have the potential for rental yields as high as 8%, while other cities like Birmingham and London are not too far behind.
  • The Pound is currently far weaker than it has been in past years, which means overseas investors can get much more value for their money than they could have done in the past.
  • High tenant demand and a lack of quality rental properties mean rents in the UK have been rising steadily for years. Homelet’s Rental Index currently reports that the average rent in the UK is £1,213 per month, a rise of 10.0% compared to last year.

As you can see, there are many benefits to buying property in the UK from the UAE. If you want more detailed information, try reading our guide on UK property investment.

How to Buy Property in the UK from Dubai

Interested in overseas investment in the UK from the UAE? You’ll be happy to know that it is not too difficult a process, nor is it too dissimilar from buying property in the UAE.

You will need to be more diligent with your preparations and understanding of what to do, but this is not too difficult.

There are no restrictions for foreigners looking to buy property in the UK, although if you want to buy UK property to live in, then you will likely need a visa unless you are a UK citizen.

However, there may be more rigorous identity checks for international buyers, so be prepared to travel from the UAE to the UK and back again to help confirm your identity in person if you are required to.

If you are looking to invest using a buy-to-let mortgage, you will struggle to find one from a high-street lender, and will probably need to use the services of a specialist lender. However, this may be a blessing in disguise as interest rates on BTL mortgages are sky-high right now.

Instead, try looking into off-plan property, where the lower price points and flexible payment plans may allow you to avoid needing a buy-to-let mortgage and can save you money in the long run.

Your first step is to find investment properties that you are interested in buying. You can look on property portals like Zoopla or Rightmove, or contact estate agents or property investment companies to see what properties they have for sale.

When looking for investment properties, aim for a combination of an affordable price with high rental yields in a popular area. This will give you the best likelihood of a strong return on your investment.

Do not be daunted by the price you see on paper, as house prices are often negotiable and are not set in stone. You will need to negotiate with the seller to come to an agreement that benefits both of you.

You will need to use the services of a solicitor when buying property in the UK from the UAE, as will the seller. Once you have made an offer, the solicitors will exchange contracts and ensure everything is watertight legally. By this stage, you are committed to buying the property.

After this stage, it is time to pay the deposit on the property. Usually, this is around 25%, but it can change.

Once you have paid the deposit, your solicitor will once again go over the contract to make sure everything is above board, and a completion date will be set when you will pay the remaining amount of the property’s value.

With all that out of the way, you will finally be the owner of a new investment property, and you can start the process of finding tenants and collecting rental income.

How Will I Be Taxed When Buying Property in the UK From Dubai?

There are several ways in which you will be taxed on overseas investment in the UK from the UAE.

One of the main ways is through Stamp Duty Land Tax, or SDLT for short. This is a tax you pay when purchasing the property, that depends upon the value of the property. How much stamp duty you pay differs from property to property.

If you already own property, you will pay a 3% surcharge on top of the regular amount of stamp duty, and as you are not a UK resident there will also be a 2% surcharge. This means you will be paying an extra 5% of your property’s value, as well as the regular amount of stamp duty.

Once you start collecting rental income, you will also be required to pay income tax every month on what you collect. How much you pay will change depending on your income.

If you look to pass on your investment property to your next of kin, then they will need to pay an Inheritence Tax if your estate is worth over a certain threshold.

On the whole, you will pay slightly more tax as an overseas investor than most, but not by much.


If you are wondering how to buy property in the UK from Dubai, the first step is to contact an estate agent or property investment company for advice. Their expert guidance can usually assist you to make the process much easier than what we described earlier in this blog.

Yes, there are no restrictions if you want to buy a house in the UK from abroad!

You will likely need a visa if you want to live in the UK property you buy, however.

You will only need a visa if you want to live in the property you buy. There are no restrictions or need for a visa if you are looking into overseas investment in UK property from the UAE.

Invest With RWInvest

If you are looking for an overseas investment in UK property from the UAE, then look no further than RWInvest.

As one of the UK’s leading property investment companies, we have over 18 years of experience in buy-to-let property.

Specialising in some of the best places to invest in across the UK such as Liverpool and Manchester, we pride ourselves on helping clients achieve the best returns possible.

Contact us today to talk to one of our property agents at a time of your choosing, so you can learn more about our range of luxury buy-to-let investments and how they may be for you!

Want to buy UK property from another overseas country? The below guides may be of interest:

Buying UK Property From Hong Kong.

Buying Property in the UK From Singapore.

Buying Property in the UK From Saudi Arabia.

John Brady

John Brady

John is a property writer here at RWinvest. With a close eye on property market news and updates, John writes detailed and informative articles on a range of topics that are helpful for anybody looking to invest in UK property.

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