Comparing Mortgage and Home Loan Rates in the Dubai & UAE: 2024 Guide

26 May 2024

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), particularly Dubai, has a vibrant real estate market that attracts investors and homebuyers from around the globe. The reason for its attraction is the availability of mortgage loans, which play a significant role in facilitating homeownership and investment in the region. Home loans in the UAE offer a pathway for both residents and expatriates to acquire property, leveraging various financing options to meet diverse needs and financial situations.

Types of Mortgage Loans in Dubai, UAE

Fixed-Rate Home Loan: A fixed-rate home loan locks in the interest rate for the entire loan term, providing stability and predictability in repayments. This type of loan is beneficial for borrowers who prefer consistent monthly payments, regardless of market fluctuations.

Variable-Rate Home Loan: Variable-rate home loans have interest rates that can fluctuate based on market conditions. This option might offer lower initial rates compared to fixed-rate loans but carries the risk of increasing rates and payments over time depending on the market condition.

Islamic Home Financing: This is a Shariah-compliant financing option. It is an Islamic home financing product that complies with the Shariah law, avoiding interest (Riba) and instead uses profit-sharing or lease-to-own structures. Unlike conventional loans, Islamic financing ensures transactions are backed by tangible assets and involve shared risk and profit between the lender and borrower.

Features & Benefits of Home Loans in UAE

The UAE's mortgage market is attractive because of its wide range of features and benefits designed to accommodate the diverse needs of its residents and expatriates. The variety of mortgage types in the UAE make property ownership that much more accessible and financially manageable. Here are some of the key advantages of securing a home loan in the UAE:

High Financing Amounts

Up to 85% Financing: Most banks in the UAE offer high loan-to-value ratios, allowing borrowers to finance up to 85% of their property's value. This feature is particularly beneficial for buyers who do not have substantial savings for a down payment but are capable of managing regular mortgage repayments.

Flexible Repayment Terms 

Up to 25 Years: Borrowers can choose from repayment terms of up to 25 years, providing flexibility in managing long-term financial planning and monthly budgeting. Longer repayment periods typically result in lower monthly payments, making it easier for individuals to balance their cash flow while investing in property.

Competitive Interest Rates

Attractive Rates: The UAE mortgage market is very competitive. They offer attractive interest rates that can vary between fixed and variable rate loans. These competitive rates help in reducing the overall cost of borrowing and make home ownership more affordable in the long run.

Relatively Low Processing Fees

Cost Efficiency: Compared to other global markets, the UAE banks generally charge lower processing fees for mortgage applications. This reduction in upfront costs makes it more feasible for potential homeowners to apply for loans without the burden of high initial expenses.

Benefits for Residents and Expatriates

Accessibility for Expatriates: The UAE's real estate market is robust and inclusive, allowing not only UAE nationals but also expatriates to own property. The availability of mortgage loans with features like high financing amounts and competitive interest rates makes it easier for expatriates to invest in real estate in the UAE, contributing to the diversity and growth of the housing market.

List of the Best Home Loans & Mortgage Loans in Dubai, UAE – 2024

Bank/Product NameMinimum Salary (AED)Loan Amount (AED)Fixed Rate (%)Flexi Rate (%)Financing (%)
FAB Mortgage LoanAED 15,000Up to AED 20 millionStarting from 3.94%*with a salary transfer to a FAB account0.55% + 3 months EIBOR for the first year and 1.5% + 3 months EIBOR from the second year onwardsUp to 85% financing for first-time buyers; otherwise 80%
RAKBANK Home LoanAED 15,000Salaried individuals up to AED 13 million; self employed up to AED 20 millionStarting from 4.36% (5 years)3-month EIBOR + 1.20% to 3-month EIBOR + 1.99%80%
Standard Chartered Home LoanAED 15,000Up to AED 18 millionStarting from 5.10% (5 years)3 months 5.24%; 6 months 5.20% and 12 months 5.42%80% for UAE nationals; 75% for expatriates
Emirates NBD Home Loan for ExpatriatesAED 15,000Up to AED 15 millionNATentative rate 7.24% p.a. (reducing)*Linked to1-month EIBOR + 1.79% per annum reducing balance.80%
ADIB Home FinanceAED 15,000Up to AED 30millionStarting from 3.99% (3 years)1 month EIBOR + 1.79%85%
ADCB Standard Mortgage Loan-UAE Nationals: AED 8,000. -Expatriate Residents: AED 15,000. -Non-Residents: min AUM with AED 200,000Up to AED 24 million for residents and 15 million for non residentsFrom 4.50%1,3 or 6 months EIBOR + margin ranging from 1.99% to 2.55% 85% for UAE nationals; 80% for expatriates
CBD Home LoanAED 12,000 for salaried and AED 20,000 for self-employedUp to AED 20 millionFrom 4.29%EIBOR + fixed margin (check with bank)85%
Bank of Baroda Home LoanAED 10,000Not specifiedStarting from 5.1%BRLLR - 0.75% to BRLLR + 1.45%Up to 90%
Emirates Islamic Bank Home FinanceAED 15,000Up to AED 15 million3.99%3 months EIBOR + 1.74%85% for UAE nationals; 80% for expatriates
HSBC UAE Home LoanAED 15,000Not specifiedNot specified3 months EIBOR + 1.19%Up to 80%

Please note that the details such as down payment percentages and specific rates may vary based on the customer's profile, property type, and other eligibility criteria set by the banks. It is advisable to visit the respective links provided or contact the banks directly for the most accurate and updated information.

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How to Identify the Right Mortgage Loan in the UAE

Choosing the right mortgage loan in the UAE involves a comprehensive assessment of your financial situation, a clear understanding of the mortgage products available, and a careful comparison of their terms and interest rates. Here are some guidelines to help you navigate through the process and select a mortgage loan that aligns with your needs and financial goals.

Assess Your Financial Situation

  • Income and Expenses: Start by evaluating your monthly income against your expenses. This will help you understand how much you can comfortably afford to pay towards a mortgage each month without straining your finances.
  • Savings and Down Payment: Consider the amount you have saved for a down payment. Remember, a higher down payment can reduce your loan amount and potentially qualify you for better interest rates.
  • Credit Score: Your credit score is a critical factor that lenders consider. A higher credit score can improve your chances of loan approval and access to lower interest rates.

Understand Different Mortgage Products

  • Fixed-Rate Mortgages: These loans have a constant interest rate throughout the loan term, offering stability in monthly payments. They are suitable if you prefer predictable payments and plan to stay in your home for a long time.
  • Variable-Rate Mortgages: The interest rates on these loans can fluctuate based on market conditions. They might offer lower initial rates compared to fixed-rate mortgages but carry the risk of increasing payments.
  • Islamic Home Financing: For those seeking Shariah-compliant financing options, Islamic banks offer products without traditional interest. Instead, they use profit-sharing or lease-to-own agreements.

Compare Interest Rates and Terms

  • Interest Rates: Compare both the fixed and variable rates offered by different lenders. Look beyond the initial rate and consider how rate changes could affect your payments over time.
  • Loan Terms: Evaluate the loan term lengths available. Longer terms can lower your monthly payments but may result in higher total interest paid over the life of the loan.
  • Fees and Charges: Be aware of all the fees associated with the mortgage, including processing fees, appraisal fees, and any penalties for early repayment.

Determine the Best Fit

  • Align with Financial Goals: Choose a mortgage that fits your long-term financial goals. For instance, if you're planning to move in a few years, a variable-rate mortgage with lower initial payments might be more suitable.
  • Flexibility: Consider features like the ability to make extra payments or the option to refinance without penalty. These can provide flexibility and potentially save you money in the long run.
  • Professional Advice: Don't hesitate to seek advice from financial advisors or mortgage brokers. They can provide valuable insights and help you navigate the complex mortgage landscape in the UAE.

Eligibility Criteria for Mortgage Loans in UAE

When applying for a mortgage loan in the UAE, lenders assess various factors to determine an applicant's eligibility. Understanding these criteria can help you prepare your application and increase your chances of approval. Here are the common eligibility requirements for mortgage loans in the UAE.

Minimum Age

  • General Requirement: Applicants must typically be at least 21 years old. This age requirement ensures that the borrower is legally capable of entering into a loan agreement.

Income Level

  • Minimum Salary: Lenders require a minimum monthly income to ensure that borrowers have the financial capacity to repay the loan. The specific amount can vary between banks but is generally around AED 10,000 to AED 15,000 for most mortgage products.
  • Stable Income: Proof of a stable and regular income is crucial. Lenders may look at salary slips, bank statements, and employment contracts to verify income stability.

Employment Status 

  • Employment Type: Both salaried employees and self-employed individuals can apply for mortgage loans. However, the criteria might differ, with self-employed applicants often required to show a longer history of income.
  • Length of Employment: Most banks prefer applicants who have been with their current employer for a minimum period, often six months to a year, to ensure job stability.

Debt-to-Income Ratios

  • Financial Health: Lenders evaluate your debt-to-income ratio, which is the percentage of your monthly income that goes towards paying debts. A lower ratio indicates better financial health and increases your eligibility.
  • Limitations: As a general rule, your total monthly debt payments, including the prospective mortgage, should not exceed 40% to 50% of your monthly income.

Property Evaluations

  • Property Value: The property you intend to purchase will be evaluated to determine its market value. This evaluation ensures that the loan amount does not exceed the property's worth.
  • Location and Condition: The property's location and condition are also assessed. Properties in prime locations and good condition are more likely to be approved for financing.

Additional Criteria

  • Credit Score: A good credit score is essential for loan approval. It reflects your credit history and repayment behaviour.
  • Residency Status: While both UAE nationals and expatriates are eligible for mortgage loans, the specific terms and conditions between different banks might vary. Expatriates may face stricter criteria or require a higher down payment.

Documentation

  • Required Documents: Applicants must submit various documents, including identification, proof of income, bank statements, and property documents. The exact requirements can vary by lender.

Meeting these eligibility criteria does not guarantee loan approval, as lenders also consider other factors specific to their policies. However, understanding and preparing for these requirements can significantly improve your chances of securing a mortgage loan in the UAE.

Mortgage Application Process in the UAE

Navigating the mortgage application process in the UAE can be smoothened by understanding the steps involved. From initial pre-qualification to the final legal formalities, each phase is crucial for securing a mortgage efficiently.

Here is a detailed guide to the step-by-step mortgage application process in the UAE:

Step 1: Pre-Qualification

  • Initial Assessment: Before applying for a mortgage, it is advisable to undergo a pre-qualification process. This involves providing preliminary financial information to a lender to get an estimate of how much you might be eligible to borrow.
  • Credit Score Check: The lender will typically conduct a soft check on your credit score to assess your creditworthiness without impacting your credit report.

Step 2: Document Submission

  • Formal Application: Once pre-qualified, you will need to fill out a detailed application form and submit it along with required documentation. This typically includes your passport, visa, Emirates ID, proof of income (such as salary certificates and bank statements), and existing credit obligations.
  • Fees: Application fees or processing fees may be required at this stage.

Step 3: Property Evaluation

  • Valuation: The lender will arrange for a professional valuation of the property you intend to purchase. This step is vital to ensure the property’s market value aligns with the loan amount.
  • Approval Contingency: The loan offer might be contingent on a satisfactory valuation report.

Step 4: Loan Approval

  • Underwriting Process: Your complete application and supporting documents will undergo an underwriting process where the lender assesses the risk of lending to you. This includes a detailed review of your financial documents and the valuation report.
  • Loan Offer: If the underwriting process is successful, the lender will issue a formal loan offer, detailing the terms of the mortgage, including the loan amount, interest rate, repayment schedule, and other terms and conditions.
  • Agreement Signing: Upon accepting the loan offer, you will sign the mortgage agreement and any other legal documents required by the lender.
  • Registration: The mortgage must be registered with the relevant government authority, such as the Dubai Land Department. This typically involves paying a registration fee.
  • Disbursement: Following the successful registration and completion of all legal formalities, the loan amount will be disbursed either to your account or directly to the seller or developer.

Step 6: Post-Approval Formalities

  • Insurance: Property insurance and, in some cases, life insurance may be required by the lender as part of the mortgage agreement.
  • Ongoing Communication: Maintain communication with your lender for any follow-up documentation or requirements and for managing your mortgage repayments.

By following these steps, you will be able to navigate the mortgage application process in the UAE more effectively, ensuring all legal and financial requirements are met for a successful home purchase.

Documents Required for a Mortgage Loan in the UAE

Applying for a mortgage loan in the UAE requires a comprehensive set of documents to verify your identity, income, residency status, and the property's legitimacy. Here is a detailed list of the necessary documents you will need to prepare when applying for a mortgage in the UAE:

Personal Identification and Residency Documents

  • Passport: A copy of your passport with a validity of at least six months (if applicable).
  • Visa: A copy of your UAE residence visa, proving your legal residency in the country (if applicable).
  • Emirates ID: A copy of your Emirates ID card, front and back (if applicable).

Income Verification Documents

  • Salary Certificate or Letter: For salaried employees, a recent salary certificate or letter from your employer detailing your monthly income, position, and length of employment.
  • Bank Statements: Last six months' bank statements for both your salary account and any savings accounts to demonstrate financial stability and savings.
  • Trade License: For self-employed individuals or business owners, a copy of the trade license and MOA (Memorandum of Association) to verify the business's legitimacy.
  • Audited Financial Statements: Self-employed applicants may also need to provide audited financial statements for the last two years to show their business's financial health.

Property Documents

  • Sales Agreement: A preliminary sales agreement or reservation form between you and the seller or developer.
  • Title Deed: If purchasing a resale property, a copy of the current title deed.
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC): For properties within a development, an NOC from the developer stating there are no outstanding dues on the property.

Additional Documents

  • Liability Letter: If you have existing loans or credit cards, a liability letter from the bank stating your current outstanding balances.
  • Credit Report: Some lenders may require a credit report from Al Etihad Credit Bureau to assess your credit history and score.
  • Property Valuation Report: While the lender usually arranges for the property valuation, you may need to provide access or specific documents related to the property for this purpose.
  • Insurance: Proof of property insurance and, in some cases, life insurance that names the lender as the beneficiary.

Specific Lender Requirements

  • Pre-Approval Application Form: A completed mortgage pre-approval application form provided by the lender.
  • Down Payment Proof: Evidence of the down payment amount available, such as bank statements or a savings account.
  • Developer’s Approval: For off-plan properties, approval or acknowledgment from the developer that you are purchasing the property.

It is important to note that specific requirements may vary slightly between lenders. Therefore, it's advisable to check with your chosen bank or financial institution for a detailed list of required documents before starting your application. Preparing these documents in advance can streamline the mortgage application process and improve your chances of approval.

Fees Associated with Mortgage and Home Loans in UAE

When securing a mortgage or home loan in the UAE, borrowers face a variety of fees that contribute to the overall cost of the loan. Understanding these fees is crucial for budgeting and financial planning. Here is a detailed look at the types of fees that you might encounter:

One-Time Fees

One-time fees are paid either at the initiation of the mortgage process or at specific request during the term of the mortgage:

  • Loan Processing Fee: Charged to cover the cost of processing the mortgage application.
  • In Principle Approval Fee: Paid when preliminary approval for a loan is sought; this fee is generally non-refundable.
  • Valuation Fee: Assesses the property's market value to ensure it covers the loan amount.
  • Change of Repayment Date Fee: If you decide to change the scheduled repayment date after loan approval.
  • Extension of In Principle Approval: Charged if there is a need to extend the validity of the preliminary loan approval.
  • Addition/Deletion of Name in Title Deed/Loan: Fees for any changes to the names listed on the title deed or loan documents.
  • Mortgage Loan Statement: Charged for issuing an official statement of your mortgage loan.
  • Non-Standard Statement Production: For issuing mortgage statements that are outside the standard scope.
  • Property Swaps Administration Fee: For administrative tasks related to property swaps, including additional valuations.
  • Issuance of NOC (No Objection Certificate): Required for certain legal and property transactions.
  • Retention Charge: Applied when there is a need to retain certain documents or services.
  • Request for Other Letters: Fees for issuing customized letters or documents related to the mortgage.
  • Cheque Return Charges: Applied if a payment cheque is returned due to insufficient funds or other reasons.

Recurring Fees

Recurring fees occur at various times throughout the loan’s life, depending on specific actions or requirements:

  • Total and Partial Prepayment Charges: If you choose to pay off a portion or the entire loan before its maturity, these charges apply.
  • Late Payment Fees: Incurred when mortgage payments are delayed beyond the due date.
  • Loan Re-Scheduling Fee: Charged when altering the loan’s original terms and conditions after agreement.
  • Liability Certificate: Issued periodically or on request, stating the borrower's outstanding liability with the lender.

These fees are an integral part of the mortgage process in the UAE and can affect the overall cost and repayment schedule of the loan. Potential borrowers should discuss these fees in detail with their lender to fully understand their financial implications and ensure there are no surprises during the loan term.

Switching Home Mortgage in the UAE

Switching your home mortgage, also known as refinancing, is a process where you move your existing mortgage to a new lender that offers better terms or rates. This can be beneficial for homeowners who want to take advantage of lower interest rates, reduce their monthly payments, or adjust the term of their loan.

In the UAE, the decision to refinance should take into account several factors including the cost of refinancing, the difference in interest rates, and the financial stability of the new lender. It is important to calculate the break-even point to determine how long it will take to recover the costs associated with switching.

Before proceeding, homeowners should obtain a 'liability letter' from their current lender that details the outstanding mortgage amount and any applicable early settlement fees. You should then compare the terms offered by various banks and financial institutions, focusing on interest rates, loan terms, and any additional fees or penalties. Legal fees, valuation fees, and mortgage registration fees are common expenses during this process. Consulting with a mortgage advisor can also provide insights and guidance tailored to your specific financial situation, ensuring that the switch leads to tangible benefits.

FAQ on Mortgage and Home Loan Rates in the Dubai & UAE

1. What is the definition of a mortgage loan?

A mortgage loan is a type of loan used to finance the purchase of real estate, where the property itself serves as collateral for the loan.

2. How does one become eligible for a mortgage loan in the UAE?

Eligibility for a mortgage loan in the UAE typically requires a stable income, a good credit history, and meeting the minimum age and salary requirements set by the lender.

3. What varieties of mortgage loans are offered in the UAE?

In the UAE, mortgage loans can be fixed-rate, variable-rate, or Islamic home financing facilities, among others.

4. What is the minimum down payment needed for a mortgage loan in the UAE?

A minimum down payment of 20% of the property's value is generally required for a mortgage loan in the UAE.

5. Which factors affect mortgage interest rates in the UAE?

Mortgage interest rates in the UAE are influenced by the Emirates Interbank Offered Rate (EIBOR), the borrower's creditworthiness, and market conditions.

6. What documentation is necessary for applying for a mortgage loan?

Applying for a mortgage loan requires documents such as identification, proof of income, bank statements, and property documents.

7. What are the fees and charges associated with mortgage loans in the UAE?

Mortgage loans in the UAE come with various fees and charges, including processing fees, valuation fees, and possibly early settlement penalties.

8. Is it possible to prepay a mortgage loan in the UAE, and are there penalties

Yes, you can prepay your mortgage loan in the UAE, but be aware that some lenders may charge early settlement penalties.

9. What is the duration of the mortgage application process in the UAE?

The mortgage application process in the UAE can vary but generally takes a few weeks to complete, depending on the lender and the completeness of the application.

10.  What are the consequences of defaulting on a mortgage loan in the UAE?

Defaulting on a mortgage loan in the UAE can lead to legal action, and the lender may repossess the property.

11.  Can non-residents apply for mortgage loans in the UAE?

Yes, non-residents can apply for mortgage loans in the UAE, though the terms and conditions may differ from those for residents.

12.  Are there any UAE government initiatives for first-time homebuyers?

The UAE government offers various initiatives and programs to support first-time homebuyers, including favourable loan terms and assistance programs.

13.  What does EIBOR stand for?

EIBOR stands for Emirates Interbank Offered Rate, which is the interest rate charged by banks in the UAE for interbank transactions.

14.  How do the 3-month and 1-month EIBOR rates differ?

The 3-month and 1-month EIBOR rates refer to the interest rates for loans with terms of three months and one month, respectively, reflecting different lending conditions.

15.  What is Islamic Home Financing?

Islamic Home Financing is a Shariah-compliant financing option that does not involve interest payments, instead using profit-sharing or lease-to-own agreements.

16.  What is the borrowing limit for a mortgage in the UAE?

The amount you can borrow on a mortgage in the UAE typically depends on your income, the property value, and the lender's policies.

17.  What is the longest term for a mortgage in the UAE?

Mortgage terms in the UAE can extend up to 25 years, depending on the lender and the borrower's age at the time of loan maturity.

18.  Is it possible to obtain a 100% mortgage in Dubai?

Obtaining a 100% mortgage in Dubai is generally not possible; a minimum down payment is usually required.

19.  Which bank is recommended for applying for a home loan?

Banks such as First Abu Dhabi Bank, Emirates NBD, and Standard Chartered Bank are among the top choices for applying for a home loan in the UAE due to their competitive rates.

20.  Which bank offers the lowest interest rate on home loans?

Banks like First Abu Dhabi Bank, RAK Bank, and Standard Chartered Bank are known for offering some of the lowest interest rates on home loans in the UAE.

21.  What is the minimum salary requirement for obtaining a home loan in the UAE?

The minimum salary requirement for a home loan in the UAE is typically AED 10,000, though some banks may set the threshold at AED 15,000.

22.  Is a mortgage loan identical to a loan against property?

Yes, a mortgage loan is similar to a loan against property, with the key difference being that a mortgage is secured against a property you already own.

23.  Is there a top-up facility available for home loan products?

Yes, many home loan products offer a top-up facility, allowing you to borrow additional funds on your existing loan.

24.  Can anyone use a home loan calculator, and where can one be found?

Home loan calculators are accessible to everyone and can be found on websites like policybazaar.ae or various bank websites for free use.

25.  What is the minimum age requirement for applying for a mortgage loan in the UAE?

Applicants must be at least 21 years old to be eligible for a mortgage loan in the UAE.

26.  Can a co-applicant be added to a mortgage loan application?

Yes, adding a co-applicant to a mortgage loan application is an option, which can help in meeting the income requirements or improving loan terms.

Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or looking to refinance, the UAE offers a variety of mortgage products tailored to meet different needs, from fixed-rate and variable-rate loans to Islamic financing. By carefully assessing your financial situation, exploring government initiatives, and comparing the offerings of various banks, you can make an informed decision that supports your long-term financial stability and helps you achieve your dream of homeownership in the real estate market.


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