International Investment


Dutch investment into the Dubai property market

For Dutch investors seeking to diversify their portfolios and capitalise on emerging global markets, Dubai stands out as a vibrant and promising opportunity. Known for its breathtaking architectural marvels and investor-friendly policies, this emirate has quickly established itself as a prime investment destination. With an unmatched, strategic location at the crossroads of East and West, Dubai offers a gateway to the lucrative and high-potential markets of the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Fueled by strong demand from international investors and a post-pandemic economic revival, the emirate’s real estate landscape in particular, has witnessed a remarkable resurgence. From luxurious waterfront villas to high-end urban properties, Dubai’s offerings cater to a diverse range of investor’s tastes. Favourable regulations, including new residency visa programs and tax laws, further enhance the city’s appeal to foreign investors.

As the Netherlands and the UAE continue to strengthen economic ties, now is an opportune time for Dutch entrepreneurs and investors to explore the various property investment opportunities that Dubai presents. 

Dubai’s real estate market versus the Netherlands

While the Netherlands is celebrated for its established and stable real estate market, Dubai presents a dramatic contrast in terms of growth potential and enticing investor incentives. The emirate’s real estate landscape has experienced a remarkable transformation over the past decade, positioning itself as a global investment hotspot.

Dubai ranks fourth globally for ultra-prime home sales (properties over $10 million), with 431 such transactions in 2023 alone. This places the emirate ahead of established markets like Hong Kong and Geneva as a pioneer in the global real estate market.

Dubai’s prime residential prices surged by an impressive 20.1% annually in 2023 – the highest globally. Comparatively, Dutch residential prices fell by 2.8% over the same period based on CBS figures. This disparity highlights Dubai’s potential for accelerated capital appreciation.

Another key advantage for Dubai lies in its relative affordability in the luxury segment. Estimates suggest that $1 million translates to approximately 1,130 square feet of prime residential space in Dubai, roughly three times more than London or Singapore.

While stability remains a strength of the property market in the Netherlands, Dubai’s impressive growth trajectory and pricing advantages in the luxury segment make it an attractive alternative for Dutch investors seeking higher returns and diversification.

What do Dutch investors need to know?

Dutch investors looking at Dubai’s real estate market will find strong tailwinds fueling demand and a favourable policy environment that offers stability and liquidity.

Strong demand drivers

Dubai’s popularity as a global investment hub continues to rise, backed by several factors driving demand for its real estate. The emirate’s strategic location, business-friendly environment and high living standards have attracted a rapidly growing expatriate population, many of whom are seeking high-end residential properties. 

Additionally, the UAE’s successful economic diversification efforts and investments in sectors like technology, finance and tourism have further bolstered the inflow of skilled professionals and entrepreneurs, increasing demand for homes in the process. 

Favourable government policies

For Dutch investors, Dubai’s real estate market offers enticing opportunities through freehold and long-term leasehold ownership options. Another major draw comes from the UAE’s tax-friendly policies, which includes zero taxes on personal income, capital gains and rental income for expatriates. 

Market stability and liquidity

Dubai’s real estate market has consistently demonstrated resilience and liquidity, even during periods of global economic uncertainty. The government’s proactive measures, such as establishing a regulatory framework for real estate investment trusts (REITs), have further strengthened market transparency and investor protection.

Furthermore, the UAE’s political and economic stability, coupled with its status as a safe haven in the region, has fostered a steady influx of capital from investors seeking to secure long-term returns. Access to such liquidity strengthens Dutch investors ability to readily enter and exit the market, mitigating potential risks associated with illiquid assets.

Popular investment zones

Dubai offers a diverse array of investment zones catering to various preferences and budgets for Dutch real estate investors. Here are some of the most sought-after areas:

Business Bay

A contemporary commercial and residential hub, Business Bay is a prime location for anyone seeking the busy city lifestyle. This district boasts an impressive skyline of towering skyscrapers, offering a mix of luxury apartments, offices and retail spaces. Its location near Dubai’s major hubs, such as Dubai Design District and Dubai International Financial Centre, adds to its appeal. Business Bay offers an above average return on investment (ROI) at around 6.20%.

Downtown Dubai

Home to the iconic Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, Downtown Dubai is the epitome of luxury living. It’s a prestigious neighbourhood featuring high-end residential towers, lavish hotels and the famous Dubai Mall. With its central location and proximity to top attractions, Downtown Dubai is a coveted investment destination for those seeking a premium lifestyle experience. Investors can expect a return of around 6%, with potential for higher returns on short-term rentals.

Dubai Studio City

Ideal for investors interested in the media and entertainment industries, Dubai Studio City is a thriving community dedicated to these sectors. This free zone offers a range of residential options, from apartments to villas, catering to professionals working in the nearby studios and media production facilities. High rental yields reaching 10.9% per annum are achievable, making it especially attractive to investors.

The Greens

For those seeking a more family-friendly environment, The Greens is a popular choice. This well-established community features a mix of low-rise apartments and villas, surrounded by lush greenery and recreational facilities. Its central location and excellent infrastructure make it an attractive investment option. Features low-rise residential apartment buildings with an ROI of up to 10.2% per annum. It is known for its serene lifestyle and greenery.

Dubai Marina

Offering a waterfront lifestyle, Dubai Marina is a prime destination for Dutch investors seeking luxury apartments and villas with stunning marina views. This vibrant neighbourhood boasts a wide range of amenities, including world-class dining, shopping and entertainment options, making it a highly desirable investment zone. Offers an average ROI for studios of 6.4% per annum and for 5-bedroom villas, it can exceed 9.6%

Economic and investment ties between Dubai and the Netherlands

The economic relationship between Dubai and the Netherlands is strong and diversified, built on a foundation of trade and investment. The Netherlands is among the United Arab Emirates’ top trading partners, with UAE exports to the Netherlands valued at $2.76 billion in 2022, primarily in sectors like aluminium, machinery and chemicals.

To further strengthen ties, the two nations established a joint economic committee in 2021 to explore business opportunities and attract mutual investments across various industries. The Netherlands is a significant source of foreign direct investment in the UAE, with over 350 Dutch companies operating in the country, particularly in sectors like water, energy, food and infrastructure.

This multifaceted economic relationship provides a strong foundation for Dutch investors to capitalise on Dubai’s real estate market, benefiting from the longstanding ties, business-friendly environment and commitment to innovation and sustainability.

Tax benefits of Dubai property investment

One of the major draws for Dutch investors looking at Dubai’s real estate market is the highly favourable tax regime in the United Arab Emirates. The UAE doesn’t levy personal income tax on individuals, including foreign nationals and expat residents. Consequently, Dutch investors can enjoy tax-free rental income and capital gains from their Dubai properties.

Additionally, there is no property tax or wealth tax imposed on real estate investments in Dubai. This typically translates into significant tax savings compared to many other global investment hubs, where ownership and income from rental properties are heavily taxed.

The UAE also has double taxation avoidance agreements in place with the Netherlands to prevent income from being taxed twice. Using these tax benefits, in addition to Dubai’s strong market fundamentals, can enhance returns for real estate investors from the Netherlands looking to grow their wealth through geographic diversification.

Visa opportunities for Dutch investors buying property in Dubai

To further incentivise foreign real estate investment, the UAE has introduced attractive residency visa programs linked to property ownership. Dutch nationals investing in Dubai properties above a certain threshold value can obtain long-term residential visas.

For instance, buying a property worth AED 750,000 million entitles the investor to a three-year renewable residency visa. Anyone investing AED 2 million or more, automatically qualifies for the prized 10-year golden visa.

These visas provide Dutch investors with the flexibility to live, work and conduct business in Dubai while enjoying the city’s cosmopolitan lifestyle. They also facilitate hassle-free travel across the UAE and wider GCC region.

Vsa incentives, combined with Dubai’s tax-friendly policies and market growth prospects, create a compelling value proposition for Dutch real estate investors seeking global diversification.


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