Dubai may be one of the hottest property market in the world, but you will be surprised how far half a million dollars will still get you compared to other global cities.
As a foreigner, the United Arab Emirates allows you to purchase property in certain freehold areas. That leaves you with two basic strategy options.
Option 1: Go off-plan
The first option is to go off-plan with an established developer. Although financing will be hard to get for something that has not been built, you won't need to put down a lot of cash at the beginning anyway. Advantages include getting more floor space for your bag of cash, which the banks are unlikely to help you with.
One show home CNBC visited boasted 1,650 square feet of space in a one bedroom apartment surrounded by lush gardens. It will take time until you get to live in it, with delivery usually two to three years away. You will also struggle to find a bank that provides a mortgage for something that has not been built.
Your commute is likely to be longer in the mornings; the unit seen was about a 15-minute drive from downtown Dubai.
"A good chunk of our clients do flip their properties throughout the construction period with very nice returns," Darryl David of Smith & Ken, told CNBC. "You can be looking at about 13-15 percent return in 6-9 months".