Dubai is still an emerging market for many foreign property investors but buying a property there is not as tricky as it may appear. The government opened up the market three years ago and allowed foreigners to buy property in designated areas. Most projects on the market are in these areas. One of the most popular routes for property investors is to go directly to the major developers such as Emaar Properties, Dubai Properties and Nakheel in Dubai. The trio of developers is partly owned by the government of Dubai. Developers will usually not announce the timetable for their project launch until a few days before the actual sale, so it is advisable for interested buyers to register with their websites first, according to Reeyaz Moosa, chairman of local property agency Property Plus Real Estate in Dubai. However, overseas investors still face the problem of reaching Dubai in time for the sale. Most developers will allow a buyer to purchase only one unit, according to Mr Moosa. Another way for foreign buyers to buy Dubai properties is through international property shows hosted by developers. Depending on the project, down payments on a property in Dubai can range from as low as 10 per cent to as much as 40 per cent. In terms of financing, most developers have their own finance or mortgage arms for buyers. Buyers can also use local and global banks, such as HSBC, to arrange their financing. The length of the mortgages ranges from 15 to 20 years, developers said. According to an HSBC spokeswoman in Hong Kong, however, the bank's international office in the SAR is unable to provide a mortgage facility for countries other than in the British market. That means that, in effect, you have to arrange the mortgage via HSBC Middle East. As a tax-free centre Dubai has no capital gains tax or any property-related taxes.