This brief guide aims to provide prospective real Estate investors with adequate information, so that they make the best decisions with their money. Dubai is hot for prime real estate investment right now, and will continue to be for at least the next two decades. In this article, we shall talk about who can own real estate in Dubai, and where. This article also aims to explain a few things related to DLD (Dubai Land Department) and RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority) in the process.
Who can hold property in Dubai?
The DLD is authorized to register rights over Property in Dubai. This includes various things such as freehold titles, leased properties, musataha on property, etc. All UAE nationals and companies that are completely UAE based, and founded by UAE nationals can transact in property anywhere they want, except for a few restricted areas. Public companies from UAE can buy property anywhere they like in Dubai.
Local companies with UAE citizens as founders are allowed to purchase property and land anywhere in Dubai. However, this isn’t the case with companies with non-UAE founders or shareholders. Such companies can only buy property in ‘Designated Areas’ according to Article 4 of Property Ownership Law.
As per the Article 4 of Property Ownership Law is in compliance with DLD policies that have not been formally published and are subject to change on regular basis. Here are few of the regulations set out by the DLD currently:
- Few of the foreign offshore companies are not allowed to own a property in designated areas. The mentioned companies who already own the property before these regulations were rolled out are allowed to make real property dispositions in respect of properties already owned but are not allowed for any further property acquisitions.
- The above-mentioned companies to won a property in designated areas can establish a new company under JAFZA or in any other free zone approved by DLD and enter into real estate transactions.
- Free zone companies incorporated in other Emiratesare not allowed to own a property in designated areas. The mentioned companies who already own the property before these regulations were rolled out are allowed to make real property dispositions in respect of properties already owned but are not allowed for any further property acquisitions.
- Companies incorporated in the DIFC are now allowed to own real estate property under DIFC as per the recent memorandum between DLD and DIFC.
- Foreign trust or funds cannot own a property in Dubai.
- UAE/GCC nationals and onshore companies wholly owned by them whether LLP, sole proprietary are allowed to purchase real estate in individual capacity.
- Non-UAE/GCC nationals are allowed to buy property directly in their individual capacity in the Designated Areas.
- Non-UAE/GCC nationals and/or companies can register themselves as a free zone company such as the JAFZA and other free zones approved by DLD to register the real estate to purchase real estate within the Designated Areas only in the name of the Dubai free zone company so established.
Before you attempt to make a real estate investment, it is better to verify whether or not you/your company can own property in Dubai. It is very important to be aware of recent changes in the DLD’s instructions and related procedures when it comes to owning property. This can either be done online by visiting the DLD’s website, or offline, by visiting one of their offices.
Since we are close to the Expo 2020 and Vision 20121, Dubai is booming in the real estate. With the upcoming new projects, most of the Dubai is available for foreign investors. Hence, DLD is continuously revising the rules and regulations in respect of real estate to make them more investor friendly.
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