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Dubai Property Law Signals Further Growth for the Region

In a landmark move the Dubai Government has issued a long awaited law that legalises property ownership by foreigners. It also enables foreign purchasers to profit from renting their property out.

Until now property ownership was limited to residents of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other nationals of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Foreigners who bought property in Dubai’s booming real estate market did so indirectly, through the individual developer who was ultimately controlled by Dubai’s Government and its Ruler. “This new law reconfirms Dubai’s commitment to investors” commented Danielle Barrett of Dubai Select. “It positions the Emirate as a stable and long-term investment which will undoubtedly encourage others to look at purchasing property within the state”.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, issued law No. 7 which states that “foreigners can become freehold property owners in areas designated by the ruler” and that “they can also derive benefit from their property or rent it out for a period not exceeding 99 years.”

Industry officials have hailed His Highness, saying that the Government has stood by investors who have purchased property within freehold communities. With the new law now paving the way for expatiate homeowners to register their properties in their names with the Dubai Lands and Properties Department. Who will also be responsible for documenting property rights and their amendments, of which attestable evidence will be held that cannot be legally challenged except in the case of forgery.

The law will be followed by a number of new bylaws that will identify the freehold areas in Dubai and determine the registration fees and procedures. It is expected that His Highness will issue a decree shortly defining these areas.

The new law which includes 11 chapters comprising 29 articles in the Arabic language and covers issues of definitions, general rules, the implementation system of property hold, and the jurisdictions of the Dubai Lands and Properties Department. Dubai Select can confirm that they have received a copy of this law and will aim to have an authorised translation soon.

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