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Property in the UAE

Having a home is UAE may be your dream, just like many others. But do you know the federal laws for investing in UAE houses? We bring you some valuable information.

Owing property in UAE implies compliance with strict regulations at the federal level by the UAE Civil Code and by the Code of Civil Procedure. With respect to real estate property, the Emirate of Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah and Umm al Quwain have enacted laws. However, Dubai has enacted a different set of laws/regulations for the DIFC. So if you are planning to invest in UAE property, it is advisable to thoroughly understand the regulations and then take a decision.

To provide a better lifestyle, the Government of Abu Dhabi ensures that they offer funding and choices of housing facilities for the UAE nationals. Even the immigrants/ residents are provided with options of housing facilities. 

If you plan to get a property in UAE, it is important to know both the advantages and disadvantages. Difficulties that the residents might have to face in Sharjah and Ajman might be power cut besides the traffic jam while travelling from Dubai-Sharjah highways. Owing to some difference in property laws amongst the seven the Emirates, the UAE housing and property laws are categorised into various sections listed below:

  1. Modification and Maintenance Permits: These laws cater to any maintenance or modification permits that might be required to renovate the original structure.
  2. Contractors and Consultants: These property laws pertain to the guidelines laid out for the contractors and consultant in real estate markets.
  3. Land Surveying and Evaluation: There is a criteria for evaluation and are subject to change from emirate to Emirate.
  4. Land Transactions: All kinds of land transactions would come under these laws.
  5. Land and Home Allocation: These laws pertain to accreditation, registration of various types of property intended for personal as well as public use.
  6. Building and Construction: Construction and building laws on a plot of land within the UAE are governed by these laws.
  7. Purchasing and Rental: There are different sets of rules for purchasing /rental of properties for immigrants.
  8. Utilities and Maintenance: There are varied facilities that might be required within a property and their regular up-keep.
  9. Farming and Agriculture: These laws are made with an aim to make itself self-sufficient, encouraging farming and agriculture to meet the demands of locals.

Finding property in UAE


It is quite a daunting task to find a property in UAE. We bring to you some of the steps you can follow while choosing a property:

  • Decide your budget
  • Choose a viable option
  • Be careful of any fraudulent activities and choose a reliable real estate agent 
  • Compare the property prices with the market rate
  • Negotiate the commissions or other payments to be made to the real estate agents 
  • Seek legal expertise

As per the new property law amendment, a fee of AED10 would be charged upon every square meter of the land taken for a warehouse as a registration fee, provided the amount does not surpass AED10, 000. This new registration fee is much lower and is applicable on any plot purchased for a warehouse. 

Renting property in UAE


In UAE, it is a common trend to rent out a property. The rent prices depend upon the size of the property such as 1BHK, 2BHK, 3BHK, Studio apartment or a villa. You must be careful about fraudulent real agents, and ensure that tenancy contracts / legal documents are registered in the concerned emirate. In Abu Dhabi, it is mandatory to get the tenancy contracts registered through Tawtheeq. In Dubai, you refer to the RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Agency) card that allows you to identify the authorised real estate agent. 

The Dubai government has adopted Ejairi system to regulate and facilitate the rental market. Once the contract is registered through Ejari, no changes can be made to it. 

Following documents are mandatory in case you are renting out a property in UAE:

  1. ID proof or Emirates ID
  2. Passport copy
  3. Proof of Address
  4. Proof of Residence
  5. Copy of bank statements 
  6. Salary certificate issued by the employer

Mortgages


Raising funds for a property is undoubtedly a difficult task. It is important to weigh the pros and cons, be aware of the UAE property laws and check with the UAE Central Bank before deciding upon a mortgage. The fluctuation in the currency exchange of the GBP and US Dollar must also be considered to ascertain the profitability of the purchase.

You would require the following documents for mortgage: 

  1. Copy of your Passport
  2. ID card or Emirates ID 
  3. Proof of Address
  4. Proof of Residence
  5. Copy of bank statements 
  6. Salary certificate issued by the employer

Your responsibilities as a landlord


You must maintain a contract between you as a landlord and the tenant. It must outline the responsibilities of both the landlord and tenant with regards to maintenance, service repairs, and rental collections, and a lot more.

Visa issuance to property holders in UAE


There are ‘UAE Property Holder’s Visa’ valid up to six months allowing foreign investors some more time in the country to review their property. However, to be able to procure such a type of Visa, the property should be worth 1 million or above with single ownership rights and not company-owned. You must get information about this visa from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs in Dubai or General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs in Abu Dhabi. The Embassy of your specific country too could help you with this matter.