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Law, Legal Steps and More

Dubai has evolved from a once arid desert landscape to a vibrant urban landscape adorned with towering skyscrapers and innovative monuments. More than just a spectacle of luxury and innovation, Dubai has firmly established itself as a nexus for commerce, finance and luxury living.

But there is another side to its appeal: its booming real estate market. For expats tired of the rental grind or international investors looking for promising ventures, Dubai’s real estate sector attracts both its stability and potential.

With a strong economy, varied real estate options and promising rental yields, the city presents a unique investment landscape. Furthermore, with the government’s strict but clear regulations, property acquisition is transparent and reliable. From opulent high-rise apartments offering panoramic city views to serene suburban homes, Dubai offers real estate options to suit diverse preferences.

Through this article, you will learn the nuances of property laws, essential steps, and broader considerations when purchasing property in Dubai. In conclusion, you will appreciate that an investment in Dubai real estate is not just about securing a piece of this dynamic emirate, but also about taking advantage of a lifestyle that is both aspirational and achievable.


The following are the laws set by the government to buy property in Dubai:

  • Law No. 7 of 2006 on Real Estate Registration in the Emirate of Dubai

This Law regulates the registration of real estate and property rights in the Emirate of Dubai. Establishes the right of UAE nationals and other Gulf Cooperation Council nationals (and companies wholly owned by such nationals) to own real estate anywhere in Dubai and the right of foreign citizens to own property rights absolute ownership of real estate (as well as usufructs and leases of up to 99 years) within areas designated for foreign ownership by the Ruler of Dubai. The Law also regulates the registration of real estate in Dubai in the Real Estate Registry in the Dubai Land Department (DLD) as a guarantee to the holders of real rights and specifies the powers of the DDL Register and update all relevant entries in the Real Estate Registry.

  • Regulation No. 3 of 2006 on the Designation of Areas in which Non-UAE Citizens May Own Real Estate in the Emirate of Dubai

This Regulation identifies areas where foreign nationals (other than UAE or GCC nationals) may own freehold lands and properties and other real property rights such as usufruct and long-term leasehold rights for a period of up to 99 years (“Designated Areas”). Other regulations have identified additional designated areas for freehold ownership by foreign nationals.

The Designated Areas for foreign ownership of real estate are determined by the Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai through decrees and regulations issued from time to time (“Designated Areas”).

Below is a list of the most important Designated Areas:

The Palm Jumeirah

The islands of the world

Downtown Dubai

Burj Khalifa

Old Town

Business Bay

Dubai Marina

Hills of the Emirates

Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT)

Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR)

Discovery Gardens

Arab ranches

Mirdif (specified plots)

Dubai Investment Park (DIP)

Falcon City

Dubai Sports City

Dubai Motor City

International city

Jumeirah Islands and Jumeirah Town

Property titles are issued by the Dubai Land Department in the emirate.

He Dubai Land Department (DLD) It is the official government body that oversees the buying and selling of land and property in the emirate

When purchasing property in Dubai, it is recommended to follow the following steps in the sequence described below, as recommended by the Dubai Land Department (DLD):

The buyer must request that the seller or developer join them in the Dubai Land Department (DLD) or provide a power of attorney. This is to ensure that they can verify that the property is actually owned by the seller or developer and that it is free of mortgages, liens or other financial encumbrances.

Drafting and signing a purchase and sale contract

Before finalizing the purchase and sale agreement, it is essential to carry out a thorough inspection of the property if it is already completed. Both parties must use the Dubai Land Department Standard Form F for the contract of sale and may add additional terms and conditions, as long as they do not contradict the standard provisions. If a real estate broker is involved in facilitating the transaction, the standard DDL The broker designation form must also be signed by the appropriate party.

Obtain a No Objection Certificate from the Developer

It is mandatory to obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the project developer, provided there is no homeowners’ association, to confirm that the seller has cleared all outstanding service charges related to the property you wish to purchase. This also ensures that there are no violations of jointly owned property rules. The developer may charge an administration fee, which could be around AED 500, for issuing the NOC.

Attend the Registrar’s Office for domain transfer

The Dubai Land Department (DLD) carries out its property registration activities with the assistance of several certified trust officers. In the administrator’s office, the registrar reviews all the necessary documents from both the seller and the buyer and enters them into a computer system that is connected to the Department of Land and Property. Once approval is granted online by the Dubai Land Department, a new title deed is issued in the name of the buyer. If all required documents are submitted in a timely manner and are in proper order, the transfer of ownership is usually completed the same day.

Some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Property owners must be present at the Dubai Land Department Registrar (either personally or through a representative with power of attorney).
  2. Companies must accredit authorized persons for real estate transactions, either through reliable corporate documents, power of attorney or partner resolution.
  3. Documents in foreign languages ​​must be accompanied by certified translations into Arabic.
  4. Record real estate transactions within 60 days of signing the sales contract to avoid additional fines and fees.
  5. Changes in the assets of the company that owns the property require notification to the DDL and payment of the corresponding fees.
  6. Foreign companies cannot directly own real estate, but can do so through subsidiaries of Dubai-based free zones such as Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) and Dubai Multi Commodities Center (DMCC).
  7. Prior approval of the DDL It is essential for transactions involving companies registered abroad.
  8. Only deal with brokers registered with the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) to ensure legitimacy. Click here to view the list.


For a hassle-free property purchase in Dubai, here is a concise breakdown of the key financial responsibilities and additional fees to anticipate:

  1. DLD rates: 4% of the property price, usually paid by the buyer, plus administrative fees (AED 580 for apartments and offices, AED 430 for land, AED 40 for off-plan). Must be paid within 60 days.
  2. Registration fees: AED 2,000 + 5% VAT for properties under AED 500,000; AED 4,000 + 5% VAT for properties over AED 500,000.
  3. Mortgage registration fees: Up to 0.25% of the loan amount + AED 290. Only applicable if purchased with a bank loan.
  4. Agency fees: 2% of the property price + 5% VAT, only if you buy through an agent.
  5. Transportation rates: Varies between AED 6,000 and AED 10,000 to ensure proper documentation.
  6. Security deposit: Around 10% of the property price, charged by a RERA registered broker to guarantee the purchase.
  7. Mortgage Related Fees: Mortgage processing fees (1% of loan amount + 5% VAT), property valuation fees (AED 2,500 to AED 3,500 + 5% VAT) and NOC fees (AED 500 to AED 5,000) if the mortgage is registered.
  8. Sure: Optional but recommended. Home insurance costs approximately AED 1,000 per year; Life insurance represents between 0.4% and 0.8% of the declining loan per year.
  9. Property service charge: Paid annually for property maintenance and services, amount based on RERA rate per square foot.
  10. DEWA rates: Ranging from AED 2,000 for an apartment to AED 4,000 for a villa, depending on the property type and area.

In conclusion, jumping into the Dubai real estate market could be one of the most lucrative and life-enhancing decisions. Although navigating the legal landscape and understanding the associated fees may seem daunting, these steps are carefully outlined and supported by the Dubai Land Departmentmaking it simpler than it seems.

Don’t let the initial complexities discourage you; The rewards, both tangible and intangible, make it a worthwhile endeavor. Your opportunity to be part of Dubai’s growth story is just one well-planned decision away.

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