The government of Dubai recently issued a long-awaited property law legalizing foreign ownership of properties in pre-designated areas in the emirate. The law reaffirms a landmark change of policy and reflects the drive of the Dubai government towards the liberalization of its land ownership policies.
In April 2008, three months after it was enacted by the government of Dubai, Law 27/2007 on Ownership of Jointly Owned Properties in the Emirate of Dubai (the Strata Law) came into effect. The new Strata Law represents yet another landmark move in the government’s drive towards streamlining the local real estate market and adopting international best practices.
The Law Regulating the Interim Real Estate Register in the Emirate of Dubai recently came into effect. The law aims to boost investor confidence and protection within the Dubai real estate market by making pre-registration with the Land Department mandatory for all off-plan sales contracts for real estate units.
The Dubai Land Department is undergoing a major restructuring process. The government has established the Real Estate Regulatory Agency, a new regulatory body affiliated to the department. The agency will mainly oversee the escrow accounts which were introduced by Law 8/2007 to safeguard buyers' payments in special accounts.
Pursuant to Article 17 of the UAE Federal Civil Transactions Law and in accordance with the UAE Civil Code, the law of nationality of the decedent is applied to inheritance issues. However, Article 27 of the Civil Transactions Law clearly stipulates that the law of nationality of the decedent may not apply if the provisions of such law conflict with Islamic Shari’a rules or UAE public policies.
The Dubai government is driven towards ensuring the sustainability and continuing growth of the real estate market. The Decree on Rentals in the Emirate of Dubai and the Decree Appointing a Special Judicial Committee on Tenancy Dispute Resolution represent yet another move towards streamlining the local real estate market.