Dubai: Registration of freehold property gets under way

Dubai: Registration of freehold property gets under way

Dubai: Dubai Land Department has started registration of freehold properties for non-GCC residents, a source told Gulf News.

A decree identifying Dubai’s freehold zones has been officially approved and could be accepted as law by the end of the month. But according to the source, the process of issuing title deeds in individual names is in fact under way with many residents bearing official documents declaring the land in their name.

More than 13,000 families have already moved to their “freehold” homes since Dubai opened its property to expatriate ownership in 2002.

In March, Dubai issued Property Registration Law (No 7) that legalised freehold ownership of land and property to UAE and GCC nationals. According to Article (4) of the law, non-GCC citizens are able to purchase freehold property in areas determined and specified by the Ruler of Dubai.

Mohammad Sultan Thani, director of development and marketing administration at Dubai Land Department, said a decree identifying Dubai’s freehold zones has been officially agreed by the Ruler’s Office and is awaiting official publication.

He said developments built by major real estate companies such as Nakheel, Dubai Holding and Emaar will be included, and added, “We are not expecting any major omissions”.

Although he could not confirm the exact date of publication, Thani said the decree was weeks, rather than months, away.

According to a leading Dubai developer, a discrepancy among buyers over the legal rights they expect and what is in fact the current reality is damaging the real estate sector.

“Every week and month that the law remains unclear it shakes the credibility of the market, said Mohammad Nimer, director of MAG Group.

Nadeem A Shaikh, manager of Better Homes’ legal division, added: “Hopefully [the decree will be passed] very soon. The announcement would alleviate uncertainty for all those buyers who bought property in popular areas such as Emirates Hills and Dubai Marina on the reliance that these “zones” would eventually become freehold.

“Buyers currently believe they can register their property immediately and that the transfer fee they have already paid will cover this cost.”

The Land Department is planning to set up a temporary office near Dubai’s main residential developments to cope with the rush to register when the decree is passed, while a new premises is being built in Bur Dubai. The process is subject to charges from the Land Department.

Source: Gulf News

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