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Abu Dhabi Allows Foreigners to Own Properties in Investment Areas

Abu Dhabi Allows Foreigners to Own Properties in Investment Areas

Thursday, 18 April, 2019 - 06:45
Abu Dhabi via WAM
Abu Dhabi - Asharq Al-Awsat
Abu Dhabi will now allow all foreigners to own land and property in investment areas on a freehold basis after making changes to its real estate law, state news agency WAM reported on Wednesday.

The United Arab Emirates capital previously limited ownership largely to Emiratis and citizens of the neighbouring Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states.

Ruler of Abu Dhabi, President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has issued a law amending provisions concerning real estate sector in Abu Dhabi.

The new law stipulates amendments regarding the rights to own property, which are limited to three categories. The first being Emirati citizens, natural or legal persons, the second includes public holding companies with ownership not exceeding 49% non-nationals, or the third as any person to whom a decision is issued by the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince or the President of the Executive Council.

Another article stipulates that non-UAE nationals, natural or legal persons, shall have the right to own and acquire all original and in-kind rights in real estate properties located within investment areas.

Also, the amendments include an article which stipulates that the holders of a 'usufruct' or 'musataha' for more than ten years shall have the right, without the consent of the landlord to dispose of the property, including the right of mortgage, however the landlord may not mortgage the property except with the consent of the usufruct or musataha holder. In both cases, the parties may agree otherwise, WAM reported.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, directed Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Executive Committee and Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, to review the emirate's real estate sector development in line with international trends and standards.

The Abu Dhabi Executive Committee raised a proposal to update the Real Property Law, following a study on the emirate's real estate sector, and the holding of a series of meetings with stakeholders, investors and real estate developers, to identify means to develop the sector, and consolidate the status of Abu Dhabi as an investment destination, according to WAM.

Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed said, "Updating the Real Property Law reflects the leadership's support and vision to develop the emirate's economy, with the guidance of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and monitoring of Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, who have both stressed the importance of updating legislation to accelerate economic growth and the development landscape of Abu Dhabi."

He also noted that the amendments will have a positive effect on the real estate sector, and will encourage investors to acquire land in designated investment zones within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, with ample room for development opportunities.

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