Owning Properties by Expatriates in Abu Dhabi
The Government of Abu Dhabi continues to support the real estate market through the implementation of a series of laws, such as Law No. 19 of 2005 Concerning the Regulation of the Real Estate Sector, which has allowed expatriates to own properties in the form of floors and apartments.
The Abu Dhabi Government allows expatriates to own and trade in properties, except lands, through four main systems.
Expatriates are granted ownership deeds of residential units for a period of 99 years, which allow them to fully dispose of the apartments and villas they buy (land is not included).
Expatriates can own residential units for a period of 50 years renewable by the agreement of the parties for a similar period. Masataha contracts entitle the owner to enjoy the use, construction or alteration of the property within a specified period of time.
Expatriates can own residential units for 99 years. The Usufruct contract entitles the owner to enjoy the use of the property and its facilities without being able to change it.
The right to lease units for an initial period, not less than 25 years.
There are nine areas in Abu Dhabi, where foreigners are allowed to own real estate properties: Yas Island, Saadiyat, Reem, Mariya, Lulu, Al Raha Beach, Sayh Al Sedairah, Al Reef and Masdar City. The most popular areas among foreigners are: Saadiyat Island, Reem Island and Al Raha Beach.
The Island consists of six areas, each of which has unique features and characteristics that distinguish them from other regions in a rare natural environment. The most important of these is Saadiyat Cultural District, which hosts the Sheikh Zayed National Museum, Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Museum.
Al Reem Island
The island has many attractions such as hotels, marinas, restaurants, parks, entertainment centers, art galleries and more
Al Raha Beach
Al Raha Beach consists of 11 areas, each of which has special advantages that distinguish them from other neighbouring areas. Al Raha Beach has many hotels, marinas, parks, and it is the new gateway to Abu Dhabi.
Buy or Resell a Project Property
Before buying any property that has not yet been built, make sure that the project developer is registered with the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi.
It is also advisable to ensure that the purchase agreement includes the date of delivery and compensation given if the project is not completed by the due date.
If you buy a resale property, you should avoid paying any part of the agreed on amount for purchase without a sale agreement or any other form of contract.
Real Estate Dispute Resolution
Some real estate disputes may arise between developers and investors such as a breach of developers' obligations to complete projects on time. In the event of any disputes, it is advisable to proceed as follows:
- Enquire about the status of the project at the Abu Dhabi City Municipality.
- Contact the project developer to obtain a statement of the project status and the estimated time to complete.
- Ensure payment of all amounts owed to the developer until the date of filing lawsuit with the Abu Dhabi Courts.
Law No. 19 of 2005 Concerning the Regulation of the Real Estate Sector