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GAME CHANGER MOVE

Expats can now own freehold property in Abu Dhabi zones

ABU DHABI, April 17, 2019

Abu Dhabi government, in a landmark move, has declared that all foreigners will be entitled to own the freehold of land and properties which they purchase in investment zones. Previously, this was only permitted for UAE and GCC nationals, said a report.

In his capacity as the Ruler of Abu Dhabi, President HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on Wednesday (April 17) issued a law amending provisions of Law No 19 of 2005 concerning real estate sector in Abu Dhabi, reported state news agency Wam.

The new law stipulates amendments to Articles 3 and 4 of the 'Real Property Law', it added.

Under this new law, residential units within these zones will be registered under Abu Dhabi's freehold law, with property ownership deeds issued to investors, according to a statement issued by the Government of Abu Dhabi.

Previously, foreign investors in Abu Dhabi property were generally limited to leasehold arrangements with 99-year leases.

The Article 3 (i) stipulates the rights to own property 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.

While Article 3 (ii) 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, said the Wam report.

As for Article 4, the amendment 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 cannot mortgage the property except with the consent of the usufruct or musataha holder. In both cases, the parties may agree otherwise, it added.

Commending today's announcement, Aldar Properties CEO Talal Al Dhiyebi said: "This is a game changing announcement for Abu Dhabi, and we applaud yet another insightful policy decision by the government that allows expatriates to be able to buy freehold properties in investment zones."

The latest changes, he stated, not only boost the real estate market but also have far-reaching impacts on the broader economy, and further increase Abu Dhabi’s diversification to non-hydrocarbon industries.

"We are already reaping the rewards of the recent initiatives and seeing a positive shift in sentiment, evident by strong sales of over Dh2 billion achieved for our two latest plot developments, Alreeman and LEA, which demonstrates strength and resilience in the market," he added.

"This will not only further drive the maturity of Abu Dhabi’s real estate market, but will also increase transparency and provide clarity of title for property owners, increasing long term investment, injecting more liquidity into the market and encouraging longer term residency," he added.

Earlier this year, Aldar launched its Alreeman project in Al Shamka, an investment zone located adjacent to Abu Dhabi Airport.  

The project was fully sold in a matter of days, generating Dh1.6 billion of sales. Last week, Aldar launched Lea on Yas Island, which generated Dh400 million in sales to date.-TradeArabia News Service




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