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https://www.khairallahlegal.com/uncategorized/landlord-rights-in-dubai/Real estate property rights

At the individual and state levels, where transactions are made possible by a variety of legal and financial processes, real estate property rights are among the most significant terms and pillars of wealth.

The “sale” contract, which allows for the transfer of original and accessory rights to real property as well as other in-kind rights, is the most significant of these transactions.

The laws of buying and selling and property rights differ between countries, so how is the protection of the right of real estate ownership in the UAE?

Real estate property rights in the United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates has long realized the importance of protecting real estate property rights, so it has established federal laws and legislation, and local laws in each emirate, that protect and preserve this right.

Its rational vision was manifested that there is no point in deciding real estate rights if there are no effective means and tools that protect it from assaulting others, whether in good faith or bad faith.

In light of this, the UAE has steadily and rapidly issued several legislations and laws to protect real estate property rights, the most important of which are:

  • The Federal Civil Transactions Act No. 5 of 1985 states that the right is personal, real, or moral.
  • The real rights are the right of ownership, disposition, and use.
  • Ownership is not transferred between the contracting parties except by registration by the provisions of their laws.

 The most important obligation of the seller is to transfer the ownership of the thing sold to the buyer as soon as the sale is completed unless otherwise required by law or agreement.

What legislation has the Emirate of Dubai issued in particular?

In conjunction with federal legislation and laws, the local government in the Emirate of Dubai has issued several legislations regarding the regulation of the real estate registry in the Emirate, whether about completed properties or properties sold off-plan, as the case may be.

You can consult a real estate lawyer in the UAE to help you solve all the issues related to real estate and its investments.

Ways to protect real estate property rights in the UAE:

UAE legal system


real estate property rights in the UAE

There are many types and means of protecting real estate property rights in the UAE, especially if the seller fails to fulfill his obligation to transfer the ownership of the sold property to the buyer, and the most important of these judicial means is:

  1. Validity and enforcement of the sale contract.
  2. Installation property.
  3. Judicial merit lawsuit.

1-  Claim for validity and enforceability of the sale contract

The federal judiciary or the judiciary in the Emirate of Dubai is working on the fact that the claim for validity and enforceability of the sales contract is a claim for the validity of the contract, and it is a means to compel the seller to carry out his obligation to transfer ownership in kind to the buyer.

Under which the buyer obtains a judgment that takes the place of the registration of the contract in the transfer of ownership, and this lawsuit is filed if the seller refrains from implementing his obligation to transfer ownership and perform the necessary actions for that.

The suit for validity and enforceability of the sales contract is a personal suit, in which the buyer relies on his right generated by the unregistered sales contract. It is also Real estate property rights suit, the objective of which is to obtain a right in kind over real estate property, in addition to being a substantive suit dealing with the reality of the contract, its extent, and its enforcement.

 The ruling issued in it is considered a definitive ruling, not a constituent ruling, as it examines the basis of the seller’s ownership of the thing sold, then examines the conditions for the validity of the sales contract, its elements, and what is related to the payment of the price, and so on.

 If the court is certain of all of the above, it shall issue a ruling establishing the validity and enforceability of the contract.

Does the referee take the place of registration?

This provision serves as the registration that preserves for the buyer the right of ownership of the sold property and protects it from forms of infringement, whether by multiple sales of the same property by the seller, or seizure by the creditors of the original owner of the property (seller).

2-Proprietary installation:

The claim to establish ownership is the claim to obtain a permanent right that does not fall by simply not using it, no matter how long the time, as the opponent acquires it if he meets the conditions for seizing the property for a long period that grants him ownership

The Civil Code stipulates that whoever acquires a movable or immovable property without being its owner or acquires a real right over a movable or immovable property without this right being his own, he may acquire the ownership of the thing or the real right if his possession continues without interruption for fifteen years.

3- Merit claim

A merit suit is a form of legal and judicial protection of real estate property rights .

  •   Definition of a merit claim:

It is a lawsuit filed by the real estate owner demanding to prove his ownership of the property for himself, whether the property is in his possession or outside his possession.

This lawsuit is subject to the general rules of litigation, and the jurisdiction in it is transferred to the real estate site court as a new procedure aimed at claiming ownership of the property in favor of the plaintiff.

  One of the forms of jeopardizing the right of ownership of the sold real estate in the event of the sale of real estate with unregistered contracts as a result of the seller’s failure to fulfill his obligations to transfer the ownership of the sold real estate is the form of the seller’s creditor taking possession of all or part of the sold real estate.

An example of the measures taken in the UAE to protect property rights

For the legislator to protect the right of the buyer (the owner) of the property that is being seized for not completing the procedures for transferring its ownership and in support of the procedures for protecting real property rights in the UAE, Article 166 paragraph (1) of Cabinet Resolution No. 57 of 2018 regarding the executive regulations of Federal Law No. (11) of 1992 regarding the Civil Procedures Law, as:

A third party may request the invalidity of the execution procedures with a request for entitlement to the seized property, or part of it, through a lawsuit filed in the usual procedures before the competent court, in which the distrainer creditor and the creditors referred to in Article (150) of the said regulation and the debtor, possessor or guarantor in kind shall litigate.

The court shall decide, in the first session, to stop the sale procedures if the lawsuit file contains an accurate statement of the evidence of ownership or the facts of possession on which the lawsuit is based, and the supporting documents are attached to it.

Validity of the sale contract for the year 2005

In the latest clear judicial rulings obtained by Khairallah Advocates and Legal Consultants, in favor of one of its clients, the esteemed Dubai Court of Appeal issued a commitment to the ruling of the esteemed Dubai Court of Cassation, a clear ruling on the validity and enforceability of the sale contract that dates back to 2005 and lifts the executive seizure signed on the real estate unit he purchased Unit owner (office client) since 2005.

The seller failed to transfer the ownership and register the sales contract, and one of the seller’s creditors seized that unit, and after the Khairallah Law Firm and Legal Consultations adopted the case for defending the rights of his client.

   The office submitted to the court the supporting documents proving the validity of the contract, payment of the full price,e and possession of the unit, which were seized despite all that to one of the seller’s creditors.

Despite the foregoing, the judiciary rejected the claim of validity and enforceability of the sale contract and lifting the seizure, but Khairallah’s office, out of its belief in the right of its client and its belief in the justice of the judiciary, and the importance of preserving real estate property rights in the UAE.

 Therefore, he struggled to defend the property rights of his client until he had what he wanted, and the Dubai Real Estate Court of Appeal issued its clear and just ruling on the validity and enforceability of the sale contract and lifted the executive seizure of the unit, and consider it as if it had not been

Maher Mahmoud Al Khalaf

Abdultaiyab Bahrainwala

Partner / Senior Lawyer

Abdultaiyab Bahrainwala, LLM, LLB advises on all aspects of UAE Property Laws, Commercial Laws, Corporate Laws, Labour Laws, 

+971 4 427 0842

FAQ about real estate property in the UAE

1-What are the benefits of buying property in UAE?

The benefits of buying property in Dubai

  • fantastic weather Live a year-round sun-kissed lifestyle.
  • tax-free earnings.
  • high quality of life.
  • outstanding infrastructure.
  • Safety.
  • judicious positioning.
  • competitive rental yields and rates.
  • The stable and developed real estate market in Dubai

2-Can non resident buy property in UAE?

Yes, foreigners can buy real estate in Dubai on a freehold basis, including both non-resident investors and expatriate residents. Thanks to this, foreign nationals are now able to buy, sell, or rent their property.

3-What is freehold property in UAE?

In Dubai, having a freehold property entitles the owner to total control over both the house and the ground it is built on. The Dubai Land Department (DLD) issues a title deed for the property and registers the buyer’s name as “landowner” in the registry.

Khairallah Advocates & Legal Consultants works to provide a variety of legal services with experts and experienced lawyers. Do not hesitate to contact our law offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and all emirates in the UAE.