Property Purchase in Dubai
With effect from January 2011, the Land Department issued new guidelines stating that if a property was to be transferred to or acquired in a corporate name, then it had to be owned by a JAFZA Offshore company first. Foreigners may buy property in Dubai in the various designated areas. The JAFZA Offshore company could then be owned by (say) a BVI Offshore company. There are now two options available for owning property in Dubai:
Ownership Of Property In Individual Name
Nothing has changed where an individual wishes to acquire a property in Dubai in his /her own name. Here, you simply find the property, negotiate the price and liaise with the Estate Agent, vendor, the Master Developer and the Dubai Land Department in registering the property in your name which will appear on the Title Registration Document. If buying from a developer, generally they will deal with the registration process. If buying on the secondary market then you will need to be involved in the registration process and Alpha Management Limited can help if requested.
Ownership In Corporate Name
We recommend that all property should be held through an offshore company. The local probate process will apply in the event of death in the UAE on all assets wherever situated if directly held by an individual. UAE succession laws apply automatically to Muslims. The same provisions will also apply to non-Muslims unless you opt out of the natural succession laws through a properly executed Will. Immovable assets however (ie: real estate) are automatically subject to the UAE succession laws if held directly by an individual irrespective of the existence of a Will. With a properly set up structure, you can avoid being subject to the local probate process and the application of the UAE succession laws on immovable property.
Alpha Management has an all-inclusive, all-in-one package for our clients who are looking to buy or transfer property using the above detailed structure; We can handle the entire conveyancing process or recommend local Firms. Most clients ask us to complete the process, obtain various NOC’s, prepare POA’s and deal with the Land Department, particularly since we are familiar with the documentation required. Once the above company setup is in place it may be possible to transfer ownership of the BVI entity to a Trust or some other holding structure. We strongly recommend the formation of both companies together to avoid a “potential” second charge being levied by Land Department when the JAFZA company is transferred to another offshore structure later. The above processes are based on current rules and regulations as we understand them. We cannot accept responsibility where these regulations are changed without notice. Please get in touch for more details or any questions you may have.