Cost of owning freehold property in Dubai


Leading UAE law firm Hadef & Partners, today published a report on The cost of owning freehold property in Dubai.

In its second recent survey of the Dubai real estate market, Hadef & Partners assessed issues involving the property registration process, the levying of charges in respect of registration, duplication of records between the Dubai Land Department and developers and the issues concerning service charges in Dubai. Over 350 completed responses were received and many respondents took the time to provide detailed and extensive comments.

Key themes emerging from the survey:

  • 98.6% of respondents believe a single authority should maintain the property registry in Dubai and the majority of owners want land records to be open for public inspection of payment of nominal fees.
  • Many developers in Dubai are still charging fees for the registration of property interests when this right exists exclusively with the DLD. This practice may be preventing or de-motivating owners from registering their interested in the land registry operated by the DLD. This in turn could have a negative impact on the Dubai real estate market as it may lead to the DLD. registry being incomplete.
  • The duplication of records by developers does not add any real benefit to the real estate market. Furthermore, respondents cited concerns about the duplication of records and developers continuing to control personal records long after a property has been completed and handed over to an owner.
  • Some developers are not aware of or are willfully ignoring the current regulations surrounding jointly owned property and the collection of service charges including administrative circulars issued by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA).
  • More than 90% of respondents strongly favoured service charges being subject to the approval of the interim home owners’ committee appointed and believe RERA should penalise developers who do not provide owners with annual audited accounts for service charges for years prior to the home owners’ associations being registered. In addition, respondents felt that owners’ committees should have input into the contractors employed to provide services within developments.

Hadef & Partners is committed to identifying issues that may improve the development of the Dubai real estate market. Our aim is to bring issues to the surface and enable real estate regulators in Dubai to focus on these issues for the benefit of the wider community.”

This is the second report on the Dubai real estate market produced by Hadef & Partners. In November 2010, the firm published the results of a 500 plus response survey which highlighted a series of solutions to enhance the attractiveness of the Dubai real estate market, some of which have since also been highlighted or addressed by regulators.


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