In early 2001, the Dubai Property Market changed. The Government of Dubai allowed foreign investors and buyers to take 99-year leases on apartments and villas in Dubai. When this decree was issued in 2001, the population of Dubai was close to a million.

In May 2002, the current Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum ruled that the emirate would permit foreign nationals to invest in Dubai properties on freehold ownership. The properties were initially grouped under 3 government-owned entities – ‘Emaar Properties PJSC’, ‘Nakheel’ and ‘Dubai Holding’.

The statement just jumpstarted the market and it has been thriving ever since. Drafted as Law No. 7 in 2006, the ‘Land Registration Law of the Emirate of Dubai’ legalizes freehold ownership of land and property for the UAE and GCC citizens, while awarding the same rights to non-GCC expatriates in pre-designated areas that are approved by the Ruler of Dubai.

Land Registration in the Emirate of Dubai 

Dubai’s Ruler His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum having considered the Federal Law No: 5/1985 promulgating the civil transactions Law and its amendments; The Federal Law no: 11/1992 promulgating the civil procedure Law and its amendments; The Local Law No 7/1997 concerning Land Registrations Fees; and the Local Decree concerning the Formation of Land Affairs committee of the year 1960; do hereby promulgate the following Law. 

Chapter One 

Title and Definitions 

Article (1) 

This Law shall be cited as “The Land Registration Law of the Emirate of Dubai (No 7/2006)

Article (2)

In this Law, the following words and terms shall have the respective meanings assigned to each of them, unless the context requires otherwise. 

The UAE: The United Arab Emirates. 

The Emirate: The Emirate of Dubai 

The Government: The Government of Dubai including any of its Departments, Authorities or public Corporations. 

The Ruler: His Highness the Ruler of Dubai 

The Department: The Department of Lands and properties 

The Head: The head of Department

The Director: The Director General of the Department 

Land: Anything permanently fixed nature which cannot be removed without damaging or altering its form 1. 

Rights over the Land: Any principal or accessory rights over the land

Land Register: A collection of records kept by the Department in written or electronic form in an electronic register, detailing the description of the registered Land, its ocation and the rights over it. 

Land Unit: Any plot of Land and all that is located thereon such as buildings, plants or otherwise, situated in one land

Area: Without being separated from its other parts by any public or private property and without any part of it having a right or an encumbrance which its other parts do not have.

Land Area: A group of land units demarcated by principal roads or fixed and clear signs with an accredited name and distinctive number in accordance with the practice of the department

Person: A natural or legal person.


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