To protect investors, the Dubai Land Department (DLD) has issued a set of new stricter rules to govern how overseas properties may be marketed for sale in the Emirate by brokers.

What are the new rules?

All brokers will have to obtain a permit for marketing overseas properties by meeting the following conditions:

  • submitting a copy of the title deeds of the property being marketed to the DLD (which has been attested by the UAE Embassy and the Foreign Ministry and has been translated into Arabic by a legal translator);
  • setting out the requirements for property ownership in the relevant foreign country;
  • submitting a copy of the agreement between the broker and owner; and
  • property developers or agents who are found to be in breach of the rule will face a fine of up to AED 50,000.

How does this differ to marketing local properties?

These new rules for marketing of overseas properties in the Emirate follow similar rules introduced in October 2016, which required brokers to obtain permits before marketing local properties for sale in the Emirate. The streamlined structure and familiarity of the new rules should result in a relatively seamless application for brokers who are affected by the new guidelines.

Why has the DLD taken this step?

The DLD is continuously seeking to improve investor confidence in the region. This new legislation not only brings the marketing of overseas property in the Emirate in line with rules for marketing of local properties in the Emirate, it is also designed to protect investors from falling victim to any fraudulent schemes.

Fraudulent schemes in Dubai, both of a real estate nature and otherwise, have been widely reported in local and international media. There have been cases where properties were allegedly sold without an owner's consent; rental scams where properties are let out to more than one tenant; forged documents and other horror stories which could impact the stability of the local property market.

Fortunately, we anticipate the updated Circular 13 rules will reduce the occurrence of such schemes.

However, if you do require further assistance with marketing or renting of real estate within the region, please do not hesitate to contact Dubai real estate office of Gowling WLG, led by Andrew Thomson.