UAQ updates expat-owned freehold, property laws

Eudore R. Chand

UMM AL QAIWAIN 24 September 2021: H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Rashid Al Mu’alla, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Umm Al Qaiwain, has issued Resolution No. 4 of 2021 on foreign freehold real estate ownership in the Emirate of Umm Al Qaiwain.

Under the resolution, foreigners, limited liability companies partially owned by foreigners, free zone companies and offshore companies have the right to freehold real estate ownership, and any other legislation that contradicts the provisions of this resolution shall be repealed, said official news agency Wam.

The resolution also stipulates that specific freehold ownership zones will be determined under a resolution from Sheikh Saud, taking into account real estate development, freehold real estate ownership for foreigners or any other relevant considerations.

Sheikh Saud also issued Law No.1 of 2021 on real estate ownership, which stipulates the formation of a committee, entitled ‘The Compensations Assessment Committee’, under the Executive Council Resolution No. 4 of 2020. It also stipulates Federal Law No. 5 of 1985, also known as the Civil Transactions Law, will regulate civil transactions in the emirate.

The law further stipulates that all rights acquired in real estate and/or granted under Law No. 3 of 2006 concerning real estate ownership and its amendments under Law No. 1 of 2009 and any other applicable law, regulation or resolution will remain effective, provided they do not conflict with the provisions of this law.

The law stipulates that the right to own property in the emirate, except in investment zones, will be limited to Emirati citizens and legal persons who are granted ownership as per a decree issued by H.H. Sheikh Saud.

Sheikh Saud also issued law No. 2 of 2021 on real estate registration in Umm Al Qaiwain. The law stipulates that the department will manage a real estate registry to keep records of all real estate transactions and any related amendments.

The Department of Municipality will issue ownership deeds and related documents that prove the rights related to real estate transactions, according to real estate registry controls, provided that ownership deeds and other relevant documents contain all rights.

The law further stipulates that all real estate transactions, which are conducted prior to the enforcement of this law and not registered with the department, must be registered within six months from the date of the law’s issuance.

The laws shall come into force on the date of issuance and published in the Official Gazette.

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