Sunday, September 15, 2019

New Law Regulating RERA part of the Dubai Land Department

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has issued a new law regulating the Real Estate Regulatory Agency.

The new law issued, Law No. 4 of 2019, states RERA as a public institution, to come under the Dubai Land Department .

The new law includes restructuring the legal provisions of the agency, which was established pursuant to Law No. (16) of 2007.

According to the new Law, the objectives of RERA include contributing to the development of Dubai’s real estate sector within an integrated system of regulatory and monetary procedures and enhancing the sector’s contribution to Dubai’s economy.

Furthermore, RERA will work to provide a secure environment for real estate projects in order to protect the rights of developers and investors, implement new projects and programmes that enable them to explore new real estate opportunities and promote professional and ethical standards in the industry.

Pursuant to this Law, RERA is responsible for regulating and overseeing real estate development escrow accounts; accrediting financial institutions that are qualified to manage real estate development escrow accounts; and approving regulations that govern development, brokerage and management of real estate including joint property.

RERA also monitors real estate advertisements published in media outlets in the Emirate; develops and launches awareness programmes in collaboration with the Dubai Real Estate Institute to educate the public about their rights and responsibilities; and prepares and updates policies designed to balance supply and demand.

Under the new Law, the Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai will appoint the CEO of RERA and will also issue the regulations and resolutions required for the implementation of the provisions of this Law that substitutes Law No. (16) of 2007.

Dubai Land Department will replace RERA in registering real estate rental contracts and regulating the relationship between property owners and tenants and any other matter related to real estate rental contracts.

RERA is the regulatory arm of the Land Department, where the department sets legislations to regulate the relationship between all contracting parties and to organises the exchange process of properties.

The department provides many services to clients in Dubai, extending its role to planning, organising and evaluating operations related to real estate license. It also monitor projects financially and technically to protect investors.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Bounced cheque cases don’t end with prison term or a fine in UAE

Contrary to the popular belief that bounced cheque cases in the UAE can be closed by just paying a fine. It is within the rights of the victims to file civil cases against those who issue such cheques.

The legal order legislation approved by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, through Law No (1) of 2017, helps to improve the judiciary’s efficiency and reduces its workload while fast-tracking the litigation process in Dubai.

According to the Legal Order Law No 1 of 2017 which came into effect on December 2017, people with bounced cheques worth less than Dh200,000 can be punished by the prosecution without the case being referred to the judges, with the payment of a maximum fine of Dh10,000.

Judge Ayman Al Hakam of the Dubai Courts said the issuer of a bounced cheque should not think that he can pay the fine and get absolved, as the receiver of the cheque can assert his rights by going to the Civil Court.

“The issuer of the bounced cheque may think all that he needs to do is pay a fine if he can’t settle the case. But the victim can still exercise his rights by opening a civil case against the issuer of the cheque for the amount of the cheque plus compensation. Bounced cheque cases don’t end with paying the fine,” he noted.

The order fined people accused of issuing bad cheques for amounts not exceeding Dh200,000 between Dh2,000 and Dh10,000 depending on the cheque value. “But paying a fine is not the end to this case, the plaintiff can legally file a civil lawsuit against the person who issued the cheque to claim its value.” if the Civil Court rules in favour of the plaintiff, a 12 per cent interest rate will also be added to the value of the cheque starting from its issue date. The accused is obliged to pay the amount along with legal charges.

Fines for bounced cheques

    Bounced cheques worth Dh1 to Dh50,000: Dh2,000
    Bounced cheques worth Dh50,000 to Dh100,000: Dh5,000
    Bounced cheques worth Dh100,000 to Dh200,000: Dh10,000

In the case of Civil Case: If Civil Court rules in favour of the plaintiff, the accused could be asked to:
  •     Pay full value of the cheque
  •     Pay 12 per cent interest starting from the issue date
  •     Pay Legal charges
  •     Face travel ban
  •     Have assets frozen until final judgement

Monday, July 15, 2019

New Expat family sponsorship Rule in UAE takes effect


Now any resident in the country earning Dh4,000 without accommodation or Dh3,000 with company-provided accommodation can sponsor his family in the UAE, the Federal Authority for Identity and Emiratisation announced.

The decision permits a foreigner who is residing in the country, whether male or female, to bring family members (spouse and children under the age of 18 or unmarried daughters) to stay in the UAE, provided the family income (husband and wife) or one of them is Dh3,000 with company provided accommodation, or Dh4,000 without housing conditions, the authority explained.

The authority launched its services in line with the Council of Ministers’ Decision No. 30 of 2019.

The UAE Cabinet had earlier adopted a decision to amend provisions of the resolution on sponsoring of foreign workers to their families in the country.

According to an earlier statement by the General Secretariat of the Cabinet, the amended provisions indicate “income” as a requirement for sponsoring family members, as opposed to the previously listed “professions” which allowed workers to sponsor their families.

The amendment is in line with international developments and accordance with best practices, it added.

“The decision aims at enhancing family stability of foreign workers and social cohesion, as well as attracting highly skilled workers while maintaining a healthy balance between professional and personal life,” the statement continued.

Now any resident in the country earning Dh4,000 without accommodation or Dh3,000 with company-provided accommodation can sponsor his family in the UAE, the Federal Authority for Identity and Emiratisation announced.

The decision permits a foreigner who is residing in the country, whether male or female, to bring family members (spouse and children under the age of 18 or unmarried daughters) to stay in the UAE, provided the family income (husband and wife) or one of them is Dh3,000 with company provided accommodation, or Dh4,000 without housing conditions, the authority explained.

The authority launched its services in line with the Council of Ministers’ Decision No. 30 of 2019.


The UAE Cabinet had earlier adopted a decision to amend provisions of the resolution on sponsoring of foreign workers to their families in the country.

According to an earlier statement by the General Secretariat of the Cabinet, the amended provisions indicate “income” as a requirement for sponsoring family members, as opposed to the previously listed “professions” which allowed workers to sponsor their families.

The amendment is in line with international developments and accordance with best practices, it added.

“The decision aims at enhancing family stability of foreign workers and social cohesion, as well as attracting highly skilled workers while maintaining a healthy balance between professional and personal life,” the statement continued.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

UAE long-term visa cost announced

Long-term UAE residency visas with 10-year validity, which were rolled out earlier this year, can now be obtained for as low as Dh1,150 while the five-year-visa will cost only Dh650, the UAE government announced.

According to eligibility criteria announced earlier, investors in public investment or senior professionals working with the investors, as well as exceptional talents and researchers in various domains, qualify for the 10-year visas.

Investors and professionals falling in the approved categories can apply to issue or renew the 10-year visa for Dh1,150 (Dh150 for the application and Dh1,000 for issuance). Family members of the applicants can also avail 10 years’ visas at the same cost.

Five-year visa

Meanwhile, the authorities also announced the cost of five-year visas, which will be issued for D650 (Dh150 for application and Dh500 for issuance).

Those eligible for five-year visas include investors in real estate, entrepreneurs, executive directors of entrepreneurs and retired expatriate professionals as well as their family members. Top achievers among students with exceptional talents and their family members can also get the five-year visas at Dh650.

Children sponsored by their parents after completing 18 years or after finishing high school or university can apply for a one-year renewable visa at Dh100.

Widows and divorced women and their children can also extend their one-year residency visas for Dh100. These two categories will be charged Dh100 for the issuance of the visa while no application cost will be charged.

The authorities also announced fee details for single and multi-entry visas for exceptional talents and researchers in various sectors. Both single and multi-entry visas valid for 180 days will cost Dh1,100 (Dh100 for the application and Dh1000 for issuance).

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Dubai Land department considering three-year rent freeze on new contracts

The Dubai Land Department is considering a proposal on a no-rental hike provision for three years after the signing of a lease agreement between landlord and tenant.

“The Dispute Resolution Committee is studying such a proposal, but no decision has been taken on the ‘if and when’ to roll it out,” a spokesperson said. “Right now, all rental decisions are based on the Dubai Rent Index, and it will continue to be so until the three-year no-hike proposal is cleared.”

Sharjah currently has a three-year cut-off on new contracts when it comes to rental increases.

It isn’t clear whether the proposal only extends to residential properties, or would cover all manner of real estate categories, including retail premises. If it becomes all-inclusive, this would have a huge bearing for the retail sector, whereby retailers have complained vociferously about how mall operators set and hike rents, even when market conditions do not dictate them.