Dubai has been a hot property market for years. Whether you want to move to Dubai, or are looking for investment, there are always interesting properties for sale.
Buying a property in Dubai is an attractive investment. And if you're wondering if a company can buy a property in Dubai, the answer is definitely ‘YES’.
This article answers the question and explains the type of companies that can own a property in Dubai and what conditions apply.
What kind of properties can you buy in Dubai?
The most important thing to understand is that not all properties in Dubai are available for sale to foreigners. The only properties a foreigner can buy are in special Designated "Freehold" Areas.
Let’s take a quick look at the legal provision:
Article 4 of the Law No.7 ‘Property Law’ permits non-UAE and non-GCC nationals as well as companies to own freehold property, the right for a long lease or a usufruct right up to 99 years in the areas of the Emirate of Dubai designated for foreign ownership under regulations delivered by the Ruler of Dubai, the so called ‘Designated Areas’. The ownership rights in ‘Designated Areas’ in Dubai depend on the type of the company (offshore/onshore) and place of incorporation (Emirate).
Buying a property in Dubai with an offshore company
Currently, offshore companies incorporated in JAFZA (Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority) can own property in Designated Areas in Dubai.
The newly proposed DMCC (Dubai Multi Commodities Centre) offshore company will also have the right to buy real estate in Dubai.
However, other offshore companies registered in the UAE, such as RAKICC (Ras Al Khaimah International Corporate Centre) and Ajman offshores can NOT buy property in Dubai. They can however buy property in other Emirates
The same applies to other international jurisdictions such as British Virgin Islands, Seychelles or Hong Kong. They can NOT buy property in Dubai.
Buying a property in Dubai with onshore companies
LLC and Private Joint Stock Companies
Onshore companies incorporated in Dubai such as limited liability companies and private joint stock companies, with non-UAE or GCC shareholders can buy property in the Designated Areas in Dubai.
Free zone companies
All free zone companies in Dubai are permitted to own property in the so-called Designated Areas. The free zones in Dubai include DMCC, Dubai Internet City, Dubai HealthCare City, Dubai South and many more.
Of the newly formed Dubai World Trade Centre Free Zone it has not been confirmed yet that companies incorporated there can own property in Dubai.
Free zone companies
, which are formed in other Emirates, are not allowed to hold property in Dubai.
At present, DIFC companies can own real estate within DIFC (Dubai International Financial Centre). In order to directly own property in any other areas the company needs an approval from Dubai Land Department. A DIFC company can also hold a property in Dubai if it becomes the shareholder of a JAFZA offshore company first.
Summary of ownership possibilities in designated areas in Dubai:
All nationals can own property
All onshore companies incorporated in Dubai may own property
Free zone companies with 100% foreign ownership incorporated in Dubai may hold property
DIFC companies require special approval from Dubai Land Department
JAFZA offshore companies have the right to own property
DMCC offshore will be entitled to own property