Our Team

STA's Team of Lawyers in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Doha, UAE, Luxembourg, Moscow, RAK, Sharjah, and Singapore. Find a Lawyer. ..

Read more information

register free hold units in Abu Dhabi

Expats are now allowed to register Free Hold Units in Abu Dhabi

In April, Abu Dhabi made an initiative to enable foreigners to own property and land which fall in investment area based on freehold. Abu Dhabi recently made changes to the emirate’s real estate laws.

As till this change, foreigners were only allowed to hold properties on a 99-year lease, but with this new stand, it will help in maturing of Abu Dhabi’s real estate laws. It will provide more clarity on the long-term investments thereby encouraging longer-term residency for the expats.

His Highness directed Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Executive Committee to review the Abu Dhabi’s real estate sector development on same lines as those with international trends and standards.

The Law No. 19 of 2005 concerning real estate sector in Abu Dhabi was amended keeping in mind the rights and obligations of the Emirati citizens as well as expatriates.

Article 3 (i) of the law provides that the rights to own property are categorised into three

  • Emirati citizens, natural or legal persons,
  • public holding companies with ownership not exceeding 49 per cent non-nationals
  • to any person to whom a decision is issued by the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince or the President of the Executive Council.

Whereas, Article 3.2 states that the following shall have the right to own and acquire all the in-kind and original rights in properties:

  • non-UAE nationals
  • natural or legal persons