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‘More investments expected as Abu Dhabi eases real estate rules’


Non-Emiratis and companies owned by foreigners are now allowed to own and acquire all the rights of properties within investment zones in Abu Dhabi. The new changes to Abu Dhabi’s real estate law – allowing foreigners full ownership of properties in designated zones – are bound to increase investor confidence, promote transparency in the market, and boost long-term investments, a chief developer and a number of officials have said.

Under the latest changes – recently issued by the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan – non-Emiratis and companies owned by foreigners are now allowed to own and acquire all the rights of properties within investment zones.CEO of Aldar Properties, Talal Al Dhiyebi, last week hailed the move as a “game-changer”, especially for investors.

“Previously, it was a 99-year lease. But this fundamental shift in the market, where investors now get full freehold ownership of land or properties, will enhance economic activities in Abu Dhabi,” he told Khaleej Times at a Press conference.“The new rules will also reduce the cost of registering the land. Previously, under the long lease, it was costing the investors four per cent of the value of the property, but now it will be down to two per cent, which is another game-changing development.”

Al Dhiyebi said the real estate market in Abu Dhabi projects a 40 to 50-per-cent growth in the off-plan sales in 2019, compared to 2018, with specific targets in new international markets, such as India and China. He said investors from those parts of the world have shown a lot of interest in investing in Abu Dhabi.

Chairman of the Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities, Falah Mohammed Al Ahbabi, said: “With the changes to the real estate law, residential units in special designated investments zones will be registered under Abu Dhabi’s freehold law. Currently, there are 29 investment zones in Abu Dhabi.”

Saif Mohammed Al Hajeri, chairman of Abu Dhabi’s Department of Economic Development, said these changes come on the heels of the introduction of other policies, such as long-term visas for investors and a law that allows certain corporations to own 100 per cent of their companies in specific industries.All these have been aimed at driving economic growth in Abu Dhabi, he said.

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