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Owning A Property In Uae By An Expatriate

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By Author: Dr. Hassan Elhais
Total Articles: 37
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An expatriate is a person who seeks residence in another country besides his/her native country. UAE has been a hotspot for expatriates in the last 20 years, and right now, the number stands around 8 million ex-pats. Many visit the UAE for a luxurious holiday or for professional purposes. 

Ex-pats owning a property in the UAE

There are two types of property ownership options for ex-pats in the UAE. They are leasehold and freehold.

Leasehold type of property is where a buyer can own a property for a maximum of 99 years or less, as per the agreement. Under this kind of ownership, the property owner gives full ownership and rights of the property’s structure to the buyer, but not the property itself.

Freehold property ownership is a type of ownership where the ex-pats get complete ownership of the property. This includes ownership of both the built structure and property. However, in some regions, ex-pats in the UAE aren’t allowed to have freehold property ownership. Ex-pats aren’t under tax obligations who purchase property in the UAE. However, they should consider their own country’s ...
... taxation laws for owning property in a foreign country.

If you are an ex-pat, consider consulting with a property lawyer in Dubai for better clarity.

UAE has some of the most favourable property ownership and inheritance laws for its residents and expatriates. This is why many ex-pats own inherited property. The law closely monitors the entire process of owning a property in the UAE through purchase or inheritance. The property inheritance law for ex-pats in the UAE has some difference from customary inheritance laws. 

Inheritance in UAE and its laws:

Inheritance comes into play during the succession of a deceased person’s assets to be given to his/her beneficiaries. Inheritance comes under the personal status law, which also deals with child custody, divorce, marriage, etc. Although these laws are explicitly for Muslim citizens, their application is usually generalized.  

Inheritance laws for expatriates:

The UAE has specific property inheritance laws for its non-muslim expatriates. The sharia law is the main guide to formulating these laws. According to the inheritance law for ex-pats in the UAE, the government takes over the deceased ex-pat's property with no successor. 

According to sharia law, the legitimate family and relatives of the deceased can become beneficiaries from his estates. Direct families like from the paternal side are considered possible beneficiaries. 

Thanks to excellent living and economic conditions, thousands of expatriates relocate to the UAE. However, buying a property in the UAE is not a simple process. Consider speaking with a property lawyer in UAE for more details.

More About the Author

After qualifying as a lawyer in his native Egypt within the fields of Criminal and Public Law, Dr. Mohsen Elhais has been practicing as a Legal Consultant in Dubai.

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