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Monday, July 17, 2006

Freehold Areas Announced... Some Surprises!

Freehold or Not? Dubai Marina properties hang in the balance.

Gulf News today announces: Dubai issues list of freehold locations. Although the new property law was announced as early as March 2006, only now, four months later, is there some clarity on what will be freehold and what will not. Some, however, is the operative word. Although the Gulf News article states,

Industry experts told Gulf News the new regulations did not offer any surprises, but they awaited further clarification.

there may be for some quite a few surprises. The list of properties does not appear nearly as comprehensive as many would have hoped. Furthermore, it still leaves people to speculate on the fundamental question: Is my property freehold?

Why is further clarification still needed? How long does it take to annoucnce that this is freehold and this is not? The reason that more confusion is likely to result is that the areas named are identified by plots. Specific plot numbers are given. The difficulty comes in in matching these listed plot numbers with the various plot numbers usually provided for individual properties.

Specifically, in the case of Dubai Marina, the following plots are specified: 007, 014, 015, 033. Where exactly in the Marina are these? Only four plots, when there are dozens of towers built or being constructed on numerous individual plots? It would appear that the municipality has its own plot labels, not commonly used or recognized. It would seem that one will have to traipse down to the Lands Office and examine their maps and documents to determine whether a specific property falls within the freehold zone or not.

Gulf news provides a pdf file listing the designated zones--minus any plot numbers. So, what does that tell the property owner who really wants to know if his property is freehold or not. Nothing, I'm afraid!

Where to find out more?

  • Consult the three-page, five-article Order No. 3 of 2006 published in the government's official gazette on July 3, 2006.
  • Ask Gulf News about the document, a copy of which was obtained yesterday.
Published on 3 July and obtained by GN yesterday, this much ballyhooedd document, it would seem, is hard to get.

Related News: Dubai condominium law likely this year.

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