Abu Dhabi gets new property law

President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in his capacity as the Ruler of Abu Dhabi, has issued a law regulating the right to own and transfer real estate for citizens and expatriates. Law No 19 of 2005 states that every property granted by the government to a UAE citizen, before or after the issuance of the law, shall be his/her (the beneficiary"s) property and it would therefore be obligatory on the citizen to register for property title. The right to own properties, according to the law, shall be limited to UAE nationals and other corporate bodies fully owned by them. The law gives foreigners the right to own "surface property" and not the land itself in "investment areas". "They shall have the right to arrange all their properties on it (surface) and to derive benefit from the properties on the surface in the investment area based on a long-term land title agreement which shall last for 99 years or long-term surface ownership agreement of 50 years renewable for a similar period subject to the agreement of the two parties", said the law.The law takes effect from the date of its issuance which is 13.08.2005.