The Dubai real estate sector is a treasure trove of possibilities. Whether you’re eyeing your next big investment, the perfect family home or want to become a real estate agent, the opportunities are endless. But before you venture out into the industry, it is important to familiarise yourself with some commonly used real estate terms in Dubai. And we’re here to help!
Here’s a handy list of the important residential and commercial real estate terms in Dubai you need to know.
REAL ESTATE TERMS IN DUBAI – THE ORGANISATIONS AND SYSTEMS
If you are looking to rent properties in Dubai, there are real estate term you should be aware of. This glossary of real estate terms is an overview of the regulatory bodies and systems responsible for ensuring the smooth operations of real estate companies. These authorities are also responsible for overseeing the legality of transactions in the industry.
DUBAI LAND DEPARTMENT (DLD)
The Dubai Land Department (DLD) is the main governing body for real estate in Dubai. It is responsible for managing, overlooking and ensuring secure and transparent real estate trading in Dubai. This government-run entity has been given the charge to safeguard the interest of investors, landlords and tenants by providing a proper regulatory framework, dispute resolution system and other relevant customer services.
The Dubai Land Department is also the sole authority for legalising buying and selling of land and property in Dubai.
REAL ESTATE REGULATORY AGENCY (RERA)
One of DLD’s regulatory wings, the Real Estate Regulatory Agency or RERA, establishes the rules and regulations for the Dubai real estate market.
These regulations include everything from purchasing property and tenancy laws in Dubai to the legalising and registering of various real estate-related contracts through different RERA forms in Dubai.
RENTAL DISPUTES CENTRE (RDC)
Where do you file rental disputes in Dubai? The answer is simple – at the Rental Disputes Centre. Located in the Dubai Land Department building in Deira, the RDC ensures quick and adequate resolution of rental disputes in Dubai and promotes a healthy real estate market for landlords and tenants.
Rental disputes or tenancy law violations that the contracting parties cannot adjudicate on their own are resolved at the RDC, making it an important entry on our list of Dubai real estate terms and definitions.
The Arabic word Makani translates to “my location.” So Makani is a smart navigation system that identifies every public place, building and house in Dubai using the “Makani number,” a unique 10-digit identification code.
This real estate jargon in Dubai is not just a term; it’s an entire geolocation app that allows you to share location details. It also comes with an Emergency Location Reporting feature that sends out distress signals in times of crisis.
Al Sa’fat is another word in the Dubai real estate vocabulary you should be familiar with, especially in the construction business. Also known as the Dubai Green Building System, Al Sa’fat regulates and promotes sustainable developments in the UAE.
Since March 2014, the standards and specifications outlined under the Al Sa’fat system have become mandatory for all new construction projects. This system regulates the consumption of resources and encourages renewable energy.
Trakheesi is another Arabic real estate term in Dubai on our list that is particularly important for aspiring real estate agents. The Trakheesi system grants licences and approvals to brokerage firms and real estate professionals in Dubai.
This smart system is integrated with property listing portals and the Dubai Economic Development (DED), allowing access to multiple databases for permissions, registrations and records.
SPECIAL CONTRACTS AND SERVICES IN DUBAI REAL ESTATE TERMINOLOGY
There are different local names for the various types of real estate contracts and services in Dubai.
If you are a tenant or a landlord renting property, Ejari in Dubai is easily the most common real estate term you’ll come across.
Ejari is a standardised way of registering tenancy contracts in Dubai. You need to register Ejari to be able to avail a number of essential services in the city, like getting a new DEWA connection, subscribing to internet and phone services and even sponsoring your dependents.
When looking at residential and commercial real estate terms and definitions that specifically apply to off-plan properties, Oqood is the most important one.
Like Ejari, Oqood automates, registers and manages the off-plan property contracts and markets in Dubai. This platform also offers a range of other services to real estate developers to maintain transparency in managing their off-plan projects.
Musataha is a real estate contract in Dubai and the UAE that allows you to lease land from owners and construct a property or use it for any other legal purpose for up to 50 years.
Any construction on land obtained under the Musataha operates similar to leasehold ownership. The builders’ right to land and property ends when the lease expires. A lease period refers to the time in which the lease has to be repaid.
OTHER RESIDENTIAL, COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE TERMS AND DEFINITIONS IN DUBAI
Other basic real estate terms in Dubai that you will encounter in the industry include:
Freehold ownership of property in Dubai entitles the buyer to full legal rights until they decide to sell the property to someone else. Properties categorised as freehold are only available in designated areas of Dubai and can be purchased by foreigners looking to invest in real estate.
The leasehold property ownership allows buyers to use and live in the property for a particular time. The usual leasehold term in Dubai is 99 years, which can be extended.
The main difference between freehold and leasehold land is that leasehold property does not transfer full ownership to the buyer.
BUA, or the built-up area, is the total construction area on the land. In the case of a building or multiple-storey construction, it is the gross floor space.
For example, the construction footprint of a property is 10,000 sq.ft., and the building has four floors. Its BUA would be 40,000 sq.ft.
The next entry in our guide on Dubai real estate terms is the saleable area. The term refers to the square footage of the gross floor space of the property. The saleable area does not include common or shared spaces like lifts, corridors, foyers and staircases.
SPA stands for Sales and Purchase Agreement, and it is one of the most common terms in the real estate industry of Dubai. The SPA is a legally binding contract that details the sale terms and conditions between the buyer and seller.
A lawyer usually drafts the real estate SPA in Dubai to protect the seller’s interests. However, the buyer has the right to negotiate the terms and conditions as they see fit.
Power of Attorney or POA allows the legal appointment of a person who can work on behalf of the issuer (of the POA) in case of his or her absence. The appointee can make any decisions and sign legally binding documents. As per law, a POA requires valid notarisation and attestations.
A Title Deed is recognised and registered by the Dubai Land Department. This document provides proof of ownership and registers a particular property with the emirates’ authorities.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
IS IT WORTH BUYING PROPERTY IN DUBAI?
Dubai is a real estate haven for investors with an exciting variety of residential and commercial properties. Real estate investors can expect great rental yields. If you’re looking to buy a home, check out areas with the highest ROI on villas.
Another great reason to buy property in Dubai is the affordable luxury quotient. The price per square foot you pay for even the premium properties in Dubai is far less than what you’d pay for similar properties in other metropolitan cities across the globe. Check out Bayut & dubbizle’s 2021 annual sales market report for Dubai for greater insights.
WHAT IS FREEHOLD PROPERTY IN DUBAI?
A freehold property for sale in Dubai gives the buyer complete ownership of the land and the housing unit. Once you purchase a freehold property in one of the designated freehold areas in Dubai, you can sell it, lease it or live in it if you choose.
This brings us to the end of this post on the glossary of real estate terms in Dubai. Whether you’re an investor or someone just looking for your next home, knowing the real estate jargon can make understanding the industry’s processes easier.
Other than the residential and commercial real estate terms and definitions, real estate apps in Dubai come in handy for all your property-related matters.
The Dubai real estate industry also offers great career prospects. These real estate terms and definitions will prove helpful to anyone who wants to become a real estate agent in Dubai. Similarly, if you are preparing for a career in this industry, the Arabic real estate jargon has to be learned as well.
Know your real estate jargon well? Take our quiz on the common real estate terms in the UAE and see if you can get the perfect score!