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New DIFC Real Estate Laws and Regulations – Explained by IMC Group

Dubai international financial Centre

New DIFC Real Estate Laws and Regulations – Explained by IMC Group

Last Updated on March 4, 2020


The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has released a new set of real estate laws and regulations. Keeping with the regulatory developments in Dubai, DIFC has amended its Real Estate and Strata Law and Regulation Regimes.

The amendments to the Real Estate and Strata Law regimes came into effect on 14th November 2018. We have analysed these changes and have summarised them for your understanding. So, let us have a quick glance at the new real estate laws and regulations.

 A quick glance at the new laws and regulations

The Real Property Law (DIFC LAW NO. 10 OF 2018) repeals and replaces the Real Property 2007 Law (DIFC Law No. 4 of 2007). Likewise, The Strata Title Law (DIFC Law No. 11 of 2018) amended certain provisions of the Strata Title Law (DIFC Law no. 5 of 2007).

This Law applies to all Real Property within the jurisdiction of the DIFC. It includes land, buildings, and items placed in, on or under the land.

The changes implemented an updated property regime that ensures enhanced and better protection for the DIFC property owners and mortgage holders. Moreover, it also introduced an off-plan register and escrow requirements for developers. The new law ensures that the property purchasers acquire full disclosure on the developments and units being bought. The new law has made it mandatory for the developers to set up escrow accounts for the purposes of pooling amounts paid by the purchasers in an off-plan development.

The Strata Title Law further expands the scope of functions and powers of the Registrar of Real Property (RORP). The registrar now has the power to govern parties that breach their obligation in regards to the law.  In order to promote efficiency and impartially in matters of dispute, the new law will enable the DIFC Courts to hear directly from interested parties.

Now, let us look at the key changes introduced by the new laws and regulations.

Key changes introduced by the new laws and regulations in relation to leasing and transfer of interests

  • For any DIFC property where the term of lease exceeds 6 months, it is mandatory to register the lease with the DIFC Registrar of Real Property by the lessor. (Earlier registration was mandatory only for properties with lease term more than one year).
  • Where the properties are mortgaged, the freehold transfer fee needs to be paid within 50 days from the date of signing the memorandum of understanding between the two parties.
  • The Real Property Regulations have further extended the scope of exemptions by providing total 8 exemptions from the payment of freehold transfer fee which is generally charged at 5% of the purchase price or market value.
  • While transferring non-freehold interests, a new schedule of registration fees will apply.


Key changes introduced by the new laws and regulations in relation to strata law

  • The new law made it mandatory to provide a copy of the proposed Strata Management Statement or Strata Management Statements disclosing the proposed management structure and rules along with additional details of the shared facilities as per the Principal Strata Schemes.
  • The new legislation stressed the developer’s obligation to rectify construction defects in the off plan development. Developers are now responsible for repairing, rectifying or replacing all defective building works, materials, equipment and installations of non-structural nature within 1 year and structural nature within 10 years from the date of completion of the building.
  • The new legislation also mentions a clear process for registering a lien in a case where the service charges are not paid by the registered owners by the due date. Moreover, if the service charges are unpaid, the person is not allowed to vote at a General Assembly.


The new real estate laws and regulations represent an updated DIFC’s real estate framework post 2007. However, we expect a few more amendments to the framework in the coming time.

If you seek further guidance on the new real estate laws and regulations, you can get in touch with IMC Group who are pioneers in advisory and consulting related to the real estate sector in the UAE. The professionals at IMC Group have requisite knowledge and expertise of the real estate projects in DIFC.

For further information, you can visit www.intuitconsultancy.com or email at bc@intuitconsultancy.com.

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