New regulatory framework for offshore firms in Dubai

DUBAI: Dubai’s Land Department is expected to announce a new regulatory framework for offshore companies investing in the country’s real estate freehold market, Gulf News reported on March 9.

This move is aimed at improving transparency. The department has since halted transactions of offshore companies due to lack of clarity for February.

Director-general of the Dubai Land Department Mohammad Sultan Thani was quoted as saying the new set of regulations is currently awaiting approval and due to be introduced by the end of the week.

Offshore companies will be able to register with the Dubai Land Department but not as developers beginning this month, according to Thani.

“Most of the new regulations will be to monitor who the owner of the companies are, so whenever they want to sell they are able to inform the Land Department. They can't be developers for now, until they have the mechanism to work as a developer locally instead of offshore.

“The reason being, if there is a court case against an offshore developer that is not physically available here and does not follow the local laws, then it is a lot harder to carry out a judgement against them,” he added.

The directive to suspend the registration of titles for freehold properties in the name of foreign offshore companies has taken place since Feb 1. It, however, did not affect the ownership of properties registered in the name of foreign offshore firms that were registered before Feb 1.

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