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A Guide for the Legal Procedures to Buy Land in Dubai

A Guide for the Legal Procedures to Buy Land in Dubai


Dubai is known for its architectural marvels. Due to its stable business environment, it has become a destination for real estate investment. Purchasing land in Dubai, whether for personal or commercial use, involves a series of legal steps that ensure a smooth transaction. Consulting a real estate agent is beneficial because they have better information. You can contact Properties Exchange for better guidance. This article highlights the essential legal procedures you must follow to buy land in Dubai, providing a seamless and secure investment process.

Types of Property Ownership in Dubai

  1. Freehold Ownership: This allows non-UAE nationals to buy, sell, or lease property in designated areas without restrictions.
  2. Leasehold Ownership: This typically involves a long-term lease of up to 99 years, after which ownership reverts to the original owner.

Legal Framework Governing Land Purchase in Dubai

Several laws and regulations govern the legal framework for purchasing land in Dubai. Key among these are:

  • Dubai Land Department (DLD): The primary body overseeing all real estate transactions in Dubai.
  • Law No. 7 of 2006: Regulates real estate registration in Dubai.
  • Law No. 13 of 2008: Focuses on interim property registration in the Emirate of Dubai.
  • Law No. 19 of 2017: Amends certain provisions of Law No. 13 of 2008 concerning selling off-plan properties.

Step-by-Step Guide to Buying Land in Dubai

1. Engage a Real Estate Agent

Engaging a licensed real estate agent is the first step. An agent will provide valuable insights into the market, help identify suitable land, and guide you through the legal procedures. Make ensure the agent you selected is registered with the RERA(Real Estate Regulatory Agency), a regulatory arm of DLD.

2. Legal Investigation

Conducting an audit is important to ensure the land is free from disputes and legal encumbrances. This involves:

  • Verifying the title deed and ownership.
  • Checking for any pending mortgages or liens on the property.
  • Ensuring compliance with zoning laws and land use regulations.

3. Obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC)

Before purchasing, you must obtain a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the developer or the relevant authority. This certificate confirms that the land is free from legal issues and can be sold to a new owner.

4. Drafting the Sale Agreement

Once the investigation is completed, the next step is drafting a sale agreement. This agreement should include:

  • Details of the buyer and seller: Full names, addresses, and identification numbers.
  • Property details: Description of the land, including its size, location, and plot number.
  • Purchase price: The agreed-upon price and payment terms.
  • Conditions of sale: Any conditions precedent to the sale, such as obtaining financing or completing specific legal formalities.
  • Signatures: Both parties make sure to sign the agreement in the presence of a witness.

5. Pay the Initial Deposit

Typically, the seller requires an initial deposit (often 10% of the total price) to secure the land. This deposit is usually held in a security account until the transaction is finalized.

6. Register the Property

The final step involves registering the property with the Dubai Land Department. The following documents are required for registration:

  • Original title deed
  • NOC from the developer
  • Signed sale agreement
  • Proof of identity (passport copies for foreign buyers)
  • Receipt of the initial deposit

The registration process involves paying the required fees, which include:

  • Registration fee: Typically 4% of the purchase price.
  • Administration fee: A small fixed fee for processing the registration.

7. Transfer of Ownership

Once the property is registered, the DLD will issue a new title paper in the buyer’s name, officially transferring ownership. The final payment is made to the seller, and the buyer takes possession of the land.


In conclusion, Purchasing land in Dubai is a golden investment opportunity, but it requires complex legal procedures. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily ensure a smooth and legally compliant transaction. Engaging professional assistance, conducting a thorough property audit, and understanding the legal requirements are key to successfully buying land in this city, especially with the help of the Property Exchange Real Estate Agents.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can foreigners buy land in Dubai?

Yes, foreigners can buy land in designated freehold zones in Dubai. These zones allow non-UAE nationals to own, sell, and lease property without restrictions.

Q. What do you mean by No Objection Certificate (NOC)?

A No Objection Certificate (NOC) is a document issued by the developer or relevant authority confirming that the land is free from legal issues and can be sold to a new owner.

Q. How much is the registration fee for buying land in Dubai?

The registration fee for buying land in Dubai is typically 4% of the purchase price, plus a small fixed administration fee for processing the registration.

Q. Do I need a lawyer to buy land in Dubai?

While having a lawyer is not mandatory, it is highly recommended. A legal representative can ensure all legal aspects are handled correctly, assist with drafting contracts, and conduct due diligence.

Q. What types of property ownership are available in Dubai?

Dubai is offering two main types of property ownership: freehold and leasehold. Freehold ownership allows full ownership rights in designated areas, while leasehold ownership involves a long-term lease (up to 99 years), after which ownership reverts to the original owner.

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