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United Arab Emirates: All You Need to Know About Off Plan Property Legalities and Conjugal Rights

Author: Hassan Elhais
by Hassan Elhais
Posted: Sep 20, 2023
plan property

Off-Plan property refers to a real estate that is purchased before it is constructed or completed. Purchasing an off-plan property in the UAE can be an attractive investment opportunity. However, it is essential to understand the legalities and conjugal rights associated with buying off- plan properties.

This article aims to provide an understanding on the legalities and conjugal rights of owning an off-plan property.


Purchasing an Off-plan property in the UAE requires careful consideration of the legal requirements.

The first step is to ensure that the developer is registered with the relevant authority in the emirate where the property is located. This is to ensure that the developer is a legitimate entity and has all the necessary licenses to undertake the project, as per Article 5 of the Abu Dhabi Law Concerning the Regulation of the Real Estate Sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, a developer must have a license issued by the Department of Municipal Affairs for him to be able to act as a developer. For a developer based in Dubai, you can verify if he is registered with the Dubai Land Department and is authorized to sell the property you want.

Second, before signing the Sales and Purchase agreement (SPA), buyers must carefully review it. The SPA must include all the relevant information about the property, including the payment terms, completion date, and any penalties for delays or cancellations. It is vital to have a lawyer or a real estate agent review the agreement to ensure that your interests as a buyer are protected.

It is also crucial to ensure that the developer has obtained all the necessary permits and approvals from the relevant authorities before the construction begins. This includes building permits, environmental permits, and other necessary documents. Ensure that the purchase of your off-Plan property is registered in the Real Estate Register of the concerned emirate.

Conjugal Rights in the UAE:

In the UAE, Under Article 19 of the Federal Law No. 28/2005 On Personal Status, marriage is considered a legal contract between two parties, and conjugal rights are protected under the law. This means that both spouses have the right to live together, share a home.

In case of property ownership, both spouses have equal rights to jointly owned property. Further Article 64 of the Federal Law No. 28/2005 On Personal Status states that "A woman having reached the age of full capacity is free to dispose of her property and the husband may not, without her consent, dispose thereof; each one of them has independent financial assets. If one of the two participates with the other in the development of a property, building a dwelling place or the like, he may claim from the latter his share therein upon divorce or death."

In the UAE if the property is purchased in the name of only one spouse, in the event of a divorce, the property shall not be divided between the two spouses, it shall be retained by the spouse who owns the property, unless otherwise specified in a postnuptial agreement. If the other spouse can establish that they contributed towards the purchase of the property, then they may claim their ownership interest or refund of their money to the extent of their contribution in the property.

Therefore, it is essential for couples to discuss and agree on property ownership and financial matters before purchasing any property, including Off-Plan property.

In conclusion, purchasing an off- plan property in the UAE requires careful consideration of the legalities and conjugal rights. It is essential to ensure that the developer is registered and has obtained all necessary permits and approvals.

Additionally, couples must discuss and agree on property ownership to protect their interests in case of divorce or any other legal matters. Seeking legal advice is recommended to ensure a smooth and hassle-free purchase of Off-Plan Properties in the UAE.

About the Author

Dr. Hassan Elhais is a legal consultant in Dubai, specializing in the drafting of all statements of claim, memos and consultation on litigation of all manner.

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Author: Hassan Elhais
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Hassan Elhais

Member since: Jul 11, 2016
Published articles: 440

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