What Does The New Law on Acquisition Of Realty For Public Benefit In Dubai Say? 

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE in his capacity as Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai, issued a law regarding the acquisition of real estate for the public benefit in the Emirate of Dubai. The law ensures the protection of private property and does not affect it, except for the public benefit.  

Expropriation can be defined as an action by the state or authority of taking property from its owner to use it for public use or benefit. In order to compensate the individual adequately, the law sets fair rules and foundations for compensation for properties expropriated in the emirate. The law enables public and private entities in the emirate to implement their projects for the public good. 

The provisions of this law apply to all expropriations that take place on vacant lands in Dubai, including special development areas, and free zones, including the Dubai International Financial Centre.  

The procedures, controls and all requirements for expropriating buildings and facilities on lands in the emirate, whether they are completed or under construction, including the compensation, should be implemented as per the decision issued by the Chief of the Court of His Highness the Ruler of Dubai. 

The law stated that if part of the property was acquired and the remaining part became unfit for construction or unusable by the planning and building regulations in Dubai, the remaining part of the property is considered to be covered by the expropriation decision. And the owner, in this case, receives compensation for it. 

The law stated that in Dubai, by a decision from the head of the Court of His Highness the Ruler of Dubai, a permanent committee called the Expropriation Committee shall be created.  

According to the law, the Expropriation Committee should make decisions on the requests for expropriation submitted to it, and for this, it has several tasks, the most important of which are, requesting the relevant authorities to provide them with financial credits for the project for which the property is to be acquired, approvals, plans, engineering drawings and other documents and special documents. 

The committee is also responsible for proposing adequate planning alternatives to the owner to implement the project without agreeing to expropriation.  

This includes allocating alternative lands for the establishment of the project, studying whether the project requires the full or partial ownership of the property, and preparing a list of appraisers, which re-estimate the value of the compensation specified for the expropriated property. 

The law defines the procedures for implementing the expropriation decision, objecting to the amount of compensation, and the procedures for deciding on it.  

It also defines appeal procedures for implementing the expropriation decision, the eviction period, the type of compensation, the conditions for fulfilling the rights established on the property from compensation, and the exploitation of the expropriated property, in addition to the controls for the exploitation of the expropriated property. 

The law states that if any property owned or allocated to any of the federal or local government agencies is affected by the acquisition, compensation procedures for it, shall be carried out by the applicable legislation and the rules, controls and procedures approved by the Acquisition Committee in this regard. 

The law also applies to the expropriations whose procedures were not completed on the date of enforcement of this law, all actions taken in regard to these expropriations are considered valid as if they had been carried out by the provisions of this law. 

The law states that every person who had a property that was acquired before the law came into force and did not complete the acquisition procedures and receive the compensation due to him as per the law in force at the time of the acquisition, must review the competent government agencies in the Emirate of Dubai to complete all procedures for receiving the compensation, due to him, within a deadline. It shall not exceed one year from the effective date of this law. 

If he fails to do so, all decisions issued for entitlement to compensation shall be considered null and the compensation will be allotted as per the new law and shall be considered for determining the type or amount of compensation at the market value of the property on the date on which it was acquired. 

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