What’s New with U.A.E Property Laws
Published on August 7, 2018
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Keep abreast of the property market by staying up to date with the latest laws and news.
1. Investors with commercial property need to clear VAT dues
Investors must clear their VAT dues on the sale or rental of commercial properties before proceeding with any transfer of ownership, according to Gulf News.
However, taxes paid on the property’s expenses during a rent period can be recovered through the tax return of the tenant if he is registered and entitled to a refund. It is also possible to recover the entirety of taxes incurred on construction purchased according to the capital assets system, if the cost of the property is more than AED 5 million.
“With the exception of selling unrented commercial property and rental contracts for commercial units, all other property is either not subject to or exempt from the 5 per cent VAT rate on businesses,” said Khalid Ali Al Bustani, Director-General at the Federal Tax Authority.
“Owners who rent out their estates for residential purposes are not required to register with the Authority. All supplies that fall under an exempt category do not require registration in the tax system.
“Federal Decree Law No. (8) for 2017 on Value Added Tax and its Executive Regulations maintains the competitiveness of real estate investment.” The FTA also clarified that rented commercial property is not considered a supply when sold to taxable persons.
2. Dubai real estate agents can be fined AED 50,000 over telesales
Real estate brokers in Dubai have been urged to stop making unsolicited telemarketing calls or face up to AED 50,000 in fines.
The Dubai Police announced this during a seminar titled ‘Spreading the Security Culture among Real Estate Companies’ organised under the patronage of Major-General Mohammed Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of the Dubai Police, and in cooperation with the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), the regulatory arm of the Dubai Land Department.
Marwan Ahmed bin Ghalaita, executive director of RERA, said any annoyance complaints from the public against a real estate firm or a real estate broker will be dealt with firmly, and they will be fined up to AED 50,000.
“Direct telemarketing through SMS, calls and WhatsApp is not allowed and is a violation of the law. People have been called by agencies even before they advertise their properties for sale. Some agents have also asked property owners if they wanted to sell the properties and they were surprised these agents had their details. All these are violations,” he said.
“The Rera and the Dubai Police aim to ensure that brokers adopt and follow the regulations and not merely use sales strategy by unnecessarily calling and annoying random people. Violating companies will be warned and fined for repeating their unlawful actions,” he said.
According to regulations, if any brokerage wants to do telemarketing and texting services, they have to seek permission from the RERA and also provide the list of customers. “Those who have complaints against real estate companies can go to the RERA.”
3. Dubai Land Department supports strategic alliance between the UAE and China
The Dubai Land Department (DLD) has played an important role in strengthening the alliance between the United Arab Emirates and the People’s Republic of China over the past decades by working with its partners to further attract Chinese investors, and to identify the investment opportunities available in Dubai and the UAE in general.
Her Excellency Majida Ali Rashid, Assistant Director and Head of the Real Estate Investment Management and Promotion Centre at DLD, said: “We recognise the importance of China as a trade and strategic partner for the United Arab Emirates, and we will be supportive of the Government’s direction and its policy to strengthen the relations between the two friendly countries. This will be accomplished by opening the investment horizons in Dubai to Chinese companies and individuals looking to benefit from the opportunities offered by the UAE due to its strategic location and advanced infrastructure.”
One of the latest initiatives supported by Dubai has been its successful participation in the ‘Chinese Luxury Property Show’ in Beijing. During the three-day event, DLD organized numerous meetings with senior investors from companies and individuals.
The department focused its attention on companies operating in real estate and hospitality sectors, where it met with officials representing Century 21 China, 5i5j, and CIREA, as well as with investment companies, including the business centre, the tourism university, and furniture companies and factories.
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