If you are planning to get your own property in the United Arab Emirates, rent and lease it, you are bound to encounter unfamiliar terminology related to the real estate industry. The Dubai real estate market is straightforwardly replete with specific terms used only in this country.
There are many different types of contracts, unique electronic systems used to register contracts and pay the rent or full value of the property. In this article we will focus on the most common Arabic terms that you should be aware of if you are planning to move or live permanently in the UAE.
The Arabic word “ejari” translates to “my rent”. But, in this case, Ejari is an online system that regulates all property rentals in the Emirates. This online system was launched in 2007 at the initiative of the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA). If a lease contract has not been entered into the Ejari system, it is considered invalid and should any dispute arise with the other half (i.e. tenant or landlord), you will not be able to go to court to protect your interests.
Registration in the system should be the responsibility of the property owner, but the tenant also has the option of entering the lease agreement through the Ejari online system. There is an official website, ejari.dubailand.gov.ae, through which you can quickly and easily complete the registration procedure. The Dubai Land Department has also developed a special mobile application that allows you to register a contract at any convenient time. In addition, some institutions and commercial complexes have real estate registration desks. These are popular for on-site registration of contracts if you intend to rent a flat or villa in Dubai but are unable or unwilling to register online.
Registration in the Ejari system is an official proof of residence in the United Arab Emirates. It is compulsory when applying for an identity card, connecting to utilities or providing any real estate services. Ejari fees are in most cases payable by the tenant or real estate agent, as they are responsible for the property.
If done locally through a specialist centre, the registration fee is AED 215 plus another 5% tax. If you register the property online you will have to pay AED 172 in total. Once the application is submitted, one has to wait 2 days for the registration to be authorised.
One more important point: Ejari certificate is not automatically cancelled at the end of the lease term. It is, therefore, necessary to cancel it. Cancellation can be done by the former tenant, the property owner, the property management company or a real estate agency.
Tawtheeq is an Arabic word meaning ‘certificate’. Tawtheeq is also an electronic system for the registration of rental properties, but in Abu Dhabi. Like Ejari, it is designed to safeguard investments in Emirati properties and prevent conflict between tenants and property owners.
The Tawtheeq system has been in operation since 2011. Its main difference with Ejari is that the registration fee for real estate transactions is paid by the landlord or the management company dealing with the property. Property registration fees in the Tawtheeq system are:
- AED 1,000 for the initial registration of a rental property;
- AED 5 extra for each Abu Dhabi flat to be rented out;
- AED 100 for the completion of a new or renewal lease
- AED 50 for an amendment, cancellation or termination of an existing lease.
Registration in the electronic system is only available to the property owner or management company. As with Ejari, registration with Tawtheeq is available in 3 ways:
1. through the Customer Service Centre in Abu Dhabi;
2. via the mobile app of the same name;
3. on the official website mservices.dma.abudhabi.ae.
An important point to bear in mind: the property registration process takes 30 days. Therefore, if you have a property abroad, more specifically in Abu Dhabi, and you plan to rent it out, you should first register it in the Tawtheeq system, and then look for tenants and rent the property out. Tasdeeq
Tasdeeq is an Arabic word that translates to ‘appraisal’. In reality, it is an electronic system for registering property leases in Ajman, in the northern emirate of the UAE. It was launched in 2017 and is very similar to Ejari and Tawtheeq. Its main objectives are, like its counterparts, to register residential and commercial property leases in Ajman, settle possible disputes between tenants and property owners, and simplify the rental process.
Through the Tasdeeq system the following are registered:
1. Leases of residential properties;
2. Commercial Real Estate Leases;
3. Leases for investment purposes;
4. Contracts for the accommodation of working staff.
Through the Tasdeeq system it is also possible to obtain a lease confirmation and a lease registration certificate. The system makes it possible to terminate an existing lease. The service fee on Tasdeeq is 2% of the rent, but the minimum charge for the service will not be less than AED 400. The service can be arranged locally at Ajman Municipality or online by creating an account with Tasdeeq. Makani
“Makani’ in Arabic means ‘my location’. In real estate Makani is a unique 10-digit code that every house, building and public place in the Emirates has. The code is affixed to the facades of all landmarks, shopping centres, towers, villas and hospitals. Anyone living in the Emirates can use the Makani system to report their location in the event of an emergency, quickly find a building or facility of interest and get directions. The system was specifically designed for Dubai real estate but has become widespread across the UAE due to its ease of use and simplicity. Trakheesi
Trakheesi is a service widely used in Dubai for issuing licences and permits for certain types of activities, as well as for dealing with real estate portals and for obtaining permits for creating applications and websites. Musataha
The Musataha is an agreement which grants individuals the right to lease land for a period not exceeding 50 years. On the leased land, any kind of real estate can be built, even an industrial plant. The Musataha is designed to attract more investment to the United Arab Emirates. The properties built are leased to investors for up to a certain period, after which they become the property of the state. Each Emirate is governed by its own regulations and laws when registering the Musataha agreement.
Ijarah is a new project in the Emirates under which one can become a property owner without the use of a mortgage. The rent-to-own scheme involves the payment of rent against the future property. I.e. every month you pay a certain amount as rent plus an additional amount every month. When the required amount set for the value of the property has been deposited, you will become the rightful owner of the property. This scheme is great for people who do not want to get into debt or take out a mortgage.
The word “Oqood” in Arabic means “contracts”. Oqood is designed to regulate the unfinished property market. Confidence in off-plan flats and villas in Dubai has increased markedly over the past few years. The amount of investment in this area has been steadily increasing. And the authorities in Dubai have decided to create a system that will regulate this niche and make both investors and developers as safe as possible. The sale of unfinished properties can be registered through Oqood, without the need to go to Dubai Land Department.
Estidama is an Arabic word meaning ‘sustainable development’. It is not a system for rating buildings on the environmental side, such as BREEAM or LEED. Rather, it is a set of ideas that should be applied to the construction of a building in order to gain the support of the government. In the Abu Dhabi real estate market, the Estidama methodology should be followed as it takes into account all the latest developments in the real estate market in terms of the environment.
It should also be noted that Estidama maintains its own rating system for buildings located in Abu Dhabi – the Pearl Rating System. Each building must have at least one Pearl Rating, and if a developer wants to receive funding from the government, they must have 2 Pearls.
Dubai’s Al Sa’fat programme is similar to Abu Dhabi’s Estidama programme. The main aim of the project is to increase the number of buildings built in compliance with environmental standards. Since 2011, there has been a trend in the Emirates to reduce the consumption of energy sources and replace them with their natural counterparts. For example, you can buy a flat in Dubai in a house that generates energy using solar panels. Conclusion
Especially for those with a real estate investment in the Emirates, let’s briefly note the main Arabic terms:
1. Ejari – electronic system for registering leases (Dubai);
2. Tawtheeq – electronic system for registration of leases (Abu Dhabi);
3. Tasdeeq – electronic lease registration system (Ajman);
4. Makani – a mobile app that allows you to navigate in Dubai and the rest of the Emirates. Makani gives each building and public space a unique 10-digit number;
5. Trakheesi – a system that coordinates the activities of real estate agents;
6. Musataha – a land lease for a period not exceeding 50 years with the right to build any type of real estate, including industrial plants;
7. Ijarah – obtaining the ownership of real estate after conversion of lease payments into equity;
8. Oqood – a portal dealing with the management and sale of unfinished real estate;
9. Estidama – a development project in Abu Dhabi aimed at increasing the consumption of natural resources;
10. Al Sa’fat is a Dubai development project aimed at increasing the consumption of natural resources. The Emirati real estate market is growing all the time. Every year there are more and more people who want to buy a house or flat in Dubai. Consequently, the number of terms used in real estate is also increasing. If you can not understand it yourself, you can consult our experts at any time! We hope this article was helpful!
The Emirati real estate market is growing all the time. Every year there are more and more people who want to buy a house or flat in Dubai. Consequently, the number of terms used in real estate is also increasing. If you can not understand it yourself, you can consult our experts at any time! We hope this article was helpful!