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The lack of a property law that regulates expat ownership of real estate in Fujairah has been a big drawback for foreign real estate investors in Fujairah. There are no specific laws regarding property registration and ownership in Fujairah, says Tara Marlow, real estate expert at UAE law firm Al Tamimi & Co. The provisions of the civil code and the instructions of the ruler regulate the emirate's real estate sector.
There is also one freehold property where non-GCC foreigners are allowed to buy apartments, Al Jaber Tower. In other developments, such as the Fujairah Business Center, it is understood that foreigners will be allowed to hold property under long-term leases, but interested tenants and investors should consult with the Fujairah government about the terms applicable to specific developments.
Al Dana Island offers freehold ownership to UAE and GCC nationals, but not for non-GCC nationals.
In most other cases, except Fujairah Free Zone, where long-term leases are also allowed, foreigners and expats are limited to the usual one-year extendable rent contracts as per a law issued in 2007 and amended with regards to rent caps in 2011.
It is, however, believed that the Fujairah government is currently drafting new laws that would open more developments to foreign freehold ownership in future, although no time frame has been given.
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Source: Arno Maierbrugger, Special to Property Weekly