Real Estate Investment in Dubai: An Uncharted Legal Landscape

Seizing New Opportunities and Mitigating Risks in a Complex Regulatory Environment

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Course Materials


The real estate market in Dubai is booming beyond belief, with some investors receiving 30% returns on their investments each year. Recent Dubai regulatory reforms allow foreign investment though investments are subject to multiple, complex and ambiguous laws and regulations and licensing restrictions.

How can legal counsel best advise companies and clients on ways to take advantage of the investment opportunities in Dubai presents while minimizing the legal and business risks, both here and abroad?

Listen as our panel of attorneys explains the current cultural and regulatory environment for real estate investment in Dubai, the legal risks of investing in Dubai real estate, and best practices for mitigating those risks.



  1. Overview — Dubai as an emerging real estate market
  2. Laws governing foreign real estate investment in Dubai
    1. Land Registration Law of the Emirate of Dubai (No. 7/2006)
    2. New escrow law issued June 2007/Strata Law
    3. Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) Real Property Law
    4. Model ethics laws for real estate professionals
    5. Regulating the new planned communities
  3. Best practices for mitigating investment risk
    1. Registration of property interest
      1. Tax considerations
      2. Stamp duty
    2. Overcoming licensing restrictions
    3. Due diligence
    4. Proper investment documentation


The panel reviewed these and other key questions: 

  • What are the current trends driving real estate development in Dubai?
  • What are the key Dubai laws and regulations, including those governing free zones, that every American business must know before venturing into Dubai real estate development?
  • What are the critical legal, business and tax risks of investing in real estate in Dubai?
  • What are some best practices for mitigating the legal risks of investing in Dubai real estate?


Shahram Safai
Shahram Safai
Afridi & Angell

He practices in the areas of real estate, construction, corporate and commercial and banking and financial services...  |  Read More

Natasha Bowcott
Natasha Bowcott
Bin Shabib & Associates

She specializes in real estate and commercial transactions and previously gained experience as a Commercial Property...  |  Read More

Elias R. Chedid
Elias R. Chedid
King & Spalding

He handles a broad range of corporate and real estate matters. He represents real estate funds, investors and...  |  Read More

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