DIFC Companies Get Permission to Trade in Real Estate Assets

By May 31, 2017News

Companies registered with Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), will now be able to engage in buying and selling activities in real estate assets, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Dubai Land Department (DLD).

The move will help DIFC-based businesses, especially the Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) to directly invest in Dubai’s real estate assets, that are expected to boost the emirate’s property market – ripe for REITs. With property prices at historic new low, the move will help REITs to cash in on the new opportunities.

The strategic agreement, signed by Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, and Sultan Butti Bin Mejren, Director-General of the Dubai Land Department, will simplify the land owner registration process with DLD for DIFC-based companies, partnerships, foundations, REITs and real estate funds. 

“This innovative approach will be a catalyst to encourage greater institutional investment into Dubai’s real estate sector, which remains one of the fastest growing segments of the emirate’s economy with approximately 20,000 real estate transactions worth Dh77 billion recorded in the first quarter of 2017, a 45 per cent increase compared to the first quarter of 2016, a statement said.  

Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, said: “This agreement significantly benefits entities operating within the Centre, and the co-operation between DIFC and the DLD is key to stimulating growth and investment activity in Dubai’s real estate sector. To date the majority of real estate investment has predominantly been driven by individuals – by providing a platform that allows companies and funds to more easily invest in this asset class, we will undoubtedly see a shift towards greater institutional investment in the market.

“This will also substantially benefit families who wish to do their private wealth and succession planning within the robust legal and regulatory framework offered by the DIFC, which remains a key focus area for the Centre, in line with our 2024 Strategy,” he continued.

Sultan Butti Bin Mejren, Director-General of the Dubai Land Department, said: “We are keen on collaborating and coordinating with all government entities to achieve the vision of our leadership and realise the main pillars underpinning the Dubai Plan 2021, in order for the emirate to become the most attractive investment destination globally, generating wealth and ultimately boosting the happiness of its residents.”