ADGM and DPM sign agreement enabling real estate title registration by ADGM entities

Process for the acquisition of Abu Dhabi lands/properties in the name of financial free zone entities


Abu Dhabi-UAE: The Registration Authority (RA) of the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), and the Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities of Abu Dhabi (DPM) are pleased to announce the execution of an agreement addressing real estate registration processes in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. This will enhance the position of the UAE and Abu Dhabi in relation to its role as an advanced economic centre.

Through the agreement, RA and DPM will facilitate the registration of title to real estate by qualifying ADGM entities, including, but not limited to, special purpose vehicles, ADGM foundations and real estate investment funds established in ADGM.  Such entities may now acquire title to real estate in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (whether inside or outside Abu Dhabi’s designated investment zones), in compliance with applicable Abu Dhabi real property laws and DPM rules and procedures. To ensure adherence to the terms of the agreement, share transfers of qualifying ADGM entities will be monitored, with share transfer transactions being subject to the RA’s production of non-objection and incumbency certificates.  

The agreement was executed by Dhaher bin Dhaher Al Mheiri, Chief Executive Officer of the Registration Authority, and H.E. Saif Bader Al Qubaisi, Director General of the Municipality of Abu Dhabi.

H.E. Saif Bader Al Qubaisi said: “the signing of the cooperation agreement with the Abu Dhabi Global Market will enhance the procedures supporting the real-estate trading processes. This step will contribute to pushing the property registration processes forward, all of which stems from Abu Dhabi Global Market’s economic standing and global reliability.

The Abu Dhabi City Municipality and the laws of the real estate market, including Law No. 3 of 2015 on the regulation of the real estate sector in Abu Dhabi, are working towards creating a flexible investment and trade environment while properly responding to the requirements of investors and owners in accordance to the highest levels of security and transparency. In addition, the municipality has established a modern approach that specializes in protecting the rights of all parties, especially in the field of trading, buying, selling, and registering real estate and the marketing of real estate projects in accordance with the relative laws and regulations.”

Al Qubaisi also stressed that this agreement is in line with the role of the Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities, the government entity responsible for managing urban growth and development in Abu Dhabi, while overseeing the construction and real estate sector in accordance with best practices.

His Excellency also noted that the Abu Dhabi City Municipality is keen to increase the real estate sector’s vitality in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and raise the level of investment opportunities for investors both internally and externally. This enhances Abu Dhabi’s position on the local and regional real estate market, and seeks to build bridges of cooperation with strategic partners; Abu Dhabi Global Market being one of them, as real estate corporations with large projects will ultimately have a positive impact on the real estate market. The Municipality closely monitors corporate compliance with the Real Estate Regulation Law No.3 of 2015, which regulates the orientation in which real estate companies register for projects. The Municipality is also working to ensure that developers meet the bases and procedures of registration according to established regulations and customs to create a regulatory environment through which the final product, including the rights of the developer, investor, and the economy of the Emirate, are guaranteed.

His Excellency further stated that the Abu Dhabi City Municipality is striving to keep pace with the effective procedures and regulations, through its determination to overcome difficulties, and find appropriate solutions and proposals that facilitate the registration process. It also clarified that it is actively seeking to facilitate the procedures for developers and productive cooperation, especially given that the Abu Dhabi City Municipality’s services are public. In particular, the real estate industry has been digitally transformed so that the application procedure and processing of the transaction is made more convenient and time-conserving.

Commenting on the agreement, Dhaher bin Dhaher Al Mheiri, CEO of the RA, said: “As a leading international financial centre and ecosystem enabler, ADGM continually works towards facilitating smooth and expedited transactions. This partnership will help entities based in ADGM to own land or property in the capital that is located outside ADGM’s geographical area.

We, at ADGM aim to reinforce Abu Dhabi’s continuous efforts towards enhancing business efficiency and achieving further cooperation amongst the government entities across the UAE. This partnership will augment our position as accelerators of investments and developments across the UAE and the region.”

The new agreement is a result of a continuous collaboration between ADGM and DPM. Moreover, it is in line with the Government’s recent amendments to the property and real estate law, allowing foreign investors to own property and/or land within Abu Dhabi’s investment areas.

ADGM works towards its goal of promoting Abu Dhabi as a destination of choice for both, start-ups and large corporations. The agreement elevates ADGM’s reputation as a trusted business environment where international and local investors can structure their respective investments within a well-established and respected legal framework.


About Abu Dhabi Global Market

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), an international financial centre (IFC) located in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, opened for business on 21 October 2015.  Established by a UAE Federal Decree as a broad-based financial centre, ADGM augments Abu Dhabi’s position as a global hub for business and finance and serves as a strategic link between the growing economies of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia and the rest of the world.

ADGM’s strategy is anchored by Abu Dhabi’s key strengths including private banking, wealth management, asset management and financial innovation. Comprising three independent authorities: ADGM Courts, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority and the Registration Authority, ADGM as an IFC governs Al Maryah Island which is a designated financial free zone. It enables registered financial institutions, companies and entities to operate, innovate and succeed within an international regulatory framework based on Common Law.  

Since its inception, ADGM has been awarded the “Financial Centre of the Year (MENA)” for three consecutive years for its initiatives and contributions to the financial and capital markets industry in the region.*  

For more details of ADGM, please visit or follow us on Twitter: @adglobalmarket and LinkedIn: ADGM

* Source: The Global Investor Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Awards

For further enquiries, please contact:
Joan Lew
Associate Director Communications 

© Press Release 2019

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