There are risks and rewards in off-plan property deals. Image Credit: Shutterstock


I want to buy an off-plan property from a developer in Dubai. My question is: what are the legal procedures that must be taken before signing the purchase agreement? Am I legally entitled to require the developer to terminate the agreement if the property is not handed over to me on the agreed date? Is it possible to register the property in my name and in the name of my wife and 3 of my children? Please advise.


To answer such question, I would advise the questioner that:


1. There are no legal procedures that should be taken before buying an off- plan property in Dubai, but it is better for the buyer to make sure that the developer get all the required approvals from the competent authorities to start building. Research the developer and make sure it is established and reliable. Look at their track record with previous developments, if they had handed the projects over on time.

Make sure the developer, real estate project and escrow account are registered with Dubai Land Department (DLD) and the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA). Have the proper clauses in your sale and purchase agreement which should outline the terms and conditions, govern the relationship between both of you and provide your respective rights and obligations

2. You have the right to include in the purchase agreement a condition to terminate the agreement if the property is not handed over to you on the agreed date.

The delivery, of anything as per Article 525 of the Civil Transaction Law, is done in accordance with its nature, and according to the agreement or custom. The seller, as per Article 514 of the Civil Transaction law, is bound to deliver the thing sold to the purchaser free of any other right, unless otherwise agreed or stipulated by Law. He is equally bound to perform everything necessary from his part to transfer ownership to the purchaser.

3. It is possible to register the property in your name, your wife’s name and 3 of your children because it is not stipulated by law that the owner of the property should be one person only.