Expats and foreign property investors are now able to purchase properties in Abu Dhabi, following a government decision to relax property laws on buyers from abroad. Foreigners had previously been limited to leasehold agreements, however they are now able to purchase freehold properties in designated investment zones. This is a part of an initiative to drive investment in the property market and could lead to Abu Dhabi possessing the same appeal as Dubai, which has allowed foreign investment for many years.
Dubai’s property market has flourished since the decision to relax property laws 12 years ago and this is likely to have been a huge factor in the recent decision in Abu Dhabi. It is hoped that this will not simply drive growth of the property sector in Abu Dhabi, but also drive growth in the United Arab Emirates’ economy.
However, expats and property investors should keep in mind that property laws in the UAE differ from and are often slightly stricter than those in the UK. This means that modification of the property may prove troublesome and those planning to develop an investment or permanent property should investigate the rules and regulations associated with this prior to making their decision.