New Dubai law to regulate expropriation of property for public use

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A new law has been issued in Dubai to regulate the procedures for the expropriation of property for public use.

In his capacity as the Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, has issued Law No. (2) of 2022.

It is aimed at protecting the rights of owners of expropriated property and ensuring they receive full and fair compensation as per a clear set of rules.

Expropriation refers to the process of an authority taking over a property from an owner for public use or benefit.

The provisions of the new law will apply to the expropriation of property across Dubai, and will also cover special development zones and free zones including the Dubai International Financial Centre.

The Law regulates the terms and conditions under which buildings and facilities can be expropriated including those that are completed and under construction.

It also sets out the terms for providing compensation to the owners, as per a Decision issued by the Chairman of the Court of His Highness, the Ruler of Dubai.

  • According to the Law, if only a portion of a property is expropriated and the remaining part becomes unfit for use as per Dubai’s construction rules and regulations, full compensation will be provided if the owner does not want to retain it to add it to an adjacent property.
  • The Law creates a permanent committee named ‘The Expropriation Committee’ to oversee all matters related to expropriation of property in the emirate.
  • The Chairman of the Court of His Highness, the Ruler of Dubai, will issue a decision on the formation of the committee, its members, decision-making processes and expropriation procedures.
  • The Expropriation Committee is tasked with reviewing requests for expropriation including requests to assess the viability of expropriating a property to meet the objectives of a project.
  • The Committee may propose alternatives to expropriating a property for a project, including land grants. It will also assess whether a proposed project requires full or partial expropriation and evaluate the compensation for expropriated property.
  • Orders issued by Dubai Ruler to expropriate property in Dubai supercede the authority of the Committee. The Chairman of the Court of His Highness, the Ruler of Dubai will issue separate decisions for any expropriation of property.
  • In case the expropriation affects a property that belongs to a local or federal government entity, compensation will be provided as per legislations and procedures approved by the Committee.
  • Expropriations of property conducted before the issuance of the new Law should follow all procedures and provide compensation as per previously existing terms and conditions within a year of the effective date of the new legislation.
  • The Chairman of the Court of His Highness, the Ruler of Dubai is authorised to extend the deadline by six months. If the deadline is not met, compensation will have to be provided under the terms of the new Law.
  • The newly issued Law outlines comprehensive procedures for expropriation of property, calculating the value of compensation, and appealing against the expropriation.

The new Law annuls clauses of the Resolution issued on January 1, 1964 regulating expropriation of private property for public use. The Law also annuls any other legislation that may contradict it.

The newly issued Law is effective from the date of its publication in the Official Gazette.

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