In a pioneering move to strengthen transparency and position the country amongst international standards, the UAE has announced the introduction of new reporting requirements aimed at certain real estate transactions.
“The UAE continues its mission in further increasing transparency and efficiency in the real estate sector through mandated legal frameworks and regulations such as the recent financial reporting requirements for transactions to combat money laundering,” Adham Younis, Group CEO of D&B Properties, says.
Any real estate transactions involving AED 55,000 ($14,976) or more must be reported to the UAE Financial Intelligence Unit for verification.
Purchases and sale transactions of freehold real estate properties in the UAE that include any of the below three methods of payment, whether for a portion or the entirety of the property value, as are follows:
- Single or multiple cash payment(s) equal to or above AED 55,000
- Payments that include the use of a virtual asset
- Payments where the fund(s) used in the transaction were derived from a virtual asset
All real estate agents, brokers, or law firms are mandated to obtain and record the necessary identification documents of the parties to the transaction.
“At D&B Properties, we fully applaud the decision to implement the reporting measures that further continue the transparency and trust that the country has built with global investors,” Younis continues. “While we may face delays in transactions as the market adjusts to the new procedures, we believe in the UAE’s conviction to implement new processes successfully and efficiently to strengthen the real estate industry.
“This new law will further expedite foreign investments into the country. Other initiatives introduced this year that benefits investors in the long-run are the 10-Year Golden Visa, Dubai Investment Fund, and a new regulatory authority for virtual asset transactions, all of which promote the UAE’s long-term vision for a fully transparent, digital, and effectual global real estate market.”
The Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Justice are in partnership with the UAE Financial Investment Unit.
Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, the UAE Minister of Economy (MoE), said that the adoption of the highest standards of transparency and governance, in addition to the necessary regulations to ensure economic and financial stability while combating malpractice within the business community, are all priorities of the Ministry of Economy and its partners in local, federal, and private sector entities.
Abdullah Sultan Bin Awwad Al Nuaimi, the UAE Minister of Justice (MoJ), said, "The introduction of reporting rules for certain transactions in the real estate sector is another example of how the UAE is coordinating across the government and with the private sector to strengthen the national framework for anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism."
The Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Justice play a key role in the UAE’s framework for the Executive Office for Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) as the supervisory authorities for Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs), including real estate agents and brokers and law firms, respectively.