Acquisition of real estate for the public benefit in the Emirate of Dubai Published Date: 28 Mar 2022

The Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai issued Law No. (2) of 2022 concerning theacquisition of real estate for the public benefit in the Emirate of Dubai, whichin turn repealed the provisions stipulated in the decree issued on January 1,1964 regarding the regulation of expropriation for the public benefit and anyprovision in any other legislative to the extent that contradicts with the newlaw. The law applies to all acquisitions of real estate in the Emirate, includingspecial development areas, and free zones, including the Dubai InternationalFinancial Center, meaning that the new law will cover the geography of theentire Emirate of Dubai.

Acquisition as defined by law means the expropriation of real estatefrom its owner, or the expropriation of the original rights in kind orthe right of lease. In general, the acquiring authorities include entitiesaffiliated to the Government of Dubai.

Article (5) of the law addressed the important issue of control ofacquisition, whereby it was forbidden to acquire real estate except forthe public benefit and in consideration of fair compensation. This isone of the most important objectives of the law, which in turn cameto regulate the procedures for requesting acquisition and how toexpropriate the real estate in consideration of fair compensation.

The law also added the appropriate way to be taken by the authoritiesrequesting acquisition and how to submit the request before the"Acquisition Committee" that is competent to consider theacquisition requests. The law stipulated the independence of thecommittee formed by the head of the court of His Highness the Rulerof Dubai, as defined by law, unlike the previous one, where thecommittee was formed by one of the authorities affiliated to theGovernment of Dubai.

In this matter, the principle of governance is strengthened and theleading role of the Emirate is confirmed in achieving the publicinterest with justice, whether in the followed procedures, theindependence of the committee, or fair compensation.

Governmental acquisition under the new law is regulated in a new way to address the issue of realestate splitting, as it gave the choice to the real estate owner who could be harmed by the splittingof his real estate and could not benefit from the remaining part, which may lose the compensationfor it or claim the remaining part to annex it to an adjacent real estate and benefit from it. Thus, alarge gap resulting from the application of old law was closed , and the principle of justice andbenefit for the real estate owner was realized.

The new law detailed the acquisition procedures in a precise manner and clear procedures uponwhich the acquisition request is based, so that the committee may, for this purpose, request therelevant authorities to provide it with the financial appropriations for the project for which realestate is required to be acquired, approvals and other documents and papers related to theproject, to study them, determine the feasibility and importance of the project, and the extent towhich it achieves the public benefit, and study its compatibility with the general policy of urbanplanning for the area in which the required acquisition is located and the general urban plan of theEmirate of Dubai.

In addition, the committee is concerned with proposing appropriate planning alternatives to theacquirer to implement the project without resorting to acquisition, such as allocating alternativelands to establish the project, studying whether the project requires full or partial acquisition ofthe real estate, preparing a list of appraisers, which re-estimate the value of the specifiedcompensation for the acquired real estate, presenting it to the owner of the acquired real estate tochoose one of the appraisal bodies he deems appropriate, and approving the type and amount ofcompensation specified by the Land Department or the appraisal body. Thus, he is not forced toagree to the price imposed on him, as was the case previously.

The new law sets controls to achieve objectives that consolidate the role of the Emirate of Dubai indeveloping the Emirate and promoting the achievement of public interest without prejudice to therights of other parties. This is a great move forward in regulating the sensitive issue of acquisitionof real estate for public use.