Setting up a Real Estate business in UAE

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180301: Medical Media portraits. Picture by Belinda Pratten
  • With the resumption of air travel, opening up of borders once again and the ongoing success of UAE events such as Expo 2020, people are flying back to Dubai to visit and to conduct business and pursue work, giving the UAE real estate sector a significant boost. Property Values are now starting to rise in many areas of Dubai.
  • The UAE has also been working on improving long term visa options for investors, key workers, digital nomads and international freelancers, to give them a route to permanent residency in the UAE.
  • The recent update in the real estate sector laws in the UAE now permits property brokers and estate agents to have 100% ownership of their company, without the need for a local partner or a UAE shareholder.
  • The structure for this requires that the company be set up as a Sole Establishment or Civil Business, requiring a local National Service Agent (NSA) or sponsor. PRO Partner Group can help navigate this landscape and provide effective solutions
Nazar Musa, CEO of PRO Partner Group

Dubai: Owing to the recent update in regulations, Specialist PRO service provider PRO Partner Group helps real estate brokers to set up businesses in the UAE. Dubai has now announced that Real Estate Brokerage can now be 100% foreign owned, along with a large number of professional activities in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

The evolving laws and regulations in the country can make establishing a business in the Middle East a complex and lengthy process without the help and services of an experienced and trustworthy partner. PRO Partner Group provides specialist PRO services and solutions for all types of companies across Dubai, Abu Dhabi, the wider UAE, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia in order to simplify the process and ensure companies choose the correct setup structure, and location, whilst maintaining compliance to ensure future proofed operational growth.

New Real Estate Law and its Risks

The structure for the Real Estate Brokerage company, and other companies with professional activities in Dubai requires that the company be set up as a Sole Establishment or Civil Business, requiring a National Service Agent (NSA). 

With a Sole Establishment or Civil Business the liability of the business is not limited and the owners / partners are unlimitedly liable for the activities of the business, this presents a much higher risk on the individuals.  An LLC structure is preferable as this limits the default liability within the business, and creates a separate legal entity from the owners / partners.

Risk Mitigation

There are ways to obtain a deferred limited liability structure for the Real Estate Brokerage activity and for other professional activities in the UAE.

One way to do this is to initially set up an LLC company in a foreign jurisdiction or in a UAE Freezone and then create a Foreign Branch or Freezone Branch into the mainland, to obtain the Real Estate Brokerage activity.  Liability for the branch would pass to the LLC, but the LLC would provide a Limited Liability structure on the secondary level to mitigate this risk.

The other option is to first set up a mainland LLC, in Dubai or Abu Dhabi with the activity of ‘Investment in Commercial Enterprise & Management’.  This LLC can then set up a Local Branch in Dubai or Abu Dhabi with the activity of Real Estate Brokerage. This will then effectively mitigate the risks associated with having to use the Sole Establishment structure.

“The Real Estate market in Dubai has been growing significantly and is a key industry in the UAE. As more foreign companies and investors are looking to redomicile to the UAE, a larger majority of the population consists of different nationalities, with expats taking the opportunity to relocate and acquire assets in different areas and different Emirates,” said Nazar Musa, CEO of PRO Partner Group. 

PRO Partner Group provides security, transparency, speed, efficiency and local knowledge to international corporations and investors wishing to set up business within the GCC.  PRO Partner Group aims to consistently meet and exceed expectations for clients, companies, and investors in the region.

About PRO Partner Group:

PRO Partner Group is the leading provider of company incorporation, corporate governance and secretarial services in the UAE, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Our services cover all aspects of company setup, ongoing administrative and support services. These include company incorporation, regulatory and compliance services, visa, immigration and secretarial services. Our mission is to provide our clients with an unparalleled service which places the highest priority on security, transparency, efficiency and satisfaction. At PRO Partner Group, we take enormous pride in building strong and enduring relationships with our clients by removing the complexity involved in setting up a business in a new country and ensuring that our clients are, at all times, fully informed and with access to the necessary support to ensure the continued success of their business