Abu Dhabi allows foreigners to own freehold properties in investment areas

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Abu Dhabi will now allow all foreigners to own land and property in investment areas on a freehold basis after making changes to its real estate law, state news agency WAM reported on Wednesday.

The United Arab Emirates capital previously limited ownership largely to Emiratis and citizens of the neighboring Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states.

Residential units in investment areas will now be registered under Abu Dhabi’s freehold law, according to Abu Dhabi real estate firm Aldar Properties, citing a government statement. Previously, foreign investors in Abu Dhabi were largely restricted to 99-year leases, it said.

“This will not only further drive the maturity of Abu Dhabi’s real estate market, but will also increase transparency and provide clarity of title for property owners, increasing long-term investment, injecting more liquidity into the market and encouraging longer term residency,” Aldar chief executive Talal Al Dhiyebi said in a statement.

Aldar announced on Wednesday a recently launched residential project on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island, where land and property can be sold to all nationalities, had sold out and generated over 400 million dirhams ($109 million) in sales

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