UAE real estate lingo you should know before purchasing a property

real estate terms

Whether you are an international investor or a first-time home buyer in Dubai, it’s always beneficial to familiarize yourself with the market terms that you may come across during your property-buying journey. In Dubai, you might hear these terms from your lender or real estate agent while searching for a property or obtaining a mortgage. To feel more confident throughout the home-buying process, it’s suggested that you familiarize yourself with the fundamental terms associated with buying a property in the UAE, making your experience even smoother.


In order to ensure legal real estate transactions in Dubai, the government has established the Dubai Land Department (DLD) as a central governing body. The DLD is responsible for managing and overseeing all real estate trading activities in the city to ensure a safe and transparent process. It is important to note that buyers must pay a mandatory 4 percent fee on every sale that goes to the DLD.


Another essential government agency is the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera). Established in 2007, it is responsible for regulating Dubai’s property sector. Its core objectives include formulating policies and strategies aimed at attracting foreign investments and resolving disputes between tenants and landlords in the region.

Freehold or leasehold ownership

Leasehold and freehold properties differ significantly in their ownership structures. Unlike freehold property, leasehold doesn’t bestow complete ownership rights on the purchaser. Instead, leasehold ownership provides a specific time frame, typically 99 years, that can be extended. Conversely, freehold ownership grants the buyer comprehensive legal rights to occupy, rent, or sell the property whenever they desire. Furthermore, freehold ownership permits the homeowner to make any desired changes to the property with developer approval.

Title deed and Oqood


Confirmation of ownership of any property or land is established by the title deed, which is a legal document. However, if an individual is purchasing an off-plan property in Dubai, they will get an Oqood that serves as proof of ownership. The Oqood document streamlines, registers, and supervises off-plan property agreements in Dubai, and later, when the project is completed, it is considered a title deed.

Saleable Area

When it comes to selling freehold properties, this term gets thrown around quite a bit. Essentially, this term describes the physical area that comes with the property in question. This includes all sorts of shared spaces like lobbies, hallways, and elevators that can’t be sold separately to someone else.


A crucial document in the world of real estate is the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), also known as the Form. This official agreement is drafted by the estate agent and serves as a regulatory framework for the transfer of property. It is of utmost importance, as it outlines the terms and conditions of the transaction and establishes a timeline for its completion.


Another essential document in real estate buying is the sales and purchase agreement (SPA). Unlike the MoU, this document legally binds the buyer and seller to the contract terms and conditions. Generally, a lawyer prepares this document in support of the seller’s interests. However, the buyer retains the right to negotiate the terms and conditions to their satisfaction.




Before the new owner takes possession of the property, it is important to identify any defects or problems. Fortunately, Springfield Properties has an in-house team to execute this necessary task. These professionals will meticulously evaluate the home to pinpoint any and all issues, and then ensure that the developer addresses and corrects them before the transfer of ownership.



Ejari serves as a uniform method for buy-to-let investors to record their tenancy agreements in Dubai. It is a crucial document that must be obtained in order to complete various government and housing-related procedures, such as connecting to Dewa, receiving internet services, and fulfilling visa requirements.


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