Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi has become the most progressive real estate market in the world, based on JLL’s Global Real Estate Transparency Index 2020.

In its 11th edition, the report recorded substantial improvement in Abu Dhabi, further strengthening its position as having the most improved transparency in the real estate sector.

Published by the world’s leading real estate advisory firm, JLL, the report measures the level of transparency in global real estate markets, from 163 cities in 99 countries.

Abu Dhabi had shown the greatest progress in standards of governance by 25%, laws and regulations by 19% and sustainability standards by 13% from 2018 to 2020.

The Emirate ranked second in the Middle East and North Africa region in 2020, compared to third position in 2018.

Abu Dhabi has advanced in previous years, achieving 59th position globally in 2016, 55th in 2018 and now 48th in 2020.

The index is an essential tool, allowing investors, developers and individuals to make well-informed international decisions in real estate markets.

It measures transparency of cities based on six main categories, which are the performance of real estate markets, the availability of basic market data, governance, regulations and laws, as well as procedures.

H.E. Dr. Adeeb Al-Afifi, Executive Director of the Real Estate Sector at DMT, said: “Such progress shows the extent of our commitment to establish a more transparent real estate sector, to devote the highest international standards to real estate investment, and develop integrated digital services, which will contribute to enhancing ease of doing business for investors, developers and individuals.”

Many initiatives launched by DMT have contributed to significant progress in the Emirate’s real estate sector.

This includes issuing title deeds to all investors in Abu Dhabi, shifting mortgages services online, establishing the first electronic title deeds for real estate units, simplifying procedures for real estate trading via an electronic link, in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, and approval of an electronic signature in buying and selling real estate services.

Transparency reports on real estate transactions, led by DMT, were released for the first time in Abu Dhabi in 2019, and the entity is currently developing a system of real estate reports to make available to investors on the DMT’s website.

Real estate in Abu Dhabi has been further strengthened by provisions in the ownership law issued by H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, Ruler of Abu Dhabi, in April 2019.

The law allows foreign investors to own land, and rights such as mortgage, sale, and entry into owners' associations, which provides flexibility for the investor and companies. It also allows public shareholding companies, in which foreign ownership does not exceed 49%, to own real estate outside investment areas.

In the JLL report, United Kingdom maintained its lead in the real estate markets with a result of 1.31, followed by the United States of America with 1.35 and Australia with a result of 1.39 in the category of the most transparent markets.

Within the Middle East and North Africa region, the JLL report indicated Dubai ranked 36th globally compared to 40th in 2018, while Saudi Arabia ranked 57th, Egypt ranked 60th and Morocco ranked 61th.

Jordan was ranked 66th, followed by Bahrain ranked 70th, then Kuwait ranked 74th, followed by Oman in 81st place.

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