Dubai has passed a new law regulating the expropriation of property for public use.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, in his capacity as Ruler of Dubai, issued Law No. 2 of 2022 on the expropriation of property for the public use in the emirate.
According to a detailed set of rules laid out in the law, the law is designed to protect the rights of property owners and to ensure that they are compensated fairly for their expropriated property.
The law will be applied to the expropriation of property across Dubai. Special development zones and free zones, such as Dubai International Financial Center, are covered by this law, which regulates the terms and conditions under which buildings and facilities may be expropriated, including those that are complete or under construction. In a decision issued by the chairman of the Dubai Ruler’s Court, it also sets out the terms of providing compensation to the owners of expropriated properties.
According to the law, if a portion of a property is expropriated but the remaining part is unfit for use under Dubai’s construction rules and regulations, full compensation will be provided to the owner if he or she does not wish to keep the remaining part to add to an adjacent property.
In addition, the law creates an ‘Expropriation Committee’ to oversee all matters relating to expropriation. The chairman of the Dubai Ruler’s Court will make a decision on the formation of the committee, its members, and the expropriation process.
In addition to reviewing requests for expropriation, the committee is responsible for determining whether taking property is feasible to achieve a project’s objectives. A committee may suggest alternatives to expropriating property for a project, including land grants. In addition, it will determine whether a proposed project will require full or partial expropriation and evaluate compensation for expropriated property.
Sheikh Mohammed’s orders to expropriate property in Dubai supersede those of the committee.
When expropriation affects property owned by a local or federal government entity, compensation will be provided in accordance with legislation and procedures approved by the committee.
A property expropriation conducted before the issuance of the new law should follow all procedures and provide compensation according to previously established terms and conditions within a year of the effective date of the new legislation. The chairman of the Dubai Ruler’s Court has the authority to extend the deadline by six months. By law, compensation will need to be provided if the deadline is not met.
In the law, comprehensive procedures are outlined for expropriation of property, calculating the value of compensation, and appealing against expropriation.
As a result of the new law, the expropriation of private property for public use is no longer governed by clauses of the resolution from January 1, 1964. It also annuls any other legislation that contradicts it.
The newly issued law takes effect on the date of publication in the official gazette.