Arabic Translation Services
for Real Estate Contracts in the UAE

Arabic to English Legal Translation Services

Legal translation services play an important role in real estate transactions involving foreign homebuyers.  With the United Arab Emirates’ economy once again roaring, many investors are looking to the UAE for property investment opportunities. However, there are several differences in the legal system and thus specific steps should be taken. For example, in the UAE only a registered broker licensed by the relevant authorities can market real estate. According to the law, both a seller and property developer must appoint a registered broker via a written agreement. As these agreements are likely to be in Arabic, a foreign language document translation will be necessary.

Further, all parties involved in a real estate transaction will often use legal advisers. This is important because due diligence in the UAE can be challenging. This is because the property registry is not open to the public, meaning the owner’s consent is required in order to access and investigate the property register. Following due diligence, the parties will sign a brief memorandum of understanding or a reservation form that essentially confirms the agreed upon terms. Please note that most courts will hold that this constitutes a binding agreement. Sometimes this step is skipped and a sales contract is drawn up and signed immediately.

The UAE requires all real estate contracts to be in writing in Arabic and submitted to the Land Department with an application for a property title certificate. If a property is not properly registered in the property register it could be deemed invalid. In other words, a contract of sale is only legally binding once it is registered. The cost of property registration is two percent of the purchase price, with both the buyer and seller paying one percent each.

More so, UAE property requires that the seller contractually warrant the following:

  • The seller has full authority to sell
  • There is good unencumbered and mortgage-free title
  • There are no outstanding debts
  • Property and development obligations have been complied with
  • There are no third-party interests affecting the property.

Unless otherwise stipulated in the agreement, the buyer typically inherits all liability on matters relating to the real estate, including:

  • Unpaid charges levied by the master developer or developer for maintaining communal parts of the development
  • Obligations under a lease agreement
  • Any other interests in the land, for example easements
  • Environmental liability.

It is important to note that this liability extends to the real estate matters that had occurred before the date of purchase.

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