Owning Property in the UAE through a Holding Company

Yes, investors can purchase and register real estate properties in the UAE through special purpose vehicles such as a UAE-incorporated holding company.

The tried and tested real estate markets in the Western developed world has increasingly seen prices skyrocket and perhaps, overhyped and overpriced to some.

On the other hand, Dubai has, in recent times, established itself as an up-and-coming player in the global real estate market, whilst still being a relative bargain compared to the other jurisdictions.

Against this backdrop, we have seen an increasing uptick in the UAE’s real estate market, as well as interest in setting up an investment holding vehicle to hold such real estate investments in the UAE.

Why should I use a Holding Company to hold my Assets?

Historically, discreet investors have always used investment vehicles to own and hold their assets across multiple classes, ranging from artwork, equities, and especially real estate.

Traditionally, the go-to jurisdictions for such investment holding companies have been the island jurisdictions like Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, Seychelles with their long-established corporate regime for holding companies, well-oiled suite of corporate secretarial services support, and access to a Common Law framework.

Such a maneuver can be due to various reasons, such as,

• for privacy and discretion,

• a streamlined estate and asset planning purpose,

• access to a strong, established legal framework for estate and asset protection

Why should I use a UAE Holding Company for my Investment Holding Company?

In recent times, we have seen increasing interest in using UAE-domiciled entities for such objectives, be it for the holding of assets within the UAE, or worldwide.

Such a structure can be appealing to investors because the UAE offers,

• a significant domestic real estate market

• local availability of a framework of corporate regimes, real estate advisory, legal advisory services

• reduced document superlegalization requirements for UAE-based entities when used to hold UAE-based real estate properties

• access to a Common Law regulatory framework for onshore free zone and offshore jurisdictions

• same levels of privacy and discretion considerations

Due to the reasons above, UAE-based entities, especially those located in the onshore free zone and offshore jurisdictions, are uniquely placed to be a suitable option for the discerning investor’s option to hold their assets.

How can I use a UAE holding company to hold my UAE Freehold Property?

Registering and owning a property under a company differs from that as an individual mainly in its list of required documents.

Depending on the type of company you have, the exact documents required may be slightly different.

However, the general requirements for documentation are as under,

• Board Resolution

• Title Deed

• Memorandum of Understanding/ Sale and Purchase Agreement

• No Objection Certificate (“NOC”) from property developer

• No Objection Certificate (“NOC”) from company registrar

• Certificate of Incorporation/ Trade License/ Certificate of Registration

• Certificate of Incumbency

• Certificate of Good Standing

• Memorandum and Articles of Association

• Individual Identification Documents

• Power of Attorney(s), where applicable

Once the aforementioned documents are prepared, the next steps involve,

• English to Arabic, legal translation

• Submission to Registration Trustee

• Submission to Land Department

Upon the signing and finalizing of the above procedures, an updated Title Deed will be issued and verified by the Land Department, and the holding company is now the legal and registered owner of the real estate property in the UAE.


To recap, utilizing an investment holding company to register your real estate assets in the UAE is possible, and in some cases, an advantageous option due to the added prospect for asset and estate planning, discretion, and a sizeable domestic real estate market.

Contact us today to find out how INCORPORTAS can assist you with your proposed investment holding company’s setup, and the applicable holding of real estate property procedures.

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