BRN: An abbreviation for Broker Registration Number. This is the number that RERA assigns to each Broker. It must be used on all advertising material, along with the ORN (Office Registration Number).

Broker: An individual who acts as an intermediary between Developers and Buyers in primary market and/or Sellers and Buyers of real estate in secondary market. In Dubai, all Brokers must have a RERA card and Trade License from DED in order to carry on real estate broker activities.

Collateral: An asset used to secure a debt. Example: When purchasing a home through bank financing (Mortgage), the real property will be used as collateral for the loan.

Commission: It is the fee earned from a real estate transaction, usually a percentage of the purchase price of the property. Only RERA registered brokers can charge commission in a real estate transaction.

Common Areas: The common parts of a jointly owned property. Designated for common use by the owners and occupants of units. Examples of common areas: Lobby, Pool, Gym,
Hallways, Stairways.

Comparative Market Analysis (CMA): A market research tool used to calculate the fair market price of a property by comparing a number of similar properties to the subject property. Often used by a Broker to advise Seller at what price the property should be listed. 

Designated Area: An area where Foreign (Non-GCC) National may purchase property in Dubai. Also known as Freehold Area.

Dubai Department of Economic Development (DED): DED is the authority that licenses business activities. DED, in cooperation with RERA, classifies real estate activities. Brokers may only work within the activities that they licensed for.

Dubai Land Department (DLD): DLD provides a comprehensive range of real estate services, including the registration of real estate sales transactions, real estate rental contracts, regulating the relationship between property owners and tenants including any other matter related to real estate rental contracts and creation of real estate regulations.

Dubai Real Estate Institute (DREI): DREI is the educational arm of the Dubai Land Department. It offers certification courses and examinations for Brokers (and other professionals in the real estate industry), as well as continuing education and awareness sessions.

Ejari: A registration system maintained by the Dubai Land Department (RERA) for tenancy agreements. A Lease must be registered with Ejari to be considered valid.

Escrow Account: The bank account of a real estate development Project in which the payments made by purchasers of units sold off-plan are deposited. Also known as Trust Account.

Escrow Agent: The financial or banking institution accredited by DLD to manage an Escrow Account.
Final Offer Letter: A letter from Lender to Buyer (Mortgagor) giving final approval of the loan and detailing the terms of the loan/Mortgage.

Foreclosure: The process whereby the Lender repossesses the collateral for non–payment of the loan.

Form A: The written agreement between the Seller and Broker to list a property for sale. It is required by DLD for all transactions.

Form B: The written agreement between the Buyer and Broker for the purchase of a property. It is required by DLD for all transactions.

Form F: The written agreement between the Seller and Buyer, containing the terms for the sale of a property. It is required by DLD for all transactions. Also known as Unified Sales Contract.

Freehold: A type of ownership interest, where the owner owns both the land and the structure(s) for an indefinite period of time.

Free Zone: A special economic zone in which entities (businesses) that are established in that zone have certain advantages. In Dubai, Free Zones allow for 100% foreign ownership and zero taxation.

GCC: An abbreviation for Gulf Cooperation Council. It is a regional intergovernmental political and economic union consisting of: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates. The nationals of GCC countries may own property in any area of Dubai.

Ijara: A type of Islamic financing where the Lender leases the property to the Buyer (Borrower) as Lessee, until the loan has been paid in full. There is a special Deed called “Ijara” issued by the Land Department for this type of arrangement.

Interim Real Estate Register: Another name for Oqood.

Landlord: The owner of a property that is leased (rented) to a Tenant.

Lease: A written agreement between the owner of a property (Landlord) and the occupant of the property (Tenant), in which the Tenant has the right to use and enjoy the property for the amount of time specified in the agreement.

Leasehold: A type of ownership interest in which the leasehold owner owns the structure, but not the land. In Dubai leaseholds are allowed for more than 10 years to 99 years. The leasehold interest can be sold or inherited for the remaining balance of the original leasehold term.

Lender: The Bank that makes a loan for the purchase of a property.

Lessee: Another term for Tenant.

Lessor: Another term for Landlord.

Letter of Intent (LOI): A preliminary agreement between two parties which outlines the desire of the Buyer to purchase a certain property. It resembles a written contract, but is usually not binding on the parties.

Lien: A liability against the property that needs to be paid off before selling the property. Examples: Mortgage and unpaid service charges.

Master Developer: The Developer, who is in charge of developing a Master Community, along with all of its facilities and utility connections.

Mixed-use Development: A development with multiple uses, for example: commercial, residential and retail. Each building/complex may have up to three types of uses.

Mortgage: A security instrument that creates a lien on the property, using the property as collateral for the loan to purchase it.

Mortgagee: The Lender (Bank) that makes the loan for the purchase of a property.

Mortgagor: The Borrower (Buyer) that takes the loan for the purchase of a property.

MOU: An abbreviation for Memorandum of Understanding. This is a sales contract for real estate that contains all of the terms (sales price, conditions, payment schedule). Commonly used in Dubai between Buyers and Sellers. Sometimes used in addition to the required Form F.

Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA): NDA is a contract between two parties where they mutually agree to provide each other with certain confidential information or material which is not generally known by the public. Obligations of both parties are also explained in the contract.

No Objection Certificate (NOC): An NOC is requested by the Seller from the Developer when selling a property. The document states that the Developer has no objection to the transfer of ownership from the Seller to the Buyer. By law, a developer can charge a maximum of AED 5,000 to issue an NOC for the sale of an off-plan property. A Seller might require two NOC’s, one from the Master Developer and another from Sub-developer, if applicable.

Off-Plan: Property that is under construction at the time of sale. There are specific laws in Dubai covering off-plan sales. An off-plan sale can be between a Developer and Buyer, and also between Buyer who has interest in an Off-Plan property and another Buyer.

Oqood: A registration system maintained by the Dubai Land Department for off-plan sales. Once registered, the Buyer will receive an Oqood Certificate as evidence of their interest in the off-plan property.

ORN: An abbreviation for Office Registration Number. This is the number that RERA assigns to each Brokerage Company. It must be used on all advertising material, along with the BRN (Broker Registration Number).

POA: An abbreviation for Power of Attorney. This is a legal appointment from one person (Grantor) to another (Grantee) to act on Grantor’s behalf in his/her absence. The Grantee then has legal authority to make decisions and sign legal documents on behalf of Grantor. All POA’s need to be notarised and properly attested. For real estate purposes, DLD will only accept POA’s that are specific to the subject property and limited in duration to two years.

Property Register: The documents kept in written or electronic format in an electronic record maintained by DLD in which the description and location of each real property and the rights related to them are stated.

Property Management: A service which acts as the liaison between the Owner (Landlord) and the Tenant. Property Managers and Property Management Companies require a separate license from DED and RERA.

Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA): RERA is the regulatory arm of the Dubai Land Department. It is in charge of regulating Dubai real estate project development and sale market, stakeholders and activities including developers, projects, escrow accounts, real estate brokers, advertising as well as other initiatives.

Real Property: Any property attached to the land, as well as the land itself.

Registration Trustee: Licensed by the Dubai Land Department and owned by a legally qualified UAE National, the aim of RT offices is to offer DLD registration services outside of DLD hours, and to facilitate and accelerate transactions.

Rental Index: Created by RERA, it gives a price range for rents based on area of the property and number of bedrooms. Rental increase caps for yearly renewals are based on the RERA Rental Index. The Rental Increase Calculator can be found on the DLD website – 

Rental Dispute Settlement Centre (RDSC): RDSC is the judicial arm of the Dubai Land Department. It is the only government authority that handles disputes between landlords and tenants in Dubai. RDSC also handles cases of defaults on the payment of service charges by the unit owner in a “Jointly Owned Property.

Site Plan: A plan registered in the Property Register, showing the units and their common areas.

SPA: An abbreviation for Sales and Purchase Agreement. This is a sales contract for real estate that contains all of the terms (sales price, conditions, payment schedule). Commonly used in Dubai between Developers and Buyers for off-plan properties.

Special Transaction Register (STR): As required by Bylaw No. 85 of 2006, a log of all transactions carried out by Brokers at a Brokerage Company on a daily basis. Must be produced when requested by RERA.. Maintaining the STR is the responsibility of the office administrator, and not the Broker.

Sub-developer: A Developer of individual buildings within a Master Community. Sub-developer must adhere to the standards set by the Master Developer when constructing.

Tenant: A person who occupies property leased (rented) from a Landlord.

Title Deed: Proof of legal ownership of a property that is issued by DLD. Any restrictions, conditions or liabilities on that property will be listed as well. Title Deeds are issued only for completed (not off-plan) properties.

Transfer: Event where both Buyer and Seller (or their representatives) and Lender (if applicable) attend the Registration Trustee’s office (or Dubai Land Department) and the transfer of title from Seller to Buyer takes place, as well as an exchange of any monies due to any party.

Transfer Fee: The fee payable to the Dubai Land Department for the transfer of title from a property owner to the Buyer. The current fee is 4%, which, by law, is split evenly between Seller and Buyer, unless otherwise agreed between parties.

Valuation: The process of valuing real estate. This is done by a professional valuator, using different methods based on the type of property. Also known as appraisal.

Wear and Tear: Damage to property that results from ordinary use of an item, not including malicious or gross misuse.

Yield (Rental Yield): Often used to refer to how much profit/Return on Investment (ROI) a property can realize per year by comparing achievable rent and property value.


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