Dubai brings in strict laws on selling and managing of 'timeshare' properties

Originally published on Dec 15, 2020 | Gulf News

Dubai Tourism has been mandated to develop the framework for the selling, marketing and management of properties sold under 'timeshare' programmes. As part of this, Dubai will also be listing all such residential units under such schemes as the emirate seeks to realise the full potential of timeshare.

The Dubai tourism agency will also coordinate with Land Department and Dubai International Financial Centre on all matters related to timeshare activities of real estate developers and brokers, and registration of timeshare contracts and rights with the Land Department.

The new requirements - under Law No. (14) of 2020- has been issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

Timeshare ownership offers less expensive vacation options for investors in these programmes or properties. With the new Law, Dubai wants to create new investment opportunities in its real estate sector, but assuring investors the laws are there to safeguard buyer rights.

All individuals and entities undertaking timeshare business activities in Dubai must comply with the provisions of the Law within six months of its effective date. (The director-general of Dubai Tourism is authorised to extend this period if required.)

 Business of timeshare

Timeshare allows investors to have rights to a property that they can then use depending on their need at some point during a 12-month period. For the rest of the period, these investor-owners will get returns based on income generating from renting out the property to others.

The concept is hugely popular in many tourism-focussed destinations elsewhere, and through the years, many overseas schemes have been sold to residents in the UAE. But industry sources have always rated the need to have strict regulations to mandate all such activity.

The new Law - which provides a "clear legal context" for engaging in timeshare business activity - aims to stimulate growth for the tourism and real estate sector, encourage investments in vacation ownership, and provide residential alternatives for tourists and visitors.

Timeshare permits are valid for one year after which it will need to be renewed. Dubai Tourism is authorised to grant permits for up to four years based on requests from the permit owner. The new Law details the rights of timeshare facilities and their beneficiaries and the terms and conditions for cancelling or transferring the contract.

 Compliance and checks

Dubai Tourism will inspect timeshare facilities to ensure compliance with the Law. It is also responsible for receiving and investigating complaints against any individual or entity practising timeshare activities in Dubai without obtaining the required permits and approvals.

According to the Law, Dubai Tourism will establish a database for all facilities operating as timeshare, create the contractual terms for timesharing, and outline the requirements for timeshare ads and transfer of ownership rights to another beneficiary.

WHAT DUBAI'S TIMESHARE LAW WILL DO

Contracts concluded prior to the activation of this Law continue to be valid. But they will be subject to the provisions of the new Law once the contracts are renewed. However, if incidents not covered by such contracts arise in the interim, they will be subject to the new Law.

Dubai Tourism will inspect timeshare facilities to ensure compliance. It is also responsible for receiving and investigating grievances and complaints against any individual or entity practising timeshare activities in Dubai without obtaining the required permits and approvals.

 

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