Dubai issues new law for timeshare property deals

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Dubai has issued new law mandating the tourism sector to create a framework for selling, marketing and managing properties in the timeshare industry as part of the government’s effort to enhance the legal bodies needed to ensure the continued growth of various economic sectors of the emirate.

The timeshare industry works in a shared ownership model of vacation real estate in which multiple purchasers share property costs. It is particularly seen in properties like resorts, apartments and campgrounds.

In his capacity as Ruler of Dubai, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum issued Law No. (14) of 2020 regulating the timeshare industry in Dubai according to international best practices.

The new regulation gives a clear legal framework for timeshare industry activity with an aim to accelerate tourism and real estate sector growth in Dubai, to boost investments in the vacation ownerships and further to offer adequate residential options for tourists and visitors and to protect the rights of all parties in the industry.

Under the law, the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing of Dubai will be responsible for overseeing all activities in the emirate’s timeshare industry. The tourism department will develop the terms and conditions and technical standards needed for timeshare facilities to obtain legal permits and approvals and it will also list and classify the residential units subject to the new law.

The tourism department will further join with the Dubai Land Department (DLD) and Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) for all the timeshare-related activities of developers and brokers and registration of contracts and right of usufruct in the DLD.

According to the law, Dubai Tourism will establish and manage a database for all facilities operating as timeshare property in Dubai, create the contractual terms for timesharing and outline the requirements for timeshare advertisements and transfer of usufruct to another beneficiary.

The tourism department will examine timeshare facilities to ensure compliance with this law and any relevant bylaws. It will further accept and investigate grievances and complaints against any individual or entity practicing timeshare activities in Dubai without obtaining the required permits and approvals.

The validity of a timeshare permit is for a renewable period of one year and Dubai Tourism is the authorized authority to grant permits for up to four years based on a request from the owner.

All individuals and entities in the timeshare industry in Dubai must comply with the provisions of the law within six months of its effective date. Timeshare contracts concluded before the activation of this law will be valid. They will be subject to the provisions of the new law after the contracts are renewed.

The new law will be published in the Official Gazette and is effective within six months of the date of its publication.