Thursday, March 11, 2010

New rule for offshore companies in Dubai

The Dubai Land Department will shortly announce a new legislation for offshore companies investing in Dubai Freehold market. This move aims to improve transparency in the market.

Due to lack of transparency, the Land Department had halted the transaction of offshore companies for a month.

The Director-General of the Dubai Land Department, Mohammad Sultan Thani, said that at present there are guidelines for offshore companies. A new set of regulations is now awaiting approval, and will be introduced by this week-end.

An offshore business company is one that is incorporated outside the jurisdiction of its primary operations. In the UAE, the Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority in Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah Free Zone offer offshore licenses.

Industry experts consider the new regulations as a welcome measure. The Managing Director at Jones Lang LaSalle, when speaking to the media, mentioned that the relationships between corporate units and regulators needs understanding of their issues, obligations and opportunities to strengthen their requirements for their companies to operate in Dubai and UAE.

There needs to be more transparency during these turbulent times, and understanding about the manner of doing business. A regulator can contribute its best to improve this clarity, and that will be well received, he added.

The registration of titles for freehold firms in the name of foreign offshore companies were suspended throughout the month of February, while the Land Department updated its system.

Effective February 1st, the new directive had instructed the transaction department not to register the titles in the name of foreign offshore firms. However, the ownership of properties registered in the name of foreign offshore firms prior to the said date remained unaltered.

No comments: