UAE Announces New Federal Law to Manage Government Properties

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on February 20, 2024, 12:29:54


UAE, federal decree, properties, law, legal, real estate, government

The UAE Ministry of Finance has unveiled Federal Decree-Law No. 35 for 2023, focused on enhancing the legislative framework for the inventorying and administration of government properties.

The decree encompasses the organisation of all federal assets, be they real estate or otherwise, with the overarching goal of more effectively managing and enhancing the financial resources of the federal government both domestically and internationally.
By implementing leading global practices, the law aims to streamline the governance of federal assets, optimise their utilisation and promote sustainable growth.

Furthermore, it aspires to elevate the country's global competitiveness rankings and bolster its credit rating.
The new legislation mandates the development of a cutting-edge electronic platform to catalog federal real estate properties, enhancing their protection, oversight, and upkeep. This initiative strengthens asset security and fosters transparency, in line with the country's digitalisation efforts.

The law provides clarity on the definition and registration procedures for federal real estate assets, addressing uncertainties in their management and utilisation.

It introduces strategies for optimising government asset returns by enabling efficient leasing and usage while accommodating the specific requirements of federal entities.

Under the decree-law, federal government assets encompass various properties used for public services such as roads, railways and bridges, including movable assets supporting these properties referred to as "real estate by allocation."
It also encompasses other non-real estate federal properties and federation-owned personal property not designated for public use, whether movable or immovable.

Additionally, the legislation delineates rights related to any federal property and explicitly identifies intangible assets as recognised properties of the federation.

Moreover, the decree-law outlines regulations for managing private federal properties and non-real estate assets not allocated to public service, specifying procedures for acquisition, utilisation, and disposal. It establishes a registry for federal real estate properties and facilitates coordination with relevant local authorities for asset recovery or transfer to local governments.

The law outlines the management of federal properties within and outside the state, sets leasing rules for private properties, and stipulates requirements for using and benefiting from federal assets.

The law also emphasises the need to comply with local urban planning and building regulations to ensure the optimal utilisation of these properties.

“One of the key aspects of the law is the emphasis on property rights and fair usage. The law establishes guidelines for the allocation and use of federal properties, ensuring that they are utilised in a manner that promotes sustainable development and benefits the public interest. This includes provisions for the protection of property rights, fair competition in the allocation of properties and the prevention of misuse or abuse of federal properties,” said a senior legal associate at international law firm Kaden Boriss.

The new law will replace the federal Decree-law No. 16 of 2018 concerning federal government real estate properties when it comes into effect on March 28,2024. The aforementioned decree-law can be found on the UAE legislation platform.

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