Dubai mulls freezing rents for three years

Land department officials study a cap on rents after government introduces measures allowing expats and foreign investors to stay a little longer

Camels on Jumeirah beach in Dubai. RastoS/Shutterstock

Dubai is proposing a three-year cap on rental prices as it prepares to introduce a new law governing homes for lease, according to the Dubai Land Department (DLD) on Thursday.

Officials at the department discussed drafting a measure that would freeze rents for three years from the signing of a contract.

“The new rental law and the three-year contract that the Land Department is drafting is being studied by the relevant departments,” a DLD spokesperson told The National. “The new law will be formally issued in the near future.”

The department did not say if the proposed rent cap applies only to homes or to retail and commercial units as well.

More: Now you can buy land in Abu Dhabi

The proposal comes as Dubai continues to attract more expatriates and investors to the emirate by way of economic reforms and visa enticements. These include a measure granting residency visas of up to 10 years to scientists, medical practitioners, researchers, technically skilled workers, and exceptional students, plus five-year visas for international students.

Foreign ownership laws have also been modified to allow investors to have a 100 percent stake in a United Arab Emirates company, up from a previous limit of 49 percent.

By relaxing foreign ownership laws and offering looser residency requirements, the government could reinvigorate the property market and encourage property seekers to look for longer lease terms, market observers tell The National.