Common Dubai Real Estate Terminologies You Must Know

Navigating the Dubai real estate market can be daunting, especially for newcomers. To help you understand the intricacies of this vibrant market, here’s a guide to some essential terminologies used in Dubai’s real estate sector.

Dubai Land Department (DLD)

The Dubai Land Department (DLD) is the governmental body responsible for overseeing all real estate transactions in Dubai. The DLD manages property registration, regulation, and ensures the protection of property rights for individuals and businesses.

Dubai Land Department
The Dubai Land Department is the main regulatory authority for real estate in Dubai

Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA)

The Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) is a regulatory arm of the DLD. RERA's primary role is to oversee and regulate Dubai’s real estate sector, ensuring transparency, accountability, and the enforcement of regulations within the industry. RERA also provides licenses to real estate brokers and developers.

Rental Disputes Centre (RDC)

The Rental Disputes Centre (RDC) is a judicial entity designed to handle rental disputes between landlords and tenants in Dubai. It provides a legal framework for resolving conflicts related to lease agreements, ensuring fairness and clarity in rental transactions.


Makani is a smart addressing system used in Dubai, providing a unique 10-digit number for every building, entrance, and location within the emirate. This system simplifies navigation and location identification, improving efficiency in logistics and emergency response.

Al Sa’fat

Al Sa’fat refers to the green building rating system introduced by Dubai Municipality. It is designed to promote sustainability in the construction sector by setting standards for energy efficiency, water conservation, and overall environmental impact of buildings.


Trakheesi is an online system managed by RERA that issues necessary permits for real estate activities in Dubai. This includes advertising permits, sale and lease permits, and other essential approvals required for real estate transactions and promotions.


Ejari is an electronic registration system mandated by RERA for all rental agreements in Dubai. The system ensures all lease contracts are standardized and registered with the government, providing legal protection for both landlords and tenants 


Oqood is an online platform for the registration of off-plan property sales in Dubai. Managed by the DLD, it facilitates the issuance of pre-title deeds for properties sold before construction is completed, ensuring transparency and protection for buyers.


Musataha is a legal right in the UAE that allows an individual or entity to use, develop, and benefit from a plot of land owned by another party for a specified period, usually up to 50 years. This right is commonly used for commercial and industrial development projects.


Freehold property refers to real estate ownership where the buyer has complete ownership of both the unit and the land on which it stands. In designated freehold areas of Dubai, foreigners are allowed to purchase freehold properties.


Leasehold property involves buying the right to live in or use a property for a specific period, typically 99 years, without owning the land. The land remains under the ownership of the landlord or developer.

BUA (Built-Up Area)

BUA stands for Built-Up Area, referring to the total area covered by a building, including internal walls, balconies, and any other usable space. It is a key metric in real estate, influencing property prices and valuations.

Saleable Area

Saleable area is the portion of a property that can be sold to buyers, typically including living spaces like bedrooms, living rooms, and kitchens, but excluding common areas and non-livable spaces.

SPA (Sales and Purchase Agreement)

The Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA) is a binding contract between the buyer and seller outlining the terms and conditions of a property sale. It includes details like price, payment terms, and completion dates, ensuring clarity and legal protection for both parties.

POA (Power of Attorney)

Power of Attorney (POA) is a legal document that authorizes an individual to act on behalf of another person in legal or financial matters. In real estate, a POA is often used when the property owner cannot be physically present to sign documents.

Title Deed

A Title Deed is an official document issued by the DLD that proves ownership of a property. It includes details about the property, the owner, and any encumbrances or mortgages associated with it. A Title Deed is essential for legal property ownership and transfer processes.


Understanding these key terminologies will help you navigate the Dubai real estate market more effectively, whether you are buying, selling, or renting property in this dynamic city. Familiarizing yourself with these terms can provide clarity, enhance your decision-making, and ensure that you are well-prepared to engage in real estate transactions confidently.

Frequently Aked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: What is the difference between freehold and leasehold property?

A: Freehold property means the buyer owns the property and the land indefinitely, while leasehold property means the buyer owns the property for a specified period, typically 99 years, but not the land.

Q2: Why is the Ejari system important for tenants and landlords?

A: Ejari ensures that all rental agreements are legally registered, providing protection and transparency for both landlords and tenants. It helps prevent disputes and guarantees that the rental terms comply with Dubai’s regulations.

Q3: How does the Makani system benefit residents and businesses in Dubai?

A: Makani provides precise location identification with unique 10-digit numbers for every building and entrance in Dubai. This improves navigation, delivery services, and emergency response times.

Q4: What role does the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) play in Dubai's real estate market?

A: RERA regulates the real estate sector in Dubai, ensuring transparency, protecting investor interests, and enforcing laws. It also issues licenses to brokers and developers, ensuring professional standards are maintained.

Q5: What is the purpose of the Oqood system?

A: Oqood facilitates the registration of off-plan property sales, issuing pre-title deeds to ensure transparency and buyer protection. It streamlines the process for developers and buyers, ensuring legal compliance.


For more information and to explore the latest listings, visit Source Properties. Whether you're interested in residential, commercial, or off-plan projects, Source Properties has the expertise and portfolio to meet your needs.


Source Properties Real Estate consultants are RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Agency) registered.

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