Dubai Property Glossary A-Z Terms

Here are all the frequently used A - Z terms in our Dubai Property glossary courtesy of RERA. This information is intended to give buyers and sellers more in depth knowledge of what certain terms mean:

A
  • Access Rights - The right of say a service utility provider (electricity) to lay cable through your ground and maintain or repair the same, they would have right of access.
  • Account Trustee - The guardian of a trust account who holds money or property in trust to secure performance obligations.
  • Activity Classification - A grouping of related economic activities characterised by code (usually numbers) according to specific actions with specific groups of people / clients / customers (or classes - See DED Activity Codes.
  • Advertising - A method of promoting a product or service either verbally, visually or via print or electronic media.
  • Agency - An office / business entity which represents others products, goods or services.
  • Agent - One who represents another under an authority.
  • Amendment of Contact - A change to the price, terms and or conditions of an existing contract, (e.g. a contract price may be agreed by the buyer & the seller to be reduced when the financier's property valuation is done and is more than 10% of the sale price of the property).
  • Appraisal - A professional opinion of the estimated value of a property at one point in time. The action or act of assessing the value of a property.
  • Asking Price - The asking price - the Seller's 'hopeful' price, the price advertised. This is not necessarily the same as the selling price.
  • Attested - A process whereby the signatures are witnessed and authenticated.
 
B
  • BRN - Broker Registration Number.
  • Broker - Agent / Agency / Realtor / Estate Agent / Sales Agent / Leasing Agent / Property Manager Agent can be an entity (office) or a person who is engaged in listing, marketing or transacting a sale or purchase of property. See Entity.
  • Broker - A licensed agent licensed by the recognised authority approved by the Government of the Country, State, Emirate or otherwise, who for a fee, acts for either a Buyer or a Seller within the scope of the law in that land jurisdiction. Often called an agent, realtor or estate agent.
  • Broker Office - A business entity which is licensed by the recognised authority.
  • Brokerage - A person or entity which carries out the actions, tasks, and activities of a broker, or is in the business of being a broker.
  • Built Up Area BUA - Area gross floor space of constructed building upon the land lot. If the floor plate area is 10,000 sq ft and the building is G+20 floors thus the BUA is 10,000 x 21 = 21,000 sq ft.
  • Buyer - A person or entity who wants to purchase or buy and who is willing and able to pay.
  • Buyer's Agent - An Agent who represents a Buyer.  The Buyer engages the Buyer's Agent to seek out and negotiate with a Seller or Seller's Agent in the Buyer's best interest.
 
C
  • CMA - Comparative Market Analysis (CMA).
  • "Class A" registered real estate Brokers - Approved by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the experts who are registered in the List, unlicensed by the competent authorities and certified by the Chairman as exempted from certain registration requirements'
  • "Class B" registered real estate Brokers - The agents or brokers who conduct brokerage activity under a license issued by RERA. These persons must pass a certified training course set by RERA.
  • Conditional - Reference to real estate contracts.  A common condition may be the Buyer obtaining finance for the property purchase, or the Buyer or the Seller make certain provisions before either may enable the sale to complete. The conditions are checking milestones which enable the Buyer to check before proceeding or the Seller stipulates must happen before the purchaser is obligated to buy (e.g. the contract is conditional to finance or an engineering inspection by the Buyer).
  • Conditions - See Conditional or Special Conditions. Provision or provisions that some or all of the terms of a contract will be altered or cease to exist in a contract that if certain events occur.  This may be finance approval, subject to vacant possession, checking the local main roads planned for the immediate area, construction proposed on an adjoining property, an electrical safety inspection.
  • Confidential - Usually relates to information about a person or company, and should not be revealed to anyone unless required by law or authorities for investigative purposes.
  • Contract Agreement - A formal agreement or promise between two or more parties whereby product, goods or services or money of similar value are traded and exchanged.
  • Contract Clause - A paragraph in a Contract (a written agreement between two or more parties) which refers to a specific action or request or promise, it should always have a time frame associated to be completed and an outcome if positive or negative. E.g. This will happen by whom, and when and if not what else will happen and when.
D
  • Deceptive - Misleading, omitting relevant information or data, withholding information, lying, cheating, thieving, crooked.
  • Deceptive Practices - Relating to real estate, an action or actions of a dishonest / cheating / unlawful or fraudulent nature.  This may include attempting to sell a property (either established building or an 'off-the-plan' property) which one does not own.
  • DED Activity Codes - eal Estate Activity Codes as per Department of Economic Development are 7010-01, 7010-02, 7010-03, 7414-04, 7010-07, 7010-08.
  • Default - Failure to fulfill a promise or a commitment; failure to complete a specified act.
  • Defects - Containing imperfection (e.g. something which is broken, second grade, or not useable for the purpose for which is made.)
  • Disclosure - To openly inform. In relation to a property - to inform a buyer of any known or possible defects.  Also  to inform a buyer or a seller it is for a friend or relative - the agent has an obligation to 'disclose' this information.
  • Dishonest - Not being honest or telling the truth, an action of theft.  In real estate this may be an agent who deliberately undersells a property.  E.g.  A property\'s current market value is 1,500,000 AED and the agent transacts a sale for 1,100,000 AED without informing the Seller of the true current market value - The Agent in effect deceived the Seller by 400,000 AED. This is why an agent should do a CMA before listing a property to transact a sale.
  • Dishonoured - Relating to a check, the check is not honoured by the bank as there are insufficient funds in the account.  This check is therefore \'dishonoured\' by the bank. Relating to a Broker Office or establishment, an employee committs a fradulent \ deceptive offence and \'dishonours\' the establishment\'s professional reputation. The person or office is considered \'dishonourable\.
  • DRN - Developer's Registration Number
  • Due Diligence - Making a reasonable effort to perform under a contract.  For example, when a prospective buyer signed a contract subject to the sale of her house, he/she is expected to exercise due diligence in marketing the property and obtaining a sale in a reasonable time frame acceptable to the Seller of the property he/she is endeavoring to buy.
  • Duty of Care - A professional, legal and ethical obligation to inform of facts, possible impediments or relevant information which will influence a decision of a Buyer or a Seller. By withholding relevant information, the Agent's 'Duty of Care' was breached - an agent has a 'Duty of Care' to disclose the facts. See also 'Duty of Disclosure.
  • Duty of Disclosure - A professional and ethical obligation to inform or disclose certain or specific information about the property or the parties involved.
 
E
  • Easement - A right, interest or privilege over land that subsequently affects its value. There are two types of easements a) benefiting easement - a right of access through the neighbor's property to access your property, or a b) burdening easement the right of another to cross your land to access theirs.
  • Encroachment - A intrusion onto another property which overlaps the boundary line of the adjoining property. This could be a building, a part of a building, a fence or an obstruction.
  • Encumbrance - Any right to or interest over land that affects the land\'s value. E.g. easements, deed restrictions.
  • Entity - A legal form under which property is owned. This could be an individual, a partnership, a limited partnership, a company or corporation, a limited liability company, a co-operative, a non-profit organisation, or a government department.
  • Escrow Account - Another word for Trust Account or Guarantee Account where monies are held in trust safeguarded by a third party.
  • Establishment - Name of Licensed Real Estate Office.
  • Estate Agent - An international terminology for a real estate agent or real estate broker.
  • Exclusions - Specified fixed items which may be removed as agreed in a contract of sale of property or those specific items not included in the sale. E.g. A chandelier, stove, oven, washing machine.
  • Exclusive Agent - An Agent appointed as the only representative of another.  Full responsibility or the right to perform a specific a task is transferred to an Exclusive Agent to act on the buyer / seller's behalf and no other can act for the term of the agreement.
  • Exclusive Agreement - The formal agreement which defines the parties, the terms and conditions of the appointment of the Exclusive Agent.
  • Extension of Contract - An agreed extension of time for a specific condition of the contract, or extra time required by Bank to make the finance available for transfer and settlement of the sale.
F
  • First degree Next-of-Kin - Ones immediate family - mother, father sister, bother.
  • Force Majeure - An unavoidable reason or cause of the delay in a contract to meet performance obligations on time. E.g. Constant rain preventing delay in footings / shoring of the foundations of a building on scheduled time.
  • Freehold - Title ownership or an interest in real estate without a time restriction (forever).
  • FSBO - This is the abbreviation which represents 'For Sale By Owner'. A terminology used when an Owner lists a property for sale and deals direct with potential buyers.
 
I
  • Impeding - To stand in the way, to hold up, to restrict the performance of another, to hold back or to get in the way of someone or something.
  • Incarceration - To be in jail.
  • Inclusions - Items as specified which are normally not fixed and may be removed but left in the property for the new owners, for example: washing machine, diswasher, fridge, furniture inventory.
  • Integrity - Honesty, truth, reliability, legitimacy and accuracy.  In the Code of Ethics, integrity refers to an undertaking to present the deal to both parties honestly, to inform the parties of all the facts and circumstances known to the agent regarding the real estate, and to conduct the business with trust without harming the reputation of real estate brokerage.
  • Interfering - To come between something or someone who has no right to do so. To get involved in someone else's business.
  • Intermediary - One who works between two parties to negotiate an agreement or represent a party or parties.
  • Internet Advertising - A method of marketing using the electronic medium i.e. the internet.
L
  • Land Register - A collection of records kept by the Department in a written or electronic register, detailing the description of the registered land in its location and rights over it.
  • Lawyer - A university degree qualified specialist in the law.
  • Lease - A contract agreement between two parties one owns the premises and agrees to a price / terms and conditions to rent a property for a fixed period and the other party agrees to occupy the premises for a price / term / and conditions on a rental basis.
  • Leasehold - An interest in a property by a tenant who has a lease for a specified time period.
  • Leasing Agent - A person engaged in leasing activities representing a property owner or tenant.
  • Lessee - The individual or entity that rents a property from the owner.  Also called a 'tenant'.
  • Lessor - The one who rents the property to another - usually the Owner of the property.
  • Listing Agreement - A formal Agreement between a Seller / Owner and an Agent to act on their behalf to solicit interest in a property either for rent, lease or sale.
  • Local Brokers - The original UAE National Real Estate Brokers / Agents who are specialists at negotiating and transacting real estate business in Dubai.
 
M
  • Majalis - A traditional Arabic meeting / greeting place, usually situated in local communities or inside the home where family, friends, etc meet, exchange information, conduct business or simply relax.
  • Marketing - A strategy or several strategies to win more business to sell products, goods or services.
  • MOU - An abreviation for Memorandum of Understanding. This is NOT a contract of sale. In Dubai the use of the MOU has been widespread in real estate transactions and is being phased out.
  • Multiple Listing - Listed with many agents, they usually agree in advance about the information shared and the split in commission.
 
N
  • Negotiation - The art of bringing two or more parties into a willing agreement. This is an art / skill which can be learnt. The process of bargaining.
  • Notary - An officer who is authorised in their own country to take acknowledgement of certain types of documents.
  • Notification - A formal notice, announcement or warning.
O
  • Open Listed - Listed with several agents wherein no specific agent has rights over another.
  • Owner's Price - The price of the property the Owner wishes to acquire. Often influenced by emotional or financial attachment and is commonly above the current market value.
 
P
  • Power - When one has authority or strength over another. In negotiation, the 'upper hand' over another. For example, the Seller has more 'power' when there are more than one buyer wanting to buy their property - and the demand for this particular type of property is high.
  • Power of Attorney - A legal document or instrument which formally appoints another to act on a person's behalf either in their absence or incapacity to attend to their own business, personal or financial affairs. The Power of Attorney gives the appointee permission to make decisions or sign legal documents. Stringent rules and format may apply depending on the country where it is to be used.
  • Principles of Negotiation - Key principles of negotiation include communication, courtesy, preparation, timing, process of questioning, creating an emotional focus aim, role reversal (put yourself in their shoes) power, terms, price, deadlines, concessions, pride or ego awareness, patience, the belief in 'nothing is ever final', keeping something special 'up your sleeve' - (an ace), and 'everything is negotiable'.
  • Private Sale - Where a Seller sells privately without an agent or an intermediary.
  • Property Boundaries - The property line which defines the perimeter of the property.
  • Property Utilities - Services such as water, electricity, gas, telephone, internet.
Q
  •  Qualified Buyer - Buyer who knows the locality area they wish to buy in, they have finance \'pre-approved\', they have done their price & property comparisons, they usually have a sense of urgency (now), will freely let you know their affordability (not to be confused with masking inability to afford) are courteous, and willing now, with money on them or their check book and passport.
  •  Quantity Surveyor - A specialist qualified surveyor who assesses and estimates property based on costs of the replacement value including labor, materials and overhead costs to re-build or replace.
 
 R
  • Real Estate - In law, it is defined land and anything more or less fixed or attached to the land.
  • Real Estate Activity - Performing a task or set of tasks associated with real estate [i.e sales, leasing, property management, shopping mall letting, specialist consultancy (performing & producing feasibility studies)
  • Real Estate Development - The process if adding value / improvements to a parcel of land. It may include buildings, sub-dividing, drainage, utility services (water, electricity, gas) or access or any or all of these.
  •  Realtor - An international terminology for a real estate agent or real estate broker.
  •  Registered Valuer - A formally qualified professional who estimates the value or worth of a property.
  •  Relevant information (in a tenancy contract) -  The purpose of the tenancy, the landlord\'s details, the tenant\'s details, the property description and address, type of property / land, name of the area, period and rent value, method of payment and the dates these are due.
  •  Rent - The amount of monies paid by the tenant to the landlord to occupy space
  • Rental Agreement - An agreement between the landlord and the tenant to permit the tenant to occupy space for a fixed fee (rent) for a fixed term or option.
  • Rent Committee - The formal committee in the Dubai Municipality who adjudicates disputes and law violations between landlords and tenants
  •  Rights Over Land - The right of one above another over a property, may be a legal right, financial right, access right, ownership right.
  • RRN - RERA Form Reference Number, issued on every printed form from the website located in the bottom left hand corner.
  • Rules And Regulations - The rules and regulations for real estate agents / brokers in Dubai are all published in this website. See Law No. (7) of 2006 concerning Land Registration in the Emirate of Dubai , By-Law No. (85) of 2006 concerning the Real Estate Agents / Brokers in Dubai, this one is complimented by the Code of Ethics which all agents & brokers are bound, Law No. (8) of 2007 concerning the real estate development Trust Accounts in the Emirate of Dubai, The UAE Anti-money laundering Law, the UAE Cyber Crimes Law, Law No. (26 of 2007, and all directives and instructions brought in by RERA in the future.
S
  • Salable Area - Usually an applied terminology to high-rise buildings. Salable area is the sq ft gross floor area space of individual property lots excluding the common & community areas (e.g halls, stair wells, lobbies, lift wells)
  • Sale & Purchase Agreement - The Seller sells and the Buyer is purchasing, a Sale & Purchase agreement is between a Buyer and a Seller whereby both the parties agree to a price, terms and conditions of the exchange of goods (in real estate they exchange usually money for proeprty and vice versa) Same as a Contract of Sale.
  • Salesperson - A person who is engaged in a sales position.
  • Seller - An Owner who has the intent or desire to sell.
  • Seller's Agent - An Agent engaged by a Seller / Owner of property, appointed to find a suitable buyer willing to buy the property. The Seller's Agent must work in the best interest of the Seller.
  • Selling Price - The selling price of the property which a willing buyer is willing to pay.
  • Sole Agent - The only single agent appointed to act, however with exception the appointor (excludes the one who appoints the agent).
  • Solicitor - Same as a lawyer, a terminology used internationally.
  • Special Conditions - Additional promises made, or the need for one party to undertake a specific action or duty before being in a position to finalize transfer & settlement of the sale. E.g. The Buyer needs to obtain finance approval from the bank within say 21 days from the date of contract and 14 days before transfer & settlement of the sale contract.
  • Special Register - The Special Register as referred to in By-Law No (85) of 2006, refers to a log of all transactions with developers, buyers, sellers, tenants and landlords as well as other agents, these transactions must be logged one by one on the date and the time of the agreement in the Registered Broker's Special Register.
  • Stakeholder - A person or Company / entity that may be affected by a decision or have a vested interest in a transaction.
  • Standard Forms - A range of Standard Forms related to a task`s or activity`s associated with real estate transactions in the Emirate of Dubai .
  • STR - Special Transactions Register.
  • Sub-Developer - The person or entity who is licensed to engage in the development of property and granted the right from a Master Developer to develop part of a project in accordance with the terms of the Master Community Declaration applying to that project.
  • Survey of Boundaries - The process of measuring the lineal boundaries or perimeter of a parcel of land.
 
T
  • Tenancy Contract - A formal agreement or promise between the Landlord and the Tenant.
  • Term - Refers to a period of time in an agreement   This is most common in staged payments (e.g. initial deposit within 3 days from date of contract, balance of deposit to 5% of the purchase price within 7 days from date of contract, and balance of funds due by 7 days prior to transfer and settlement date).
  • Termination - To end, finish or cease by either performance or breach.
  • Title Registration - A process whereby the owner of property presents the legally acceptable proof of ownership and applies for the property to be registered in his/her name as proof of ownership recognised by the local authorities.
  • TLBO - This is the abreviation which represents 'To let by Owner' a terminology used when an Owner lists a property for rent or lease and deals direct with potential tenants.
  • Transfer & Settlement - When both occur, money is exchanged for the legal transfer of Seller's name to the Buyer's name, an action which under normal circumstances completes the obligation of the parties to the transaction. This is the close of the sale. Until this point the property has not sold, it is merely 'Under Contract'. See Transfer. See Settlement.
  • Trust Account - A separate bank account segregated from a broker or developer's own funds, in which the broker or developer is required by law to deposit all monies collected. Also called an Escrow Account.
  • Types of Power in Negotiation - There are several different types of 'Power' in negotiation. These include: 'Scarcity' - there are not not many of these type of property available in the area. 'Authority' - is this the decision maker or shall the Buyer refer to someone else for the decision? 'Courage' - to have the strength inside you.     'Commitment' - Is the Buyer or the Seller committed elsewhere or to this particular property? 'Expertise' - your knowledge and awareness of the other's needs. 'Empathy' - an ability to feel what another is emotionally / physically feeling Level of investment in the process or property - their commitment or your commitment to succeed through compromise.
 
U
  • Un-Conditional - No conditions apply. Often called a cash contract.
  • Under Contract - A property is considered 'under contract' when a Seller and a Buyer have agreed in writing to sell the property to the buyer for a set price, set terms, and specific conditions or no conditions (unconditional) and the written agreement is signed by both parties and initialed where the parties negotiated specific matters therein related to either price, time or promise. A property is not sold until transfer and settlement is completed.
  • Usufruct - Interests that provide for the use of a property belonging to another.  This often refers to property where natural watercourse runs through the land: the owner has rights to the water and the adjoining property owners also have rights over the water - restrictions on the use of the water may be according to the local law.
 
 V
  •  Valuation - A formal opinion of the worth or value of a property under specific instructions.