UAE property laws differ within cities or provinces such as property laws in Abu Dhabi are not the same as in Dubai. This relates to the sale and purchase by expats and it could be said that the conditions in Abu Dhabi for expat purchases have not evolved to the same extent as those for expats in Dubai.
As per Abu Dhabi Law 19 of 2005, UAE nationals are permitted to buy and sell property whereas GCC nationals and expats will also be able to own a property in selected areas such as Investment Zones where they can purchase flats, villas or land, however the main difference will be that GCC nationals can sell or purchase freehold.
The Investment Zones include areas such as Yas Island, Saadiyat Island, Reem Island, Al Reef, Raha Beach and more.
The types of ownership for non-GCC nationals or expats include,
Under this ownership they may hold only the rights to their flat or apartment but not the land. The person can benefit from the property owned by the third party, as per Article 4(1) the person can benefit till the lease of up to 99 years.
This method is more commonly used to purchase villas or land as under this ownership one can make full use of land owned by the third party. As per Article 4(1) the right can be exercised for 50 years further extendable once for up to 50 years.