Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is an onshore financial centre strategically located between the East and West, which provides a secure and efficient platform for business and financial institutions to reach into and out of the emerging markets of the region.  DIFC fills the time-zone gap for a global financial centre between the leading financial centres of London and New York in the West and Hong Kong and Tokyo in the East. Guided by its core values of integrity, transparency and efficiency, DIFC is playing a pivotal role in meeting the growing financial needs of the region.
DIFC has been designed as a ‘city within a city’ that provides a complete range of business and lifestyle facilities for today’s professionals. The infrastructure within the financial district features ultra-modern office space, retail outlets, restaurants, art galleries, residential apartments and hotels. DIFC has quickly established itself as one of the most fashionable addresses in Dubai.
DIFC is unique in that it has a legislative system consistent with English Common law. Given its construct, DIFC has its own set of civil and commercial laws and regulations and has developed a complete code of law governing financial services regulation. As part of its autonomy, DIFC has created an independent judicial system. The DIFC Courts are the entity responsible for the independent administration and enforcement of justice in DIFC. The Courts have exclusive jurisdiction over all civil and commercial disputes arising within DIFC and or relating to bodies and companies registered in DIFC.

Brief information about DIFC rules and procedures:

1. Where shall I go to register my property transaction in DIFC?
DIFC has its own Registrar of Real Property whose office is located at:
Registry Office in DIFC Gate Building – Entrance 5
Working hours: from 8 a.m. till 3 p.m. (Sunday to Thursday)
Contact details: www.difc.ae - rorp@difc.ae - 04 362 2582
In December 2015 DIFC launched a Client Portal https://portal.difc.ae allowing its users to apply for property transfer online.

2. Which amount should I pay for the transfer fee in DIFC?
DIFC is not following the rules of Dubai Land Department and charges 5% as transfer fee in all sales transactions instead of 4%.
3. Which documents shall I prepare as a Seller?
The Seller usually has to provide his passport and Emirates ID copy, service charge clearance certificate from the relevant developer, DEWA and EMPOWER final bills.
4. Which documents shall I prepare as a Buyer?
The Buyer shall attest his passport copy to DIFC Registry Office, provide Emirates ID or entry stamp copy, his personal details, pay DIFC charges and prepare manager cheque for the full purchase amount.
5. What is an Evaluation Report and why do I need it?
Evaluation Report is one of the main documents required to perform the transfer in order to determine the amount of the transfer fee even in cash-to-cash transactions. If the Evaluation Report value is higher than the purchase price, DIFC will require payment of 5% transfer fee from the Evaluation Report value.
6. What is a caveat?
The document identifying the Buyer’s interest in the specified real property. Upon the sales transaction, the Seller shall withdraw and the Buyer shall lodge a caveat and pay relevant fees.
7. What is an NOC?
No Objection Certificate from the Developer acknowledging receipt of all necessary documents and absence of any outstanding amounts before the Developer and utility providers.
8. What is an NOL?
No Objection Letter from DIFC acknowledging receipt of all necessary documents and fees by DIFC from both Parties and allowing issuance of a title document.
9. What is a TFO?
Transfer of Freehold Ownership acknowledging one’s title in a real property.
10Where can I find templates of the above-mentioned documents and forms?
All above-mentioned documents may be accessed and downloaded using the following link: http://www.difc.ae/registrar-real-property and please contact Exclusive Links on enquiry@exclusive-links.com for our DIFC Specialist Client Manager assistance.
11. How long does it take to transfer a property in DIFC?
It all depends on a specific developer on time frame. Potentially you can transfer the property in 3-4 days and issue a title document in 2-3 weeks from signing the Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA) shortly after receiving NOL.

12. What are the differences in procedures for financed buyers?
Financed buyers are required to provide final bank approval together with any and all mortgage registration documents and payment receipts required by the Developer and DIFC. The amount of mortgage registration fees may vary depending on the financing bank (Conventional or Islamic Mortgage).
13. Can I get a residence/investor visa while purchasing properties in DIFC?
Please be aware that if your title document is TFO and you are not eligible for a residence visa. You need to possess a title deed. Please consult with the Immigration Office before investing.
14How can I register my tenancy contract in DIFC?
Tenancy contracts in DIFC shall not be registered with Ejari. DIFC requires either the Landlord or the Tenant to fill the Lease Registration paper, present the Tenancy Contract together with the personal documents and pay the relevant fee at the Registry Office or to use a Client Portal https://portal.difc.ae allowing its users to apply for lease registration or terminate any lease contract online.

15. Is DIFC included in RERA Rental Increase Calculator?
Several DIFC projects have been recently included in RERA Rental Increase Calculator (Limestone House, Liberty House, The Index and Sky Gardens) and governed by this law regarding rent increase.
16. Are Landlords obliged to provide Tenants with a 12-month vacation notice in DIFC?
This is a very controversial topic in DIFC. Despite the fact that DIFC rules do not specify a 12-month rule, it is highly recommended to include or officially waive this provision in the Tenancy Contract in order to avoid possible disputes upon selling or repossessing any property. 
17. Where shall I go in case of a real property dispute in DIFC?
Any disputes or conflicts within DIFC fall under the jurisdiction of DIFC Courts. Neither Dubai Land Department (DLD), Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) nor Rental Dispute Center (RDC) may resolve any disputes related to real property issues in DIFC.

18. How does DIFC regulate wills?
The UAE is the first jurisdiction in the Middle East where non-Muslims can make a will under international-recognized Common Law principles. The Wills and Probate Registry (The Registry), a public entity of the Dubai government, is an ancillary body of DIFC’s Dispute Resolution Authority (DRA) established by Resolution No. 4 of 2014 issued by Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the President of the DIFC. The Registry has been established under the jurisdiction of the DIFC Courts, allowing it to operate as a distinct entity. For more information please visit http://difcprobate.ae/ and please contact Exclusive Links on anait@exclusive-links.com for our DIFC Specialist Client Manager assistance.


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