Decoding Dubai's Real Estate Jargon: 10 Essential Terms You Need to Know

Decoding Dubai's Real Estate Jargon: 10 Essential Terms You Need to Know

Navigating the dynamic real estate landscape of Dubai requires a solid understanding of the terminology unique to this dynamic market. Whether you are a prospective buyer, seller, or investor, familiarizing yourself with the key terms used in Dubai's real estate sector is paramount.

Planning to venture into the Dubai real estate market? From government regulations to contractual agreements, here are the ten commonly used real estate terms in Dubai that you need to know.


Image Source: Arabian Business

DLD is the acronym for Dubai Land Department, a governmental body dedicated to providing exceptional services and advancing Dubai's real estate sector.

Through the development of necessary legislation and the facilitation of real estate transactions, the DLD promotes investment and disseminates industry expertise. As the overseer of all real estate activities within the city, the DLD ensures a seamlessly integrated, transparent, and secure experience for customers.

With its functions like legalizing land transactions, boosting investment operations, and resolving disputes, DLD contributes significantly to the growth and stability of Dubai’s real estate market.


RERA is the acronym for Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Agency. It serves as the primary governmental body tasked with regulating and overseeing the real estate sector in Dubai under the umbrella of the Dubai Land Department.

As the central authority, RERA formulates, enforces, and authorizes policies within the city’s real estate landscape. Among its key functions are licensing real estate agencies, regulating developers' trust accounts, overseeing lease agreements, conducting property sector studies, monitoring property advertisements, licensing real estate exhibitions, and disseminating regulatory information pertinent to property transactions. Its mandate extends to establishing guidelines, facilitating foreign investments, and mediating disputes between tenants and landlords.

With administrative autonomy, financial independence, and legal jurisdiction, RERA provides a transparent and efficient framework for all stakeholders involved in Dubai's real estate realm.


RDC is the acronym for Dubai’s Rental Disputes Centre, a comprehensive judicial system dedicated to fostering a secure real estate environment.

As the judicial rental system of Dubai, the RDC ensures fair and impartial resolution of property rental issues. It handles all rental disputes between tenants and landlords concerning real estate within the Emirate or its free zones, including counterclaims and requests for urgent action from either party.

Additionally, the RDC adjudicates appeals against decisions and judgments per relevant laws and regulations, with its team responsible for implementing the decisions and judgments issued following rental disputes.


The term ‘Oqood’ translates to ‘contract’ in Arabic. It is an online service provided by Emirates Real Estate Solutions (ERES), designed to facilitate the registration of all types of real estate and property-related contracts between buyers and developers in the off-plan market.

By maintaining a comprehensive database of off-plan property contracts, Oqood helps to prevent fraudulent activities and ensures that all transactions are conducted per legal standards and regulations. The enhanced transparency and accountability provided by Oqood contribute to a more stable and investor-friendly real estate environment in Dubai.


Musataha is a type of real estate contract in the UAE that permits you to lease land from its owner for up to 50 years, allowing you to construct a property or use the land for any other legal purpose.

Construction on leased land is managed and owned by the builder, with no rights granted to the landowner. However, the builder’s rights to the land and any constructed property terminate when the lease expires. This arrangement allows for the registration of usufruct rights, where the beneficiary can use and benefit from the property owned by a third party for up to 99 years (a long-term lease).

The Musataha agreement is an excellent system for individuals and companies to undertake construction and other productive activities on land without needing to purchase it.


Trakheesi, managed by the Dubai Land Department (DLD), serves as an essential online portal catering to real estate brokers and professionals in Dubai.

This system simplifies various procedures and transactions, enabling brokers to conduct their business seamlessly through the official DLD website. It also eliminates the need for physical visits to Land Department offices. The system aims to regulate and optimize real estate processes, offering services such as real estate permits for advertising, licenses for agencies, and e-cards for realtors and brokers.

Essentially, every real estate agent must be familiar with Trakheesi and proficient in generating Trakheesi permits for property listings.


Image Source: The National

The Arabic word ‘Makani’ translates to ‘my location’ in English. Makani is a unique ten-digit identifier number assigned to properties across the UAE. This digital numbering system aids in precisely pinpointing properties.

With the Makani number integrated into the official addressing system of each Emirate where it's implemented, locating properties becomes more straightforward. It also proves invaluable in emergencies, facilitating quick access to nearby hospitals and essential facilities without extensive searching. Moreover, it streamlines mail delivery, ensuring accurate dispatch to the intended destination.


The term ‘Ejari’ translates to ‘my rent’ in Arabic. It is a revolutionary system introduced by RERA to regulate Dubai's rental market.

Implemented per Law No. 26 of 2007, it mandates the registration of all tenancy agreements by landlords. Ejari has become the standard platform for registering lease contracts for Dubai properties. This online portal ensures transparency, legal compliance, and protection of rights for both landlords and tenants.

Beyond initial registration, Ejari facilitates renewals, cancellations, transfers, and terminations, promoting fairness and transparency in all rental agreements.


Introduced by the Dubai Land Department, Ijarah empowers tenants to transform their rental payments into equity, paving the way for them to attain property ownership through a 'Rent-to-Own' program.

This initiative, rooted in Islamic leasing principles, offers a fixed rental amount for the lessee's use of the asset, embodying a rental system with an embedded option to purchase in Dubai. Similar to leasing or hire-purchase arrangements, Ijarah allows tenants to gradually convert all their rental payments into ownership of the property, facilitating long-term investment and wealth accumulation.

Al Sa’fat

Al Sa’fat, also known as the Dubai Green Building System, is a set of innovative building regulations introduced in Dubai to address pressing sustainability issues such as energy and water demand, carbon emissions, and public health.

These regulations aim to revolutionize the construction landscape by promoting green buildings and sustainable development practices in the Emirate of Dubai. Al Sa’fat serves as a comprehensive framework for evaluating and enhancing the quality of internal environments in buildings, increasing energy efficiency, improving operational standards, and fortifying infrastructure to meet future developmental needs.

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