DIFC enacts new leasing law to increase protections for property owners and tenants

DIFC enacts new leasing law to increase protections for property owners and tenants
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ⓘ A file-photo of DIFC available at various sources on the web


▸ New leasing regulation enhances the current real property regime at the world’s 8th ranked international financial centre
▸ Clear robust regulations at the DIFC enacted by Dubai’s leadership further aligns the Centre’s legal and regulatory framework with Common Law jurisdictions and international standards


Dubai, UAE, 11 January 2019: Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the global 8th ranked international financial centre and leading financial hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, today announces His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has enacted a new DIFC Leasing Law No. 1 of 2020.

The enactment of DIFC’s new Leasing Law and Regulations will enhance the DIFC’s property market and reflects the Centre’s commitment to maintaining a legal and regulatory framework aligned with international best practice.

DIFC Authority’s newly enacted Leasing Law and Regulations introduce areas of protection and assurance to lessors and lessees entering into leases at properties based in the dynamic financial ecosystem of the DIFC. The new measures ensure the DIFC continues providing an appropriate regulatory environment for international business and commerce to thrive.

The new Leasing Law and Regulations will address specific factors relating to real property within the DIFC, including the requirement to provide an appropriate regulatory environment aligned with common law jurisdictions and onshore Dubai practice due to the DIFC’s status as an offshore jurisdiction within the United Arab Emirates by:

  1. introducing general requirements for leases and general obligations for lessees and lessors;
  2. introducing a tenancy deposit scheme for residential leases to be administered by the Registrar of Real Property;
  3. requiring the production of condition reports in the format required by the Leasing Law by residential lessors;
  4. imposing a maximum limit on security deposits collected by residential lessors and further specific provisions for residential leases; and
  5. introducing clearer provisions relating to the termination of leases and the disposal of goods and chattels remaining at the property following termination or liquidation of the lessee.

His Excellency Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, said:

“Enacting the new DIFC Leasing Law will not only provide clearer guidance for thousands of landlords and tenants in the DIFC, but advancing our legislation also represents a key step for delivering on our landmark expansion plan that will transform the future of finance,”

“We continue to level up our legal and regulatory framework and prioritise ease of doing business in the DIFC so that existing and prospective clients can operate with confidence within our strict legal parameters. With the added value of being based on internationally recognised Common Law, we have full confidence the new law will enhance protections for landlords and tenants alike while asserting the DIFC as a stable and enabling environment from which to reside and prosper.” – Kazim added

The consultation papers and legislative proposals can be accessed by visiting DIFC’s legal database


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