Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, recently introduced new Dubai timeshare law to regulate the industry in the region and for the prevention of scams and frauds.
With the issuance of this new law (Law No. (14) of 2020), the government aims to improve the legal framework. This, in turn, will aid the growth of tourism and numerous other economic sectors in the emirate.
Dubai Timeshare Industry
For the uninitiated, timeshare refers to a shared ownership model in which the ownership of a property is divided into multiple owners. Each owner can exercise exclusive rights over the said property for a particular period of time.
The timeshare model can be used for different types of properties, including resorts, camping grounds and short-term rental apartments, etc.
Dubai Timeshare Law
As per Dubai Timeshare Law, Dubai Tourism will oversee the activities pertaining to the timeshare industry in the emirate. The department will also be held responsible for the development of terms and conditions along with setting the technical standard, which timeshare facilities will be required to meet to be able to obtain approval and permits.
In this new law, rights and obligations of timeshare facilities are defined. Furthermore, terms and conditions related to the cancellation of the contract or its transfer are also explained.
Expected Changes with the Introduction of Dubai Timeshare Law
This law is expected to accelerate the growth of tourism and real estate in the emirate. Furthermore, it will enhance the rate of investment in the market of vacation property ownership as well.
With the implementation of this law, the rights of all the parties, not only associated with a property but the industry will be protected as the timeshare sector will be regulated as per the international practices.
Responsibility of Dubai Tourism as per Timeshare Law
Apart from the responsibilities discussed above, Dubai Tourism will have numerous other issues to oversee related to the timeshare industry. These include:
- It will have to coordinate with DIFC (Dubai International Financial Centre) and DLD (Dubai Land Department) in every matter pertaining to timeshare-related activities performed by brokers and developers.
- It will also be required to work in coordination with other two above-mentioned departments for registration of timeshare agreements.
- Most importantly, the department, as per this new legislation, is required to list and classify housing units that fall under this law.
- It will inspect timeshare units or facilities to make sure they are complying with this law and its bylaws.
- It will receive and investigate complaints and grievances against any individual or firm that is indulging in timeshare activities.
- If any company/individual practices timeshare activities in the emirate without taking the required approval or permit, the department reserves the right to take action against them.
- It will be responsible to define the contractual terms for timesharing.
- The requirements and specifications for timeshare advertisements will also be outlined by the department.
Property Timeshare Permits
As stated above, timeshare permits are to be obtained by the Dubai Tourism Department. These permits are renewable and valid for one year. The department can grant permits to an entity for up to 4 years.
It is important for every entity or individual undertaking activities in timeshare business to comply with the legislation within 6 months after it has been made effective. This period can be extended by Dubai Tourism’s Director General if required. Those timeshare contracts that have concluded before the implementation of this new law are still deemed valid. If they are renewed, new provisions introduced will apply to them as well.