Different property types in the UAE

Exploring Different Property Types in the UAE: A Guide to Freehold, Leasehold, Musataha, Usufruct, Ejari, and Thawtheeq

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) offers a diverse range of property options, attracting investors and residents worldwide. Understanding the various property types is essential for making informed decisions. This post explores the key differences between Freehold, Leasehold, Musataha, Usufruct, Ejari, and Thawtheeq properties in the UAE.

Freehold Properties:

Freehold properties offer complete ownership to buyers, including the land and the building. This type of property is popular among foreign investors, as it grants them full control and rights, including the ability to sell, lease, or bequeath the property. Key areas offering freehold properties include Ramhan Island, Gardenia Bay, and Bloom Living.


Leasehold Properties:

Leasehold properties involve leasing land or a building for a specific period, typically 30 to 99 years. The lessee has the right to use the property during the lease term but does not own the land. Upon lease expiration, the property reverts to the landowner. Leasehold is common in areas like Abu Dhabi’s Al Raha Beach and Yas Island.


Musataha is a unique property right allowing individuals or companies to develop land belonging to someone else for a period of up to 50 years, renewable for the same period. This arrangement is often used for agricultural or industrial purposes.


Usufruct grants the right to use and benefit from someone else’s property without owning it. The term can range from 10 to 100 years, and the property must be returned in its original condition at the end of the term. This arrangement is typical for residential and commercial spaces.


Ejari is a system introduced by the Dubai Land Department to regulate and facilitate the rental market. It requires all Dubai rental and lease contracts to be registered, ensuring legal protection for both landlords and tenants.


Similar to Ejari, Thawtheeq is an Abu Dhabi-based system for registering tenancy contracts. It aims to create a transparent and regulated rental market, protecting the rights of landlords and tenants.

In conclusion, the UAE’s property market offers a variety of options catering to different needs and preferences. Whether you’re looking for full ownership, a long-term lease, or a unique arrangement like Musataha or Usufruct, understanding these property types is crucial for making the right investment or residential choice.

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