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22 July 2024

New law to ban proxy ownership

Council says permission should be granted for the exchange of agricultural land among nationals. (CHANDRA BALAN)

By Mohammed Elsidafy

The Sharjah Consultative Council has stressed the importance of deterrent penalties to prevent foreign ownership of land and real estate in the name of nationals.

This was one of nine recommendations approved by the council in its latest meeting for inclusion in a policy for the Real Estate Registration Department (RERD).

The council has demanded swift amendments to the emirate's real estate registration policy to protect Sharjah's land and real estate, and to regulate the realty market as well as brokerage work. It was recommended to pin responsibility for the credibility of information included in ownership certificates, and a reactivation of the owners' association law.

It also said there was a need for the RERD to compile a guide for real estate transactions in Sharjah, which lists the real estate transactions permissible under the law.

The guide should be distributed to companies and agencies working in real estate investment and regular meetings should be held with brokers and developers in the emirate.

The council also recommended that permission be granted for the exchange of agricultural land among the emirate's nationals and making the sale of freehold government houses exclusively to nationals.

Another recommendation was that the municipality should reactivate long-term rent contracts for the purpose of commercial, industrial and housing investment.

Reconsideration was also recommended of ownership of the emirate's border land and the compilation of transaction records, including data of land owners, their ownership certificates and all credible documents.

The council emphasised the organising of training courses for employees of the RERD in specialised institutes for real estate sector.

Among other recommendations, the council said UAE nationals from Sharjah should not be allowed to sell their houses unless other houses were available.

Later, the council discussed the policy of information and database management in Sharjah in the presence of Mubarak Balaswad Mubarak, Director General of the Database and Information Management Department, who gave a brief account of the activities of his department and of programmes executed, targets achieved and efforts made to support decision making.

Sultan Abdullah bin Hadda Al Suwaidi, Secretary General of the Consultative Council, said since its establishment on February 8, 2004, the database department has played an important role in setting up a comprehensive statistical system as well as planning to meet the need for statistics and databases in Sharjah.

Some members of the council wanted to know to what extent the public, both nationals and expatriates, had benefited from the studies and statistics gathered by the department, especially with regard to economic and social affairs.

Mubarak said his department works through a five-pronged approach – data and information gathering, support of decision makers, e-government, running the Sharjah Geographical Information Centre and Sharjah Communication Centre.