UAE’s Ministry of Economy issued a circular requiring registered and licensed brokers and real estate agents in the UAE, including free trade zones, to keep records and transaction data for at least 5 years.
This move falls within the framework of the ministry‘s supervisory and regulatory role on non-financial business sectors and professions stipulated in accordance with anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism laws and legislation. It attempts to promote the national economy’s status and positive reputation in various global markets.
The circular included a set of procedures that brokers and real estate agents must follow when trading and conducting real estate brokerage and transactions. It includes the following:
– Real estate agents and brokers are required to register and verify identity documents, which are the Emirates ID or a copy of the passport, as well as to register and document information and data related to receipts, contracts, purchase and sale agreements, and to submit a real estate activity report (REAR) through the Financial Inquiries Unit (FIU)’s digital platform, goAML, in three specific circumstances, namely:
1- When conducting transactions for the purchase and sale of freehold real estate in accordance with the description and determination of each emirate’s law, in the implementation of any one physical cash transaction or several deals equal to or exceeding 55 dirhams for the whole or part of the property’s value.
2- When conducting freehold real estate purchase and sale transactions where the method of payment is virtual assets for a portion (or total) of the property’s worth.
3- When trading freehold real estate, where the funds used to complete transactions were transferred from virtual assets to cash for a portion (or total) of the property’s worth.
According to the new regulation, if the buyer or seller is a legal entity, the business license, the legal entity’s statute, the register of real beneficiaries, a copy of each person’s Emirates ID or passport, and a copy of each shareholder’s Emirates ID or passport must be provided. Meanwhile, if the buyer or seller is a person or a natural entity, a copy of the Emirates ID or a valid passport shall be available.