Amidst the ongoing global expansion of the real estate sector, the emirate of Dubai has emerged as a prominent player among the seven most developed emirates in this domain. However, as the real estate market experiences recent developments, certain buyers in Dubai have encountered challenges, including project delays by developers. These circumstances have given rise to concerns among buyers, compelling them to seek legal recourse in order to terminate contracts, obtain compensation for the delays, and recover the funds already paid.

At Al Safar & Partners Law Firm, we prioritize the interests of our clients and ensure that their rights are safeguarded, utilizing our exceptional legal expertise to achieve favorable outcomes. Consequently, we present a concise overview of the diligent efforts invested and the remarkable results attained throughout this pursuit.

Background of the Legal Dispute: 

A contract was entered into between the buyer (our client – M. H. A) and the first defendant (real estate company N.) for the purchase of a hotel unit for a total price of AED 899,500, with payment to be made in installments according to the agreed payment plan in the sales agreement. The delivery date of the contracted unit was also agreed upon. As per the payment plan agreed upon between the parties, our client committed to pay approximately 80% of the unit’s value, amounting to AED 638,123.00. However, the first, second, and third defendants delayed the completion of the project. Furthermore, our client discovered a significant reduction of approximately 69.1% in the agreed-upon unit’s area and a substantial change in the specifications of the unit, as it was converted from a hotel unit to a residential one for all the building’s units. The first defendant refused to amend the agreement prepared by them (the defendants) to change the contract from a hotel unit to a residential one, despite our client’s objection. Additionally, the first defendant demanded the payment of value-added tax without any legal basis, despite the conversion of the unit from a hotel unit to a residential one without our client’s consent. Consequently, our client filed the lawsuit with its claims.

Considering that the seller (the defendants) had breached their obligations under the purchase agreements, failing to complete and deliver the units within the agreed-upon timeframe without any justified or lawful reason, and disregarding the buyer’s demands to fulfill the agreed-upon terms, our client sought legal representation to assert their rights and claim their dues from the seller.

Therefore, we demanded the following:

    1. Termination of the sales contract and compelling the first, second, and third defendants (the defendants) jointly and severally to refund AED 638,123.00 to our client, along with legal interest at a rate of 12% from the date of filing the judicial claim until full payment.

    2. Compelling the first, second, and third defendants (the defendants) jointly and severally to compensate our client with an amount of AED 200,000 for the damages incurred as a result of the defendant’s breach of their contractual obligations.

    3. Restraining the fourth defendant from issuing any decisions or taking any actions regarding the unit subject to the lawsuit until a final and enforceable judgment is issued in the case.

    4. The defendant shall be obliged to submit all the documents and permits related to the project concerning the unit in question, which prove the conversion of the unit from a hotel unit to a residential unit and shall refrain from issuing any licenses related to the project in which the contracted unit is located until a final and binding judgment is issued in the case. Additionally, the first, second, and third defendants shall be held liable for expenses and fees.

As a precautionary measure, an expert shall be appointed in the lawsuit.

First Instance Court Judgment: 

The court, in its first session, decided to appoint a committee of experts in hotel apartment claims from the Court of First Instance. The committee was formed according to the decision issued by the Chairman of the Expert Affairs Committee on [date]. The Court referred the mission stated in the judgment to the committee and instructed them accordingly. Following the court’s decision, the committee commenced its mission and submitted a report of its findings in the next session.

In another session, the Court ordered the continuation of the lawsuit until the expert submits their supplementary report.

In the following session, the court of first instance ruled as follows: 

firstly, it rejected the claim filed by the second defendant due to their lack of standing; secondly, it rejected the claim filed by the third defendant due to the absence of their standing and the lack of acceptance of the claim due to the existence of an arbitration clause; thirdly, it accepted the claim filed by the fourth and fifth defendants and ruled to terminate the real estate unit sales contract, returning the situation to what it was before the contract was made. The Court obliged the first defendant to pay the plaintiff an amount of AED 638,123.00 (Six hundred and thirty-eight thousand, one hundred and twenty-three dirhams) and imposed a legal interest rate of 5% from the date of the judicial claim until full payment. Furthermore, the court ordered the first defendant to pay AED 200,000 (Two hundred thousand dirhams) as compensation and to bear the expenses and fees. The court rejected any other requests.

Reasons for Appeal: 

The first and third defendants (parties in the dispute) were dissatisfied with the court’s decision and filed an Appeal. They submitted a duly paid and insured memorandum to the case management office, requesting that the appeal be accepted both formally and substantively. They requested the annulment of the appealed judgment and a retrial on the grounds that the Dubai courts lacked jurisdiction to hear the case due to the existence of an agreed arbitration clause in Clause 19 of the sales and purchase agreement, which is the subject of the lawsuit. They also argued that the second appellant lacked standing, and they provided reasons justifying their appeal, alleging violations of the law, errors in its application and interpretation, corruption in the reasoning, and deficiencies in the deductions. They also claimed that the defense rights were violated and provided a memorandum explaining the reasons for the appeal.

Furthermore, the plaintiff (our client) was also dissatisfied with the court’s decision and filed a real estate appeal. They submitted a duly paid and insured memorandum to the case management office, requesting that the appeal be accepted both formally and substantively. In the appeal, they sought to prove the standing of the second and third appellants and requested that they jointly and severally pay the amount determined by the appealed judgment, which is AED 638,123.00, along with a legal interest rate of 12% from the date of the judicial claim until full payment. They also requested that the first, second, and third appellants be jointly and severally liable for paying the compensation determined by the appealed judgment, which is AED 200,000, as a result of the damages suffered by our client due to the breach of their contractual obligations. The appeal affirmed the appealed judgment, except for these points, and also requested that the first, second, and third appellants bear the expenses and fees of the two levels of litigation. They provided reasons justifying their appeal, alleging violations of the law, deficiencies in the deductions, and violations of the established facts in the documents.

Court of Appeals Opinion:

In a session held today, the court ruled on the appeal. Regarding the form of the two appeals, they were both filed within the designated time and met the required legal conditions. Therefore, they are accepted in form. As for the appeal by the second appellant, rejecting the claim for being filed by an unauthorized party, the court found that the original judgment was correct in rejecting this filing based on the reasons presented. The Court considers these reasons as complementary to its own Judgment and adds that the commercial licenses of both appellants confirm their participation in the project subject to the lawsuit. Accordingly, the Court affirms the original Judgment in rejecting this filing.

Regarding the claim of non-acceptance of the lawsuit due to the presence of an arbitration clause, it is evident that the sales contract, which forms the basis of the lawsuit, included an arbitration clause between the first appellant and the appellant against whom the claim was filed, but the second appellant was not a party to this clause. Therefore, the arbitration clause does not apply to the second appellant, and the dispute cannot be divided. It should be heard before a single entity, which is the court as the competent authority in any original lawsuit. Since the original judgment concluded by rejecting this claim, and the court affirms this judgment for the aforementioned reasons, the court rules as follows:

The article demonstrates the dedication of Al Safar & Partners Lawyers in safeguarding their client’s rights and achieving a favorable outcome. The Court of Appeal’s decision supports the transparency and integrity of the UAE judiciary while showcasing the law firm’s competence and legal expertise in securing the interests of its clients.

For further assistance please contact Al Safar & Partners on +971.4.4221944 email  –

Legal Defenses Against Fraud and Incomplete Projects


The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has long been a haven for property investment, attracting both local and international investors looking to capitalize on the nation’s thriving real estate market. However, with the increasing demand for properties and the complexity of transactions, the risk of falling victim to fraudulent schemes and incomplete projects has also risen. To counter these challenges and protect the interests of investors, it is crucial for property investment conveyance in the UAE to involve experienced legal partners such as Al Safar & Partners Law Firm. This article delves into the reasons why legal representation, particularly through trusted firms like Al Safar & Partners, is essential to safeguard against fraud and the potential pitfalls of unfinished developments.

Rising Concerns: Fraud and Incomplete Projects

Over the years, the UAE has witnessed a surge in real estate investment, driven by its modern infrastructure, strategic location, and economic growth. Unfortunately, this rapid growth has also attracted unscrupulous individuals and entities looking to exploit investors through fraudulent activities. Fraudulent property schemes can range from false advertising to forged documents and unauthorized property sales, leaving investors with significant financial losses and legal battles.

Additionally, the phenomenon of incomplete property developments has posed a major concern. Some developers start projects with grand promises but fail to complete them due to financial troubles or mismanagement. This leaves buyers with unfinished properties, incurring losses and facing difficulties in recovering their investments.

The Role of Al Safar & Partners Law Firm in Property Investment Conveyance

Engaging Al Safar & Partners Law Firm in property investment conveyance plays a pivotal role in mitigating risks associated with fraud and incomplete projects. Here’s how Al Safar & Partners contribute to safeguarding investors:

    Due Diligence: Al Safar & Partners conduct thorough due diligence on properties and developers involved in the transaction. This includes verifying ownership, confirming project approvals, and reviewing legal documents to ensure their authenticity and compliance with regulations.

    Contractual Protection: Lawyers from Al Safar & Partners Law Firm draft and review contracts that outline the terms and conditions of the property transaction. These contracts are legally binding and protect the interests of investors by clearly defining the obligations of both parties.

    Legal Expertise: Lawyers from Al Safar & Partners possess a deep understanding of UAE property laws and regulations, ensuring that transactions are conducted in accordance with the law. They can identify red flags and advise investors on potential risks.

    Title and Ownership Verification: Al Safar & Partners Law Firm verifies property titles and ownership documents to ensure that the seller has the legal right to transfer the property. This helps prevent cases of property sales by unauthorized parties.

    Escrow Services: Lawyers from Al Safar & Partners can facilitate transactions through escrow services, ensuring that funds are held securely until all contractual obligations are met. This prevents developers from absconding with investors’ money before completing the project.

    Dispute Resolution: In case of disputes, Al Safar & Partners provides legal representation and assistance in negotiations or legal proceedings. Their expertise can be invaluable in resolving conflicts efficiently.


As the UAE’s real estate market continues to flourish, investors must remain vigilant against potential fraud and incomplete property projects. Engaging experienced legal partners such as Al Safar & Partners Law Firm in property investment conveyance serves as a vital layer of protection against these risks. Legal professionals from Al Safar & Partners play an indispensable role in conducting due diligence, drafting contracts, verifying property ownership, and offering expert guidance throughout the transaction process. With Al Safar & Partners by their side, investors can invest in properties confidently, knowing that their interests are safeguarded and their investments are secure

For further assistance please contact Al Safar & Partners on +971.4.4221944 email  –

Written By: 

Mrs. Kavitha Panicker

Managing Partner at Al Safar and Partners Law Firm.

Termination of Contract with a Real Estate Developer and Refund of AED 1,016,250 with Compensation of AED 300,000: Dubai Court Ruling

We all witness global changes occurring in the real estate market, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is known as one of the fastest-growing countries in construction and real estate. Dubai, being one of the seven emirates at the forefront of this sector’s development, has recently faced certain challenges, including delays by some developers in completing their projects. This has raised concerns among buyers, leading them to seek legal protection to terminate contracts, seek compensation for delays, and request refunds of the amounts paid in advance.

Al Safar & Partners Law Firm always strives to protect the rights of its clients. Through its unique legal expertise, the firm aims to achieve successful outcomes for its clients. In this brief, we will highlight the efforts and remarkable results achieved for our client (the plaintiff – M.W.S) in this particular case.

Background of the Legal Dispute:

The plaintiff (our client- M.W.S) purchased a hotel unit from the defendant, with an area of 106 square meters, along with one parking space, as per Clause 3 of the sales agreement. The total price agreed upon was AED 1,200,000 (One Million and Two Hundred Thousand Dirhams), of which AED 1,016,250 (One Million, Sixteen Thousand, Two Hundred and Fifty Dirhams) was paid. The expected completion date was set for the second quarter of 2018, and the sales agreement was registered with the Dubai Land Department.

However, the seller (the defendant – A.Z) breached their obligations under the sales agreements and refused to complete and deliver the units on the agreed-upon date, without any legal justification. Additionally, the seller failed to provide any notice indicating a delay in project completion, disregarded the buyer’s (our client – M.W.S) demands to comply with the agreed terms, and canceled certain services included in the sale, such as concierge services, high-speed internet, television connectivity, weekly cleaning, and laundry services, which significantly reduced the value of the sold unit. Moreover, the interior construction quality was poor, with evident leaks and structural cracks that differed greatly from the images presented in the brochure, which are still available on the seller’s website. These issues prompted (our client – M.W.S) to seek legal representation to uphold their rights and claim their entitled compensation from the seller.

Court Judgment of First Instance:

During the initial session, the court appointed a committee of experts specializing in hotel apartment litigation, and the head of the expert affairs committee received the court’s decision, as documented in its statement. Pursuant to the court’s ruling, the expert committee initiated its tasks and submitted a report on its findings during the subsequent session.

Court Opinion:

The court has deduced from the presented facts in the lawsuit, relying on its circumstances and details, subject to adaptation to the contract and the application of the law by the Court of Cassation (Court of Cassation’s ruling). It is established that the buyer (our client – M.W.S), when requesting termination, must prove the seller’s fault in failing to fulfill his obligation. The court’s task is to extract evidence or denial of contractual error from both parties to the contract, based on what it perceives from the contract’s circumstances and details. The assessment of justifications for terminating binding contracts for both parties is an objective matter determined by the court, supported by solid evidence. According to the Civil Transactions Law, it is required to implement the contract according to its provisions and in a manner consistent with good faith. The contractual obligation is not limited to what is stated in the contract but also includes all its implications according to the law, custom, and the nature of the transaction, resulting in the implementation of the obligations established by the contract in accordance with the nature of the transaction and the requirements of its implementation in good faith. This is what the court deduces from its authority to collect and understand the reality of the case, and it has a solid basis in the documents. It is also established that the court has complete authority in collecting and understanding the reality of the case, examining the evidence, and submitting documents.

The court also bases its opinion on the decree authorizing establishments and classifying hotel establishments in the Emirate of Dubai, as well as the Civil Transactions Law.

Court Judgment:

The sale and purchase agreement regarding the hotel unit is terminated, and the defendant (the seller – A.Z) is obligated to pay the plaintiff an amount of AED 1,016,250 (one million, sixteen thousand, two hundred and fifty dirhams) plus interest at a rate of 5% from the date of the claim until full payment. The defendant is also obliged to pay the plaintiff (our client – M.W.S) an amount of AED 106,451 (one hundred and six thousand, four hundred and fifty-one dirhams) as compensation, along with fees and expenses.

We believe that this judgment demonstrates the transparency and integrity of the UAE judiciary, as it imposes the original amount and compensation on the seller, in addition to interest from the date of the claim, indicating that damages have been incurred by the plaintiff (our client- M.W.S) as a result of the breach of the agreements between the parties. This judgment also reflects Al Safar & Partners’ efficiency and legal expertise in assisting the affected parties and restoring their rights, in line with our mission.

For further assistance please contact Al Safar & Partners on +971.4.4221944 email  –

With the increase in Global Warming and the spread of awareness of its effects, the terms such as ‘sustainable development’ are always in discussion and we keep coming across them. As the term “sustainable development” signifies it refers to development in such a manner that it is compatible with sustenance. The natural resources that are utilized for the development must be consumed in such a manner that they may replenish and the remaining quantities are enough for the coming generations. Sustainable development thus refers to development which facilitates the continuance of life on our planet. The needs of the present generation must not undermine the aspirations of the future generation.

The UAE federal law no. 24 of 1999 (hereinafter known as ‘the law’) contains provisions regarding sustainable development. First, it casts a duty on the people responsible for development of the country or those who play any role in the process of development, who are responsible for planning, economic and constructional development, to consider aspects of protection of the environment, control of pollution and rational use of natural resources when developing economic and social plans and when establishing and executing of projects.

The second responsibility vested in the Federal Environmental Agency who is to consult and coordinate with the competent authorities and the people concerned with the development and undertake the preparation, issuance, revision, development and updating measurements and standards of environment protection. The Agency while determining the measures for environmental protection is to at all times keep in mind that the measures must be such as to facilitate sustainable development for which it must at all times strike a balance between the technological capabilities available and the economic cost in such a manner that the levels of pollution remain in control and the requirements for a healthy environment are fulfilled.

The measures and standards for sustainable growth and development and environmental protection by the Federal Environmental Agency are to be complied with at all times and the only time when non-compliance shall be tolerated is in the case of emergency or in case a non-compliant act is necessary in order to protect the lives or the ensure the safety of the establishment or work area. But it is essential that such acts of non-compliance must be notified to the Agency and the competent authorities so as to enable them to take necessary measures for damage control.

Further the law also prohibits certain acts enlisted below that are derogatory to the lives of animals that help maintain a wholesome environment:

The law has also prescribed sanctions for violation of any of the above three prohibitions. The degree of punishment is in accordance to the category of the birds and animals. For violations in respect to the birds or animals that are listed in the first list the punishment prescribed is a term of imprisonment for a period of no less than six months and a fine of no less than twenty thousand Dirhams. For violations in respect to the birds or animals that are listed in the second list the punishment prescribed is a term of Imprisonment for a period of no less than three months and a fine of no less than ten thousand Dirhams or either punishment. For violations in respect to the birds or animals that are listed in the third list the punishment prescribed is a term of Imprisonment for a period of no less than one month and a fine of no less than five thousand Dirhams or either punishment.

Apart from this, any other violation with respect of any regulation prescribed by the law is punishable by a fine of not less than Five Hundred Dirhams (AED 500) and not exceeding Ten Thousand Dirhams (AED 10,000). The punishment in all cases of repetition of violation is double the term of imprisonment and double the fine amount that was awarded during the prior conviction.

Apart from the above mentioned sanctions the law has also adopted the Polluter Pays Principle (PPP) according to which when a person either intentionally or due to any negligent act of his causes harm to the environment, he is to compensate for the loss suffered by all people due to the said environmental damage. Not only does the person have to compensate for such loss, he is also supposed to bear all costs that are incurred in the process of treating or removing such environmental damage.

The UAE is playing an active role in promoting sustainable development and in furtherance of that the 20th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development which took place on 29th- 30th May 2013 was hosted by UAE and was held in Dubai. The issues regarding the climatic change, food security, water security, increasing drought and desertification, land degradation, natural disasters and extreme events (dust storms, heat waves and floods), diseases and epidemics in the Arab region were the main discussion topics during this meeting and it reaffirmed the principles enumerated by the Rio Declaration in 1992.

There are also various private organizations that provide their services to industries and establishments in undertaking their projects in a sustainable manner. One such organization is the Middle East Centre for Sustainable Development (MECSD) which provides for guidelines for green building and efficient use of Energy. Also it provides for a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification for the establishments that undertake green building.

The Emirate of Dubai has often been criticized for its unsustainable rate of urbanization and the extreme use of natural resources for the transformation of the desert. Also the projects of creation of artificial islands is said to deteriorate the aquatic life forms. Dubai needs to re consider its own environmental policies in order to follow the principles of sustainable development and going green.

For legal advice regarding the subject, please call +971 4 4221944, or call 800-LAWYER (529937).