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Navigating the Appeal Process for Real Estate Disputes in Dubai

Real estate disputes are not uncommon in Dubai’s bustling property market. From disagreements over lease terms to conflicts regarding property boundaries, these disputes can often escalate, requiring legal intervention. Understanding the appeal process is essential for individuals and businesses involved in such disputes. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the intricacies of navigating the appeal process for real estate disputes in Dubai, providing valuable insights and practical advice every step of the way.

Understanding Real Estate Disputes in Dubai

Dubai’s real estate market is renowned for its dynamism and diversity, attracting investors and tenants from around the globe. However, with such complexity comes the potential for disputes. These disputes can arise for various reasons, including breaches of contract, disagreements over property ownership, rental disputes, and construction-related issues.

Commencing the Appeal Process

When a real estate dispute arises in Dubai, the initial course of action involves lodging a formal complaint with the Department of Land and Real Estate (DLD). This marks the inception of the dispute resolution procedure, which typically includes a hearing before a committee appointed by the DLD to review the case. During this hearing, both parties present their arguments and provide evidence to support their claims. Following the deliberation, the committee issues a verdict based on the merits of the case and relevant laws and regulations.

However, if either party is dissatisfied with the committee’s ruling, they have the option to pursue further recourse by filing an appeal. The appeal process allows the aggrieved party to request a review of the decision by a higher authority, typically a court or appellate body. It’s important to note that there are specific timelines within which an appeal must be filed. For instance, in the case of a judgment issued by the First Instance Division, the aggrieved party must file the appeal within fifteen (15) days from the day following the date of the hearing in which the judgment was rendered.

Preparation of Required Documentation for Appealing a Real Estate Dispute in Dubai

When preparing to appeal a real estate dispute in Dubai, it is essential to compile the necessary documentation to support your case effectively. Below are the documents that must be prepared when filing an appeal for a real estate dispute in Dubai:

  • A comprehensive memorandum detailing the grounds and reasons for the appeal.
  • Various documents supporting the appeal, including but not limited to correspondence, notifications, fines, utility bills, checks, and relevant letters related to the case.
  • If there has been a change in the representation of the law firm, a certified copy of the Power of Attorney must be provided to validate the new representation.
  • Emirates Identification, serving as proof of identity for the appellant.
  • If the legal representation is provided by a law firm, it must possess a copy of its Commercial License, accompanied by an authorization or Power of Attorney from the firm to represent the client in the appeal process.

By ensuring the preparation and submission of these essential documents, appellants can present a strong and compelling case during the appeal process, increasing the likelihood of a favorable outcome.

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Appeal Charges and Fees

When initiating an appeal, the appellant is required to cover certain fees, including an appeal security fee. This fee amounts to half of the sum awarded by the First Instance Committee in its original judgment and is refundable.

In addition to the appeal security fee, the following charges for services are also applicable:

  • AED 100 for the advertisement fee.
  • AED 25 for the registration of power of attorney, if applicable.
  • AED 10 for services knowledge fees.
  • AED 10 for innovation fees.

If the appeal is submitted through a Real Estate Services Trustees Center, an extra service partner charge of AED 130 (plus VAT) is to be paid.

Process for Appealing Real Estate Disputes in Dubai

There are two primary methods for initiating an appeal in a real estate dispute in Dubai.

Option 1: Filing Through the Dubai Land Department (DLD) Website:

Step 1: Registration and Account Creation: New users must sign up and create an account, while existing users can log in and select the service.

Step 2: Document Submission: The required documents must be uploaded through the online portal.

Step 3: Payment of Service Fees: Applicable service fees are to be paid online.

Step 4: Participation in the Hearing: The appellant engages in the hearing via the remote litigation system.

Step 5: Receipt of Judgment: The judgment is received through the DLD website.

Option 2: Filing Through Real Estate Services Trustees Centers:

Step 1: Visit the Service Center: The client visits the designated Real Estate Services Trustee center.

Step 2: Document Submission: Necessary documents are submitted to an employee, ensuring none are missing.

Step 3: Recording and Approval: An employee records transaction details, which are then audited and approved.

Step 4: Payment and Receipt: The client pays the required fees and receives a payment receipt.

Participation in the Hearing

Throughout the hearing, both parties will have the chance to present their arguments and provide supporting evidence before a judge. The judge will then render a decision based on the information presented and the applicable laws.

Receiving the Judgment

Following the hearing, the conclusive judgment will be accessible on the website of the RDC system for the concerned parties.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What types of real estate disputes can be appealed in Dubai?

Almost any decision or ruling related to real estate transactions or tenancy agreements can be appealed, including disputes over property ownership, lease terms, rental increases, and maintenance issues.

  1. How long does the appeal process typically take?

The duration of the appeal process can vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the case, backlog of cases, and the appellate authority or court’s schedule. In general, it can take several months to a year or more to resolve an appeal.

  1. Can I represent myself during the appeal process, or do I need a lawyer?

While self-representation is possible, especially for simpler cases, hiring a qualified lawyer with expertise in real estate law can significantly enhance one’s chances of success and ensure that rights are protected.

  1. What are the potential outcomes of the appeal?

Possible outcomes include the original decision being upheld, overturned, or modified based on the merits of the case and the appellate authority or court’s interpretation of the law.

  1. Are there alternative dispute resolution methods available?

Yes, parties involved in real estate disputes in Dubai can explore alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation or arbitration, which can offer faster, less expensive, and more amicable resolutions than traditional litigation.

  1. What are the costs associated with filing an appeal?

The costs of filing an appeal can vary, encompassing court fees, legal expenses, expert witness fees, and administrative expenses. The total cost depends on factors such as the nature and complexity of the dispute and whether legal representation is required.


By understanding the intricacies of the appeal process for real estate disputes in Dubai and being prepared with the right knowledge and resources, individuals and businesses can navigate these challenges with confidence and pursue fair and equitable resolutions to their disputes. Whether you’re a property owner, investor, or tenant, knowing your rights and options is paramount in safeguarding your interests in Dubai’s vibrant real estate landscape.