Find out exactly how a Power of Attorney (PoA) can be beneficial during your real estate transaction in Dubai, especially for non-resident buyers.

What is a Power of Attorney (PoA) in the UAE

PoA or Power of Attorney is essentially an agreement or a written legal contract between 2 parties, either individuals or companies, where one party authorizes another to represent them and act on their behalf. The PoA can be used by UAE residents who are not able to perform actions that require their physical presence. Non-UAE residents also often use a PoA when they are required to be legally present while conducting either personal or business matters. There are numerous benefits of using a PoA, from saving you time and money you would have to spend on frequent trips and accommodations, to sparing you the inconvenience of doing everything yourself and having to take time off work to do it. In this article, you will learn when a PoA can be used and by whom in relation to the real estate purchase transaction, what the requirements and average pricing are in the UAE, and also consult a list of companies authorized to issue them.

PoA uses in real estate purchases in the UAE

There are different types of PoAs in the UAE each with a different purpose and legal implications that come with it. The most common type of a PoA is the General PoA, which covers a broad range of authorized actions, and there is also the Special PoA, which is an authorization issued for a specific purpose and focused on a limited set of actions that can be performed on the principal’s behalf (the person giving the authorization).

General Power of Attorney- the following are actions that can be authorized with this type of PoA:
  • Sign contracts, legal documents and execute legal duties
  • Withdraw funds from a bank account
  • Collect payment or rental income
  • Pay bills
  • Sign leases with landlords or tenants
  • Form a company and run it
  • Buy shares in companies
  • Represent before government departments, financial institutions, and other third parties
  • Represent before UAE utility service providers
  • Represent in legal affairs and hire lawyers
  • Buy and sell assets and real estate (only if the principal and the agent are immediate family, otherwise a Special PoA is needed)

Special Power of Attorney-
the following are different types of special PoAs that can be issued:
  • Property PoA
  • Vehicle PoA
  • Marriage PoA
  • Court care PoA
  • Inheritance PoA
  • Etc

Property Power of Attorney- this type of PoA focuses on property transactions and management:
  • Manage or lease a property
  • Buy or sell real estate
  • Sign all purchase or sale documentation 
  • Represent the principal before government departments and developers
  • Obtain an NOC
An individual issued Power of Attorney signing real estate documents for a property buyer.

Who can be authorized by a PoA

When it comes to the sale of personal assets and property, the UAE government sets certain restrictions on who can be authorized to do what. Under the General PoA, only close family members (father, mother, son, daughter, or siblings) can be authorized to sell the principal’s assets or property. All other persons can only be authorized for a specific property and action under the Special PoA. In Abu Dhabi, however, the General PoA will not authorize anyone, not even immediate family members, to sell the principal’s assets. This can only be covered by the Special PoA tied to a specific property.

For property purchases in Dubai, a General PoA will be enough for a close family member; however, anyone else will require a Special or Property PoA. Some sources say that real estate agents or brokers can not be issued a PoA to buy a property in your name and others state that it is allowed as long as the authorized agent confirms all actions with the principal before they carry them out. It’s important to be sure that the authorized person will always have your best interest in mind and will never abuse the PoA for their own personal interest. Regarding mortgage brokers, there is no specific rule against them being authorized as long as it’s a separate person and not the same individual signing the mortgage agreement as your broker.

Aside from family members and friends you can trust, most sources advise authorizing a lawyer or hiring a legal company to execute the PoA for you. As legal persons and entities, they are bound to respect the UAE rules and regulations and represent the most trustworthy third party for such a situation. Many law firms and legal companies (YourPOA, TWS, Legal Inz, POA.ae, JustPOA, Bin Eid Advocates & Legal Consultants, etc.) provide issuing and executive services for various kinds of PoAs. Most conveyancing companies also provide PoA services.

Power of Attorney provisions and specifications

Let’s go over some of the key provisions of a typical PoA in the UAE:
  • A PoA should be issued in both Arabic and English. The Arabic version is considered the main document if there are any discrepancies between the two
  • UAE residents must notarize a PoA at the public notary and the price ranges from 550 - 3000 AED
  • Non-residents or individuals outside the UAE must legalize the document at the UAE embassy in their country, and then once in the UAE it needs to be legalized by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • The maximum validity of a PoA is two years
  • A PoA is void if its principal passes away
  • A PoA should be issued for a specific purpose and tied to a specific property (signing the purchase agreement, paying DEWA bills, signing the mortgage agreement, etc.)
  • Pricing usually depends on the type of PoA and who it is issued to and ranges from 300 - 2500 AED
  • Prices are on the higher end of the range for non-residents and businesses, while on the lower end for residents and individuals
A screenshot of the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs webpage about the attestation of official documents.

Going forward

With a better understanding of what a PoA is and how it works, you can see how useful this legal document can be in the UAE property-buying process. It’s especially useful to non-residents and investors from outside the Emirates who wish to purchase real estate and save time and money in the process. If you wish to know more about the mortgage and real estate markets in the UAE or are looking for more information about the process, feel free to visit our blog section. If you have specific questions please contact our mortgage and real estate experts.

If you are ready to start looking for a property in Dubai, browse our portal with over 5000 listings from all major UAE developers and register on our website to get access to all property prices and floorplans. You can use our mortgage calculator to plan your monthly installments or estimate the projected rental profit of your investment property. If you need a mortgage we’ve got you covered, whether you’re a UAE national, expat, or a non-resident.
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