UAE Real Estate

Property booking form or reservation agreement in Dubai and the UAE

Author:

Kata Hahn

Date:

2 March 2023

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Discover how booking forms are used by developers in the UAE off-plan real estate market and what buyers need to know.

Property booking form in the UAE off-plan market

A booking form is the initial form that expresses the buyer’s intention to purchase a property unit from a developer. It’s a commercial document used by salespeople and developers to solidify the interest of potential buyers, most commonly used for off-plan or under-construction properties. Unlike the legally binding Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA) (which comes into play later), the booking form doesn’t get registered with Emirate authorities. The booking form may also be referred to as the reservation agreement, reservation form, or offer to purchase (OTP). 

The developer issues the booking form for a selected unit to the buyer. Once the buyer signs the booking form for a property, the unit is taken off the market and held for a certain period of time (depending on the developer’s terms). Either just before or in conjunction with the booking form, the buyer is usually asked to pay a booking amount (aka a token fee or reservation fee) that will eventually act as a contribution towards the down payment. 

The general steps leading up to the booking form are as follows:  
  1. Buyer decides on an off-plan property and pays the initial booking amount as determined by the developer (either a fixed fee or a percentage of the purchase price) 
  2. Developer issues a receipt for the booking amount 
  3. Developer issues the booking form 

The developer could also request payment of the booking amount and submission of the booking form at the same time, after which they would provide you with a receipt for the booking amount. 

Property booking form contents in the UAE

The booking form provides the developer with the essential information they need to go forward with the sales process. In general, all that is required from the buyer for the booking form is their personal information and a copy of their passport. The booking form is a non-comprehensive document that covers the basic terms of the sale and is around 2-3 pages. 

The booking form should contain the following: 
  • Buyer’s personal information
  • Contact information - address, phone number, email
  • Proposed property information - location, type of property, size, etc. 
  • Proposed payment plan - initial deposit, installment schedule, and total purchase price
  • Buyer’s signature
  • Developer’s signature with their official stamp 

The property information and payment plan given in the booking form are proposed because they could change before the sale is finalized. The booking form comes before the Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA), the legal document that legally defines the terms and conditions of the purchase. Once the SPA is signed, all agreements made before, including the booking form, are null and void. Therefore, it’s more important to verify the information on the SPA and fully understand its contents. Just because a buyer signed a booking form for a proposed property with a certain payment plan, doesn’t necessarily mean that the SPA will perfectly coincide. 

Some real estate developers in Dubai have online booking applications. An example of one of these online applications is below. Other developers may still prefer to send potential buyers a pdf copy of the booking form for them to fill out, sign, and submit. 
Example of an online property booking form.

On-handover payment plans
and post-handover payment plans are becoming increasingly popular in the UAE real estate market. More developers are offering these payment plans to help a wider range of borrowers afford an off-plan investment. Here is one such example of a proposed payment plan that you might see in a booking form. 
Example of a proposed payment plan for property price of AED 1,949,888
Milestones % of purchase price AED
1st installment 10 194,989
2nd installment 10 194,989
3rd installment 10 194,989
4th installment 10 194,989
100% construction and handover 10 194,989
Every 4 months after completion (8 payments total) 5 (40 total) 97,494 (779,952 total)
36 months after completion 10 194,991

The payment plan above is for a property with the post-handover payment plan. As you can see, 50% of the purchase price is paid after construction is completed and the property is handed over to the buyer. Read our post-handover payment plan blog to learn more.

Going forward

While the booking form isn’t typically legally binding, you should still be pretty certain that you want to go through with the property purchase before signing this document. If you don’t end up purchasing the property, you run the risk of losing the entire booking amount. 

After paying the booking amount and signing the booking form, you’ll then be required to make a down payment or the first installment towards the purchase. This down payment is often 5-20% of the purchase price and is offset by the booking amount. Once this is paid, the developer will issue a Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA), the buyer must get a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the developer, and then the property sale can be registered via the Oqood portal for off-plan properties in Dubai. 

You can find the perfect property by searching among thousands of Dubai properties and filtering by location, price, size, property type, completion status, and more. A few popular off-plan development areas include Meydan, World Islands, and Dubai Creek Harbour, but we regularly update our listings to include all the newest launches from UAE developers. At Kredium, we can help you find a developer payment plan that works for you or a mortgage loan to finance your completed property purchase. Just register on our website or contact us to get started. 
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