19 March 2024

Arushi Dhawan

In a landmark move that underscores the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) commitment to economic diversification and sustainable development, the federal government has introduced a groundbreaking Federal Properties Law. 

Dubai: Federal Decree-Law No. 35/2023 On the Properties of the Federation (As the “Federal Properties Law”)represents a strategic effort to manage and develop the federal government's financial resources more effectively, marking a significant milestone in the nation's governance of state assets. This article explores the objectives and implications of the new law, shedding light on how it aims to transform the management of federal properties and contribute to the UAE's broader economic goals.

Objectives of the New Federal Properties Law

The introduction of the Federal Properties Law is driven by several key objectives, each designed to enhance the governance, efficiency, and economic return of federal assets. These objectives include:

  • Optimized Asset Management: At the core of the new law is the aim to optimize the management of federal properties, ensuring that these assets are utilized in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

  • Enhanced Financial Sustainability: By improving the management of federal properties, the law seeks to enhance the financial sustainability of the federal government, generating increased revenues that can be reinvested in national development projects.

  • Strengthened Legal Framework: The legislation introduces a strengthened legal framework for the management of federal properties, providing clear guidelines and procedures that ensure transparency and accountability.

  • Economic Diversification: The law supports the UAE's ongoing efforts towards economic diversification, encouraging the development of federal properties in a way that contributes to non-oil sectors of the economy.

  • Attracting Investments: A key objective is to make federal properties more attractive to investors, both domestic and international, by offering a more structured and secure environment for investment.

Implications of the New Law

The Federal Properties Law is set to have wide-ranging implications for the management of federal assets, the UAE's economic landscape, and the broader goals of national development:

  • Streamlined Asset Management: The law introduces a more streamlined and centralized approach to managing federal properties, which is expected to lead to improved operational efficiencies and cost savings.

  • Increased Revenue Generation: By optimizing the use of federal properties, the law is expected to significantly increase revenue generation, providing a substantial boost to the federal budget and enabling greater investment in public services and infrastructure.

  • Improved Investment Climate: The clear legal framework and enhanced governance of federal properties are likely to improve the UAE's investment climate, attracting more foreign direct investment (FDI) and stimulating economic growth.

  • Innovation and Development: The law encourages the innovative use and development of federal properties, potentially leading to the creation of new economic zones, technology parks, and other development projects that contribute to the UAE's economic diversification efforts.

  • Sustainability and Environmental Considerations: The legislation aligns with the UAE's commitment to sustainability, mandating that the development and management of federal properties adhere to environmental standards and contribute to the nation's sustainability goals.

The Decree-Law concerning Federal Property outlines regulations governing the management, protection, and use of property owned by the federal government in the State. It categorizes Federal Property into various types, including real estate and non-real estate assets serving public utility or owned by government entities. 

The law prohibits unauthorized actions regarding Federal Property and mandates reporting of any violations. It also imposes restrictions on government officials to prevent exploitation of their positions for personal gain. Security and police authorities are empowered to intervene against encroachments or unlawful exploitation of Federal Property. 

The law regulates the disposition and licensing of Federal Real Estate Properties and provides for the revocation of licenses under certain circumstances. Additionally, it outlines procedures for converting public utility properties into private properties and governs the management and disposition of Federal Private Property. The Ministry is tasked with overseeing the management of Federal Real Estate Properties and coordinating with relevant authorities.

Under the decree, Federal Property is classified into distinct categories, including those allocated for public utility services or owned by government entities. These properties are deemed inviolable, with strict prohibitions against unauthorized ownership, exploitation, or disposition. Government officials are expressly forbidden from leveraging their positions for personal gain or allowing unauthorized use of Federal Property.

To enforce these regulations, security and police authorities are empowered to intervene promptly in cases of encroachment or unlawful exploitation of Federal Property. Reporting mechanisms are established to facilitate the identification and rectification of violations.

Moreover, the law delineates procedures for the disposition and licensing of Federal Real Estate Properties, ensuring compliance with governing legislation. It also provides for the conversion of public utility properties into private properties under specified circumstances, with careful consideration given to public interest and safety.

Responsibility for the management of Federal Real Estate Properties falls under the purview of the Ministry, which is tasked with maintaining registries, overseeing valuations, and coordinating with relevant authorities to uphold the integrity of Federal Property. The Federal Property Decree-Law stands as a cornerstone in the protection and responsible stewardship of assets vital to the nation's interests, ensuring their effective utilization for the benefit of society while safeguarding against misuse or encroachment.

Crossing the Transition

The implementation of the Federal Properties Law represents a significant shift in how federal assets are managed in the UAE. To navigate this transition effectively, government entities, investors, and other stakeholders will need to adapt to the new legal and regulatory environment. This will require a thorough understanding of the law's provisions, as well as strategic planning to align existing asset management practices with the new requirements.

In Conclusion

The UAE's Federal Properties Law is a visionary piece of legislation that promises to transform the management of federal assets, driving economic growth, sustainability, and financial efficiency. By setting a new standard for asset management, the law not only enhances the governance of federal properties but also contributes to the UAE's broader economic diversification and development objectives. As the UAE continues to innovate and adapt, the successful implementation of this law will be a key factor in realizing the nation's ambitious vision for the future.


Our team of professionals is can offer valuable insights into the opportunities and challenges presented by the new regulatory landscape. Our guidance not only helps companies mitigate risks but also enhances their reputation and competitiveness in the market. If you request further guidance or you have concerns and queries, Let us know!

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