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What is apartment handover and how does it work in Dubai?

06/17/2024 84
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Handover is the process of officially transferring the apartment’s keys to the buyer by the developer when the construction of the property has already been fully completed, and the developer has received all the necessary documents from government authorities indicating the completion of construction and the possibility of transferring apartments to buyers. In short, handover is the process of accepting an apartment and the buyer taking ownership.

The developer sends notification of the handover process to the buyer by email, which was specified by the buyer when signing the purchase and sale agreement.  In Dubai, making an appointment to hand over the keys to an apartment to the owner is not quick; it is a rather long process. As a rule, developers send letters about the handover process in advance, often even before the developer receives all the necessary documents on the completion of construction of the facility. Therefore, from the moment the buyer receives such a letter until the moment he actually receives the keys to the apartment, a lot of time can pass. Sometimes the buyer must show great persistence, visit the developer’s office several times, so that the handover is scheduled in a month, but if the buyer is not decisive in this matter, then the whole process until the receipt of the keys can drag on for 2-3 months.

Why does the developer send such notices to buyers in advance?

There are reasons for this. As a rule, it is from the moment this notice is sent from the developer to the buyer that the obligation to pay for utilities and services of the management company servicing the building passes, despite the fact that the buyer has not yet received the keys to his property and does not yet live in this house. It is not difficult to understand that it is beneficial for the developer to transfer these responsibilities to buyers as quickly as possible and stop paying the bills for the maintenance and energy supply of the building on their own. 

How are the keys handed over to the owner?  

On a day appointed in advance and convenient for both parties, the developer invites the buyer to the building to hand over the keys. The transfer process will take place as follows: representatives of the developer and management company will meet the owner and show him his apartment, building and common areas, issue keys to the apartment and access cards to common areas.

What are the common areas in residential buildings in Dubai?

It depends on the building itself, its class and the plans included in the project, which, of course, the buyer knew in advance. Residential buildings in Dubai usually have the following common areas:

  • parking 

  • pool 

  • gym 

  • lounges

  • cinema

  • cafes and restaurants.

What is important for a buyer to know about the process of obtaining keys to an apartment?

At the time of receiving the keys and access cards, the buyer must sign the necessary documents stating that the developer has fulfilled its obligations in full, and the buyer has no complaints about the quality of construction and repair work, the operation of elevators and common areas. 

Often the developer does not inform the buyer that he has the right to invite to a handover, that is, a meeting to hand over the keys, an expert who can check the quality of construction, the quality of furniture manufacturing, the quality of installation of equipment in the apartment, the quality of ventilation, water supply, heating and other important systems If the buyer does not know about this and cannot fully independently determine the quality of these important works, then he may find himself in an unpleasant situation in the future, because after the official acceptance of the object, the buyer will no longer be able to make any claims to the developer. 

What other difficulties can a buyer expect during the handover process?

In the letter setting the handover date, the developer notifies the buyer that he needs to connect his property to the system of electricity, water supply, gas supply and other suppliers, for which the buyer needs to register a personal account on the website of the above suppliers and pay deposits using a bank card. Deposits amount to about 2,000 dirhams - this deposit is retained for the entire time the owner owns the apartment, and if the apartment is sold, the deposit is returned to the owner minus possible penalties for late payments. 

What difficulties may arise for a foreign citizen who acquires ownership of real estate in Dubai? 

  1. The main difficulty arises with insufficient knowledge of languages ​​- Arabic or English, because all communication with organisations in Dubai is conducted in English or Arabic.
  2. The second difficulty may arise if the owner has difficulty using a computer, since it will take a lot of effort to register correctly on websites, pay a deposit and then use the services of all organisations correctly, without delays or non-payment, because in case of non-payment of services the apartment will be disconnected from supply systems. 
  3. And the third difficulty that may arise for a foreign owner of real estate in Dubai is the inability to pay for connecting the property to service providers without Dubai Bank cards. Obtaining a bank card in Dubai can be difficult for a foreign citizen, because without a residence permit in Dubai it is impossible to obtain a bank card from a Dubai bank. A residence permit in Dubai is issued on several grounds, including existing real estate in Dubai or official employment under a contract in a Dubai company.

Sign the contract carefully! 

It happens that the buyer or agent who signed the real estate purchase and sale agreement may not have indicated or indicated incorrectly contact information - email address, telephone number of the owner. It is important to clarify here that the phone number must be Dubai, and you can only get it if you have a residence permit in Dubai. And this is a very important point, because these are the means of communication that will be used for official communication with the property owner on any issues related to his apartment. If there is no Dubai phone number or email in the contract, problems may arise - the owner will not be able to receive important information from the developer, from the land department or from any other departments. Also, the owner may simply not receive notification of the handover, and then he risks receiving the keys to his apartment with a huge delay, as well as receiving difficulties and fines for late payments from the management company and utility providers.


Trust the registration, acceptance of your property and its management to professionals! RAD Holiday Homes company takes into its experienced hands the solution of any complex issues that arise during the handover process, as well as any other difficulties that property owners in Dubai may have.

To receive a free consultation on issues related to the acquisition and management of real estate in Dubai, contact us in any way convenient for you: contacts