Gift Deed Drafting and Notarization in the UAE: A Guide

Hiba, gifting property in the UAE, is a common practice for various purposes including inheritance planning and support of dear ones. However, understanding the gift transfer process is very important. This article discusses the essential steps to be undertaken while drafting and notarizing a gift deed in the UAE.

Understanding Hiba in the UAE

Hiba means a gift deed that allows transfer of ownership from a donor to a donee, i.e., the giver and the receiver of the asset (preferably property). As per Islamic Law, Hiba is the act of transferring the property from one person to another. The act must be voluntarily (free consent), without any conditions and without any payment in return. 

In Dubai, a gift deed registration requires detailed information about the property, the identities of the donor and donee, and the terms of transfer. The Dubai Land Department mandates that the gift be given freely and without conditions, accepted by the recipient, and officially registered. Transfer fees must also be settled.

It’s wise to seek legal advice to ensure all aspects of the property gift comply with local regulations, particularly because such transactions in Dubai can affect succession and inheritance under Sharia Law.

Key Considerations for Drafting a Gift Deed

The following are the key considerations when drafting a Gift Deed:

  • Clarity and Specificity: One has to clearly specify the donor, beneficiary, and the gifted property.
  • Conditions and Reservations: The donor may create conditions for a gift, like if the beneficiary gets to a certain age or uses it for a specific purpose. Reservations are also allowed so that the donor can reserve some rights in regards to ownership of property, such as usufruct (the right to use and benefit from the property).
  • Registration at the Land Department: Hiba should be registered at the Land Department of the respective Emirate after its notarization, which concludes the transfer of ownership.
  • Tax Implications: Currently in UAE, there exists no specific gift tax. But all this comes with various fees and future changes in legislation, which are said to be necessary.

Drafting a Gift Deed in the UAE 

To create a gift deed in Dubai, you will have to focus on the details and ensure that certain legal requirements are fulfilled. Here are those requirements:

  1. Parties Involved:

The gift deed must contain full names of the parties involved, their nationalities, and addresses of both the donor and the donee must be clearly shown.

  1. Description of Gift:

Detailed description of what you want to give as a gift; that is, the location, size, or any other relevant features.

  1. Statement of Intention to Gift:

It should be clear that such an asset is being given by its owner to another person (beneficiary) with no payments or consideration whatsoever.

  1. Gift Acceptance:

The document must mention the consent of receiving the asset from either side, either physically or otherwise.

  1. Verification:

It has to be with a notary public or lawyer, declaring that it is genuine and lawful, to be effective globally under law.

Notarization of Gift Deeds in the UAE 

The Notarization of gift deeds is a mandatory process in the UAE which needs to be followed. The steps includes:

  1. Submission of Documents: The donor is required to submit the gift deed at the notary public offices or an authorized legal institution.  The gift deed must be submitted along with other relevant documents such as identification papers, ownership of property etc.
  2. Identification check: This step includes the verification of the identities of the parties by use of their identification documents by notary public.
  3. Witnessing and signing: The gift deed will be signed by both parties in front of the notary public and two other witnesses.
  4. Stamping and notarization: A mark is made on the gift deed through official stamping, signature of the notary public to confirm its authenticity.
  5. Registration (if applicable): The registered gift deeds which have been signed before a Notary Public must then be presented to the Land Department or Economic Development Department depending on the nature of asset for approval.

Fees and Costs

The cost of drafting and notarizing a Hiba might vary depending on the complexity of the deed, value of the property, and attorney selection. Legal advice, drafting of documents, and notarization are activities one should expect.

FAQs on Hiba in the UAE

  1. Can I cancel or revoke my Gift Deed in the UAE?

In the UAE, gift deeds may indeed be revoked or canceled during the lifetime of the donor. According to Law No. (14) Of 2017 regulating endowments and gifts in the Emirate of Dubai, if the Donor so stipulates in his gift Deed, he may revoke his gift during his lifetime, and he may modify the gift Deed, or add, remove, or modify any condition thereof. Revocation of a gift or modification of any of its conditions shall be made under a written instrument that is attested by the competent court and recorded in the Register.

  1. What tax implications may arise from transferring a gift in the UAE?

There is no inheritance or gift tax as of now in the UAE. Nevertheless, you should always refer any tax concerns to an attorney for the latest regulations and modifications that happen frequently.

  1. Can non-Muslims execute Gift Deeds in Dubai?

Indeed. Individuals who do not follow Islam or non-Muslims in the UAE can also write their own Gift Deeds. Law No. (14) of 2017 Regulating Endowments and Gifts in the Emirate of Dubai shall apply to all Gifts granted by non-Muslims in the Emirate in accordance with this Law and other applicable legislation. The gift deed must also be witnessed by a Notary Public. 

  1. Is it obligatory to notarize a Gift Deed?

A gift deed must be notarized before it becomes enforceable and valid within UAE.

  1. Can a notarized Gift Deed be revoked?

Once a gift deed has been notarized it is usually considered to have become legally binding and cannot usually thereafter be withdrawn or revoked. In order to cancel or revoke such a deed which has already been recognized by legal authorities takes lots of time because people need more help than intended when they are attacked by this problem.

Legal requirements and Islamic principles have to be considered while drafting and notarizing gift deeds in the UAE. As such, ensure you approach Notary Public Dubai so as to smoothen transfer of properties through Hiba in a legitimate manner too.