Understanding Property Documentation in the UAE: Oqood and Title Deed

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Oqood and Title Deed

Understanding Property Documentation in the UAE: Oqood and Title Deed

When we are discussing the UAE’s property market, we will come across two important terms: “Title Deed” and “Oqood.” One has to know what is Oqood and what is a title deed to understand the UAE property market.  Although they have different functions and are relevant at different phases of the process, these documents are essential to the purchase of real estate and it is necessary to know about the difference between title deed and oqood.

The Oqood: Your First Step in Property Ownership

Imagine you’ve decided to buy a property that’s still under construction in Dubai. You’re excited about your future home, but it doesn’t exist yet. This is where the Oqood comes into play. The Oqood, meaning “contract” in Arabic, is necessarily a mere promise of ownership. It’s an initial registration of property purchase, issued by the Dubai Land Department (DLD) for off-plan properties in Dubai.

The Oqood serves as a safeguard for both buyers and developers. For buyers, it provides security, ensuring that the investment is recognized even before the property is built. For developers, it helps manage sales and prevents double-selling off of units. This document is particularly important in a market where off-plan purchases are common.

To obtain an Oqood, the process usually begins with the developer. Once you’ve signed your sale and purchase agreement and have made the initial payment, the developer will register the sale with the DLD. You’ll then receive your Oqood certificate.


The Title Deed: Your Proof of Ownership

Now, let’s fast forward. Your property is complete, you’ve made all the payments, and you’re ready to move in. This is when the title deed comes into play. A title deed, also known as a “Mulkiya” in Arabic, is the official document that proves your ownership of a property. It’s the real estate equivalent of a car’s registration papers.

Title deeds in the UAE are issued by the respective emirate’s land department. In Dubai, for instance, it’s the DLD that handles this process. The title deed contains crucial information about the property. Obtaining a title deed is the final step in the property purchase process. Once the property is completed and all payments are made, the developer will apply for the title deed on your behalf. After the necessary checks and verifications are done, the land department will issue the title deed in your name.

Key Differences: Oqood vs Title Deed

Understanding the differences between Oqood and title deed is a must for property buyers in the UAE. The most significant difference lies in their legal status. While an Oqood is a preliminary registration, a title deed is the ultimate proof of ownership. An Oqood is issued for off-plan properties, whereas a title deed is issued only after the property is completed.

The transferability of these documents also differs. An Oqood can be transferred to another buyer, but the process involves the developer and is subject to certain conditions. A title deed, on the other hand, gives you full ownership rights, allowing you to sell, lease, or mortgage the property as you wish.

In terms of costs, both documents involve fees, but these can vary. Oqood fees are typically lower and are often included in the property’s purchase price. Title deed fees, which include transfer fees, are usually higher and are paid at the time of property handover.

How to obtain an Oqood?

Once you’ve signed the sale and purchase agreement, the developer is responsible for initiating the Oqood registration with the Dubai Land Department (DLD). This involves submitting the necessary documents, including the sale agreement and your personal identification details. The developer also pays the initial registration fees, which are often included in your purchase price. As a buyer, your primary responsibility is to provide accurate personal information and any required documents to the developer. You’ll also need to make the initial payment as per the agreement with the developer. The Oqood registration process typically takes between 3 to 7 working days, depending on the DLD’s workload. Once registered, you’ll receive an Oqood certificate. This document includes crucial details such as the property’s location, size, your ownership percentage, and the agreed purchase price.

How to obtain a title deed?

As your property nears completion, the process of obtaining the title deed begins. Before a title deed can be issued, the property must be fully completed and have obtained all necessary approvals from relevant authorities. This includes the completion certificate from Dubai Municipality. Additionally, you must have made all payments as per the agreement with the developer. Once the property is ready and all payments are made, the developer initiates the title deed application process with the DLD. They submit various documents and as a buyer, you’ll need to provide updated personal identification documents and, if applicable, mortgage details.

The process of converting an Oqood to a title deed typically takes 2 to 3 weeks, but can sometimes extend to a month, depending on the complexity of the property and the DLD’s current processing times. During this period, the DLD verifies all submitted documents and conducts necessary checks. If everything is in order, they will issue the title deed in your name. The final step involves paying the title deed transfer fees. Once all fees are paid and the title deed is issued, you’ll need to collect it from the DLD. This document is your ultimate proof of property ownership in Dubai.

Legal and financial considerations:

Oqood and title deeds not only represent your ownership but also come with specific obligations and protections.

Once you receive your Oqood, you’re required to keep it safe and use it as proof of your rights to the property during the construction phase. When the property is completed, you must cooperate with the developer in the process of converting the Oqood to a title deed. After obtaining the title deed, you’re responsible for sticking to all local property laws, including paying service charges and following community rules. If you decide to sell or lease the property, you must ensure all transactions are properly registered with the Dubai Land Department (DLD). Developers in Dubai carry significant legal responsibilities. They must register all off-plan property sales with the DLD and issue Oqood certificates to buyers. Upon completion, they’re responsible for obtaining all necessary certificates and initiating the process of converting Oqood to title deeds.

Oqood and title deeds serve as crucial financial safeguards for property buyers in Dubai. The Oqood system provides financial security during the construction phase. Once you have the title deed, your financial interests are fully protected. This document is your solid proof of ownership, allowing you to confidently invest in property improvements, use the property as collateral for loans, or sell it at your discretion. It also protects you from fraudulent claims on your property.

Without an Oqood or title deed, you lack official recognition of your property rights, leaving you vulnerable in legal disputes or if the developer faces financial issues. Improper documentation can create problems with reselling the property, as potential buyers and banks typically require clear and proper ownership proof. Your financial flexibility is also limited, as you can’t use the property as collateral for loans or mortgages without a title deed.


Both Oqood and title deeds play crucial roles in protecting your property investment in the UAE. The Oqood provides security during the construction phase, ensuring your rights as a buyer are recognized. The title deed, as the ultimate proof of ownership, protects your long-term interests and facilitates any future transactions involving the property. It’s important to note that while having an Oqood is a good start, your goal should always be to obtain the title deed. Only with the title deed you can truly say you own the property. In conclusion, understanding the differences and features of Oqood and title deeds is essential for anyone looking to invest in UAE real estate. These documents represent different stages of the property ownership journey.


Frequently asked questions

1.What is the meaning of Oqood?

Oqood is an Arabic word meaning “contract” or “agreement.” An Oqood certificate serves as an initial confirmation of a property purchase before the title deed is issued.

2.How much is oqood in Dubai?

The cost of Oqood registration in Dubai typically costs around 4% of the total value of the property.

3.How to get Oqood certificate?

To get an Oqood certificate, first sign the sale agreement for an off-plan property and make the initial payment. Provide your personal documents to the developer, who will then register the sale with the Dubai Land Department. After processing, which typically takes 3-7 working days, you’ll receive your Oqood certificate. This document serves as initial proof of your property purchase before the final title deed is issued.

4.What is a title deed in the UAE?

A title deed is the official document that proves ownership of a property in the UAE. The title deed is the final step in property ownership and is issued once the property is completed and all payments are made.

5.Who issues title deeds?

In the UAE, title deeds are issued by the respective emirate’s land department. For properties in Dubai, the Dubai Land Department (DLD) is responsible for issuing title deeds. In Abu Dhabi, it’s the Department of Municipalities and Transport, and other emirates have their own respective authorities. These government bodies manage property registration and maintain official records of property ownership throughout the UAE.

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