GoldCoast Uae

Dubai Real Estate Market Faces New Rule: Dh55,000 Limit on All-Cash Property Sales Expected Soon

Imminent Enforcement of Cash Payment Limits in Dubai Property Sales

Private developers in Dubai are preparing for the imminent enforcement of new regulations concerning all-cash property sales. These regulations will restrict the use of ‘physical’ cash to a maximum of Dh55,000 per transaction. This shift towards limiting cash payments aims to enhance transparency in property transactions.

Leading Developers Implement Cash Limits

Two of Dubai’s leading master-developers have already adopted the new cash payment restrictions. These developers account for 30-40% of property sales in value terms. Last week, they informed clients and partners about the decision to limit cash payments to Dh55,000, with the remainder of the payment needing to be processed through banking channels. This move has already had a substantial impact on the Dubai property market.

Leading Developers Implement Cash Limits

Sources within private development firms anticipate that the authorities will soon enforce these upper limits on cash purchases across the entire market. “It’s unlikely that the Dh55,000 cut-off will only be followed by two master-developers,” said the CEO of a leading private developer. “Clearly, there is a move to bring down all-cash sales in the Dubai property market for greater transparency on such deals.”

Current and Future Impact on Property Sales

Private developers in Dubai are rushing to finalize any ongoing all-cash property sales before the new Dh55,000 cash limit takes effect. Currently, all-cash transactions account for up to 20% of property deals in the market. This significant portion is expected to drop sharply once the new regulations are enforced. The move will shift more transactions to banking channels, enhancing transparency and compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) regulations. Consequently, the reliance on physical cash in real estate transactions will be substantially reduced.

Stringent AML and KYC Requirements

Developers and brokers must adhere to stringent ‘track and trace‘ requirements for their buyers. The Dh55,000 ceiling is an expansion of existing anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) rules in the UAE.

According to Sameer Lakhani, Managing Director at Global Capital Partners, “Even if only part of the funding is done in cash and the rest through banking channels, the onus is still on the banks, brokers, and developers to be clear about the source of funds and the buyers’ KYC.”


Risk assessments from a property deal perspective need to verify:

Customer Specifics: Whether the individual is sanctioned, has a criminal history, residency status, or is a politically exposed person.
Transaction Specifics: The source of funds and whether third parties are involved.
Jurisdiction: Whether the individual is from blacklisted countries or tax havens.
Delivery Channel: Whether the deal involves direct interaction with the buyer or an intermediary.


Buyer Vigilance Required

Buyers must exercise caution and ensure they have all necessary documentation to avoid severe sanctions. “It’s not only the tax authorities 0that are watching; it’s the AML courts and the best-in-practice regime that the UAE has put into place,” said an industry source.

Enforcement and Sanctions

The UAE authorities have shown a willingness to crack down on non-compliant transactions. Naqqash Ahmed, CEO of Capital Plus, emphasized that brokers risk severe penalties, including losing their livelihoods, if they fail to report suspicious transactions.

Expanded AML Regulations

UAE regulations classify real estate brokers as ‘designated non-financial business and profession’. Developers handling sales directly must also follow AML guidelines. Atik Munshi, Managing Partner at Finexpertiza UAE, noted, “Real estate can absorb large amounts of money, and often money launderers use this route to legitimize their ill-gotten funds. To plug this route, regulators have framed and monitor such transactions through various means.”


Buyer Documentation Requirements

Buyers will be required to furnish evidence of the source of funds when purchasing property in the UAE. Payments in cash of Dh55,000 or more will be scrutinized and reported to the central bank. Buyers must also maintain adequate documentation if funds are sourced through personal loans or gifts from family and friends. The legitimacy of purchases made through virtual assets, such as cryptocurrency, must also be proven.

By enforcing these new cash payment limits, Dubai aims to enhance the transparency and integrity of its property market, aligning with global best practices in AML and KYC regulations.


The impending enforcement of the Dh55,000 cash limit on property transactions marks a pivotal change for the Dubai real estate market. By reducing the prevalence of all-cash deals, these new regulations aim to enhance transparency, prevent money laundering, and align with international standards. While private developers and brokers may face immediate challenges in adapting to these changes, the long-term benefits include a more secure, trustworthy, and attractive market for both local and international investors. As Dubai continues to modernize its real estate practices, all stakeholders must embrace these reforms to ensure the sustained growth and integrity of the market.