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Abu Dhabi is a modern society shaped by an ancient culture. It is the largest of all seven emirates. It covers an area of 67,340 square kilometers, equivalent to 81 % of the country's total area, excluding the islands. Its sandy beach coastline extends for more than 400 kilometers. The calculated policies in this Urban Structure Framework Plan, "Plan Abu Dhabi 2030", are inspired by this history to provide a way of reversing sometimes inappropriate development trends and of satisfying the needs of a growing population. These policies are grounded by the three basic elements of sustainability: the natural environment, economic development and cultural heritage.

Abu Dhabi is uniquely positioned where the desert meets the Gulf. Each represents an intriguing ecological system in its own right, but the confluence of the two creates ideal conditions for mangroves and rich natural life.

Plan Abu Dhabi 2030 has been developed using best practices from key world cities, mixing these with the specific Arabian culture and environmental heritage of the United Arab Emirates, with sustainability playing a key part in the planning.

There is no doubt that the real estate boom is a GCC phenomenon. With an ever increasing number of projects underway, the industry is attracting further investors who are shifting their focus from stock markets to the real estate sector. To this end, the GCC countries are trying to cope with this extraordinary surge by issuing modern laws and regulations to establish an organized and transparent real estate sector with a view to attract foreign investors.

The Emirate of Abu Dhabi (including Al Ain) has permitted the ownership, development, leasing and mortgaging of land and property for non-UAE nationals in the investments zones, and has established recently a Land Registration Department at both the Abu Dhabi and Al Ain Municipality Departments.

Non-UAE and GCC nationals may also acquire a right of usufruct (the right to use and exploit it property belonging to another person) for a period of up to 99 years and a right of musataha (the right to build and develop on the land belonging to another person) for a period of up to 50 years, both being renewable by mutual consent. These 'ownership' rights are principal rights and the Law recognizes that they are capable of being sold, mortgaged, pledged or assigned.

The Registration Law establishes the Land registers within the Municipalities of Abu Dhabi and Al Ain and stipulates that any disposition of real estate shall be null and void unless first registered with the concerned Land Register. Additionally, the Registration Law frees previous restriction on UAE nationals and permits them to dispose of residential, commercial, investment or agricultural land granted to them by the Government of Abu Dhabi, provided that a minimum of five years has passed from the date of the grant.

The Land (plots) can be used for residential and/or commercial purposes depending upon its location and prior agreement.

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