On the right side of the tracks
- Xi Jinping’s “express train of development” has the potential to create whole new communities in Dubai and the UAE
- DIFC Wills outreach to enable future planning for the new wave of investors and multigenerational Chinese families
Dubai, UAE, July 28, 2018: Xi Jinping rode what he calls China’s “express train of development” through the Middle East and Africa region – including a three-day stopover in the UAE – as trade with China is set to surge to $80bn annually over the next two years.
In Dubai, individual deals tell the same story as the headline figures. Chinese investors have an increasing appetite for real estate, with Dubai Land Department statistics showing that property investment by Chinese buyers is up from eighth to sixth highest in Dubai, accounting for 3% of all sales in 2017.
Whilst in UAE, President Xi noted that “interactions and exchanges have brought our peoples increasingly closer”, a fact highlighted by the recently announced Chinatown lifestyle project on the Dubai Creek.
If, as in the other Chinatown districts across the world, the result is more Chinese entrepreneurs setting up shop and putting down roots in Dubai, then passing on Dubai assets to business partners and families is the logical next step. To prepare for this future, DIFC Wills Service Centre has been actively reaching out to the Chinese community through Mandarin content, stakeholder meetings and a series of appearances on Chinese channels operating in the Middle East.
Ms. Grace Zhang , Chief Reporter/ Correspondent, CATV said:
“Inheritance is an important issue for Chinese expats here in the UAE, and a topic that culturally we find it difficult to talk about.
“To help our viewers become better informed we have aired an interview with Sean Hird, the Director of the DIFC Wills Service Centre, where we explored in depth the legal framework here in the UAE governing inheritance matters for non-Muslim residents and overseas investors. The viewer interest was so great that we aired the interview several times.
“We are seeing the number of DIFC Wills registered by Chinese citizens doubling year on year. Through our Wills people use their more familiar Chinese home country law, can draft their Wills in English as opposed to Arabic, and can choose beneficiaries for property, business shares and family heirlooms. We think that through our range of Wills we can offer Chinese businesspeople and families in Dubai the security that wealth they accrue here will benefit their families or business partners in exactly the same way as it would back home,” said Sean Hird, Director DIFC Wills Service Centre.
The legal certainty secured through a DIFC Will is backed up by DIFC Courts formal cooperation agreements, which include the first-ever agreement between a foreign commercial court and Shanghai High People’s Court on mutual recognition and enforcement of DIFC Court Orders in China, and of Chinese Court Orders here in Dubai.
The recent Law No. 15 of 2017 reaffirmed that all matters and disputes relating to DIFC Wills would be exclusively determined by DIFC Courts. As a result, Chinese nationals with DIFC Wills will not be subject to the fixed formula for inheritance prescribed by Sharia law, and will be able to pass on their assets in accordance with their personal wishes. One more reason that Dubai may well become a favoured destination for Xi Jinping’s famous train.
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