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12 January 2020

FAB signs Escrow Agreement with DLD for holding accounts for Jointly Owned Property (JOP) owners

Dubai, UAE, 12 January, 2020: First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), the UAE’s largest bank and one of the world’s largest and safest financial institutions, signed an Escrow Agreement with Dubai Land Department (DLD), represented by its Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA). . The agreement allows the bank to open and manage escrow accounts for Jointly Owned Property (JOP) owners in Dubai.

The agreement was signed by HE Eng. Marwan bin Ghalita, CEO of RERA, and Manoj Menon, Senior Managing Director and Head of Global Transaction Banking at FAB.

The signing ceremony was held at DLD’s offices, and was attended by Gautam Dutta, Managing Director and Head of Cash Product Management-FAB; Varkey M.V., Executive Director and Head of Escrow Management at FAB; and other senior officials from the bank and RERA.

The agreement complies with the law number (6) of 2019 on ownership of JOPs in Dubai, which was issued to implement new provisions, with the objective of protecting real estate owners by providing a fully transparent and regulated service fee collection process and ensuring that the service fee is spent on maintenance of the property as planned.

HE Marwan bin Ghalita commented: “The organisational JOP account system continues to attract more supportive partners, led by major banks and financial institutions in the UAE, like our agreement with FAB, which helps provide its services easily and conveniently, provide more banking transaction options, and increase trust in the real estate sector for developers, real estate unit owners' services, investors, and service providers in JOPs alike. In addition, developing such relationships contributes to strengthening cooperation between the public and private sectors, consolidating a transparent investment environment in our real estate sector. We welcome FAB to join the list of our partners in providing services for JOPs, and we are confident that it’s prominent position in the world of finance and business in the country and abroad will be a valuable addition to ensure the rights of all parties.”

Commenting on the agreement, Manoj Menon, said: “We are very excited to sign this escrow agreement, as the new law brings transparency to the real estate sector and the owners are reassured that their service fee is used for the maintenance of their properties, as planned. This is achieved by connecting all the parties through the ‘Mollak system’. By providing escrow services to JOP owners, FAB will support Dubai’s real estate sector and its growth. We look forward to working with all parties in the supply chain across the Emirate to provide new opportunities to our customers.”

FAB has a dedicated Escrow Management team under the umbrella of its Global Transaction Banking business. The bank has been successfully managing escrow accounts in Dubai for almost a decade and since January 2016 in Abu Dhabi, upon the announcement of the respective escrow laws. FAB also provides commercial escrow services for substantial merger and acquisition deals.