Abu Dhabi officials have drafted five laws to establish safeguards for property investors.

The emirate’s property market was opened to foreign investors in 2006, four years after Dubai’s. Prices shot up until the end of 2008, when sales stalled and prices softened in the global financial crisis.

Most transactions in Abu Dhabi were made in a legal vacuum because there were few written regulations governing the rights and obligations of buyers and sellers.

The proposals are a strata law, defining the roles of property owners in multiple-occupancy developments; a trust-account law similar to Dubai’s escrow requirements; a law establishing a regulator; a mortgage law to protect financiers; and a law to ensure that developers have acquired titles and permits before selling properties to the public.

The National