Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dubai said to emerge stronger from property crisis

Dubai said to emerge stronger from property crisis

New regulations seen as key to recovery by participants in open debate on challenges facing Dubai real estate market

Dubai’s property market has taken a beating but could emerge from the economic crisis stronger and more transparent, leading legal and financial experts said today (Wednesday 11 March 2009).

They were taking part in the Cityscape Connect business breakfast ahead of Cityscape Dubai from 5 to 8 October 2009 at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre. Attended by more than 150 property executives, legal advisers and investors, the business breakfast was called to explore the challenges facing the Dubai real estate market.

The “not for profit” Cityscape Connect initiative has been introduced to stimulate networking, transparency and open debate on the key issues affecting the Dubai real estate industry which has dramatically changed market dynamics and growth prospects.

Lisa Dale, a partner in legal firm Al Tamimi & Company, summed up: “As we come out on the other side of the economic troubles we are in at the moment, Dubai will have a more regulated and much more transparent real estate system.”

New laws and regulations, both at Dubai government and at federal level, will emerge in the coming few months establishing more clearly the rights of property owners, she added. In addition, the Dubai Land Department is developing one of the most sophisticated and transparent online property transaction systems.

“These things are going on now and will come into effect in the next few months,” Dale said. “As we emerge, Dubai will have a more regulated and transparent jurisdiction than now.” Sohail Zubairi, CEO of Dar Al Sharia Legal and Financial Consultancy, agreed saying Dubai would emerge much stronger “if we regulate ourselves properly.”

Barmak Besharaty, Managing Director of Almas Capital, pointed to property speculation and reliance on off-plan sales as one of the main reasons for the problems in the Dubai market. Nevertheless he was bullish on the longer term prospects.

He said “Dubai will become a better place to live” when the price of property and levels of rent fell to levels affordable for the vast bulk of the population living and working in the UAE. That had not been the case in property price boom on recent years.

“As the largest event of its kind in the world, it is crucial in these times of economic uncertainty that Cityscape Dubai leads by example,” said Rohan Marwaha, Managing Director of the Cityscape series.

“While there is a slowdown in the market, there remains a substantial growth pattern across most of the region – which is something many other parts of the world will struggle to achieve. On a regional and global level, it will be those companies that carefully plan in the down market which will recover fastest and further post-recession.”

Cityscape Dubai, now in its eighth year, is established as the largest business-to-business real estate investment and development event in the world and last year drew a record of more than 70,000 visitors over four days.

Cityscape Dubai is also the flagship event of a brand developed in Dubai that has achieved international recognition and success. Cityscape events are held in Singapore, Abu Dhabi, New York, Mumbai, Moscow, Saudi Arabia and Latin America. Cityscape Dubai attracts regional and international investors, property developers, governmental and development authorities, leading architects, designers, consultants and senior professionals involved in the property industry.

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