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Powered by, one of the most popular daily English language newspapers in the United Arab Emirates.

Transparency key to restoring realty sector

10/06/2009 11:30 PM

Dubai Information sharing, transparency and government support are key issues needed to restore the real estate market, Adel Lootah, Executive Director of the Dubai Property Society, said on Tuesday.

On the sidelines of Cityscape, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry organised a seminar titled "Industry Outlook and Challenges Ahead" with a networking luncheon to discuss the situation of the real estate industry.

"By introducing pragmatic laws and working towards timely implementation, Dubai is attempting to develop a more systematic environment for the real estate market," Lootah said.

"This will assist in the recovery of the real estate market by promoting future investment, and the measures will prove to be conducive to the sector's sustained growth that will benefit Dubai's economy in the long term."

"No one can say that there are no challenges facing the real estate sector in Dubai and the adrenaline which used to be injected every day into the market by launching new projects no longer exists.

"The crisis has hit the real estate sector particularly hard. The end of 2008 and early 2009 witnessed many challenges including loss of investor confidence, a severe cash crunch and the cancellation of projects.

He added: "The market has dropped considerably during this period and we are all aware it has a long way to go before returning to pre-crisis levels."

Emphasising that the strongest investors will survive and those who suffered drastic losses are all speculators, Lootah remarked that we should understand the correct definition of investor.

Lootah, who has been in the real estate industry for over 15 years, said there is no escape from the Dubai real estate business but the mood of the market is different now.

Fortunately, global market indicators are relatively favourable and there is a general perception that the situation will improve gradually, he said.

"In Dubai, the market is stable and there have been reports of progress in several projects with some announcing milestone achievements while others have even mentioned project deliveries."

The laws governing the UAE real estate sector are designed to regulate the industry and help create a stable and sustainable property market. In safeguarding the interests of developers, they believe, the regulations will boost investor confidence and eventually prove favourable to all stakeholders, he added.

Hamad Bu Amim, Director General of the Dubai Chamber, said: "With a broadly diversified econ-omic base as the foundation of its success, Dubai is forging ahead as a truly global city.

"Understanding the broader trends that impact its supply and demand fundamentals, investors should take a long-term view of the real estate market."

"Dubai is one of the few places in the world where growth is expected to continue, based on the Government's support for the major infrastructure projects and the overall business atmosphere."

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