Dubai creates corporation for government real estate

Dubai Real Estate Corporation will be a commercial entity, open to sue and be sued
Dubai Marina at night
By Joanne Bladd
Sun 26 Jun 2011 02:15 PM

Dubai has streamlined the operations of a commercial corporation that owns and manages properties registered in the name of the government, state news agency WAM said on Sunday.

Under a new law, Dubai Real Estate Corporation will have financial and administrative independence, will be able to contract with third parties, and will be open to sue and be sued, WAM said.

The entity will be responsible for all development, purchase, sale, lease and management of government properties, the agency said, citing a decree from Dubai ruler HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum.

“The Corporation aims to own and manage the properties… including the ownership, reconstruction, investment and the use and exploitation of land…” the agency said.

No details were given on the properties to be managed.

Dubai, the worst-hit property market in the Gulf, saw house prices more than halve in late-2008 as the financial crash wiped out project funding and brought a halt to its real estate boom.

Real estate sales have plummeted since the days of Dubai’s property bubble, when speculators frequently bought yet-to-be- built homes and sold them at a profit before a single brick was laid.

State-owned developer Nakheel, which is seeking to restructure $10.9bn in debt, is expected to be carved out of parent company Dubai World this month.

Dubai said earlier this month it had scrapped 217 real estate projects in the emirate as of May 31, and expected a further 237 developments to be completed “in due course”.

The total value of property sale transactions plunged to AED119.5bn at the end of last year from AED152.9bn a year earlier, it said.

Global analysts remain divided on the state of the trade and tourism hub’s real estate market, with many suggesting house prices have further to fall.  

Deutsche Bank said this month that Dubai property prices continued to slide and that political instability in the Middle East had failed to give the market an expected boost.

“Despite talks of renewed interest in real estate following regional unrest, there is no visible sign of an improvement,” analysts wrote.

By contrast, London consultancy Knight Frank said last week that Dubai’s real estate market had seen house prices rise 2.1 percent since October, with a modest 0.6 percent increase in Q1.

“The Middle East provides an improving picture,” said Liam Bailey, head of residential research at Knight Frank. “Dubai has seen price growth regain positive territory in the last six months and the consensus is that the market is stabilising following the volatility observed in 2008-2010.”

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