RERA to sign off foreign property adverts in Dubai

New rules will see RERA vet firms advertising overseas properties to Dubai investors
CEO of RERA, Marwan bin Ghalaita. The real estate watchdog has rolled out new rules to monitor firms advertising overseas projects
By Shane McGinley
Mon 22 Aug 2011 04:22 PM

A Dubai firm has won permission to advertise a development in Brazil to investors in the emirate, under new rules rolled out by the city’s real estate watchdog to vet foreign projects.

Real estate agency BRIC Group is the first to secure approval under laws aimed at regulating firms advertising to Dubai-based investors, said RERA CEO Marwan bin Ghalaita.

The agency requires companies to provide proof of ownership, masterplan designs and proof of licensing, signed by the UAE embassy in the respective country, to secure approval.

Sam Rodgers, regional director of BRIC Group, said approval had boosted interest in its Brazilian project, which offers units starting from $32,000.

“It has made a difference,” he said. “It is a big jump as RERA is a big word in this part of the world.”

Rodgers said some Dubai firms had already been fined up to AED50,000 for advertising foreign developments without approval.

Bin Ghalaita said the stamp did not mean RERA had endorsed the project, but that it had confirmed the company was a registered real estate agent approved to advertise units in Dubai.

Dubai’s real estate watchdog has moved to crackdown on developers in the wake of a property collapse that saw house prices more than halve from their 2008-peak.

RERA said in March that up to 90,0000 real estate units due to be delivered over the next five years could be scrapped if the projects failed to meet financial viability rules.

Analysts said new rules monitoring companies advertising foreign developments would give confidence to investors, but hoped it would not divert attention from local issues.

 “My main concern here would be that if RERA is endorsing projects overseas, this will divert investors to invest outside Dubai,” said Priyesh Patel from Dubai-based brokerage Aston Pearl Real Estate. “In the current climate, just as the property market is recovering [in certain prime areas], we need investors to keep investing here not aboard.

 “RERA should focus on issues in Dubai.”

An Arabian Business poll of analysts this month found house prices in Dubai are expected to slide a further 15 percent by the end of 2011 as fresh supply floods the market.

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