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Thu 12 Dec 2019 10:20 AM

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Damac Properties chief Hussain Sajwani slams 'greediness' of developers

Hussain Sajwani reiterates his call for development in Dubai to be stopped for two years

Damac Properties chief Hussain Sajwani slams 'greediness' of developers

Damac Properties founder and chairman Hussain Sajwani speaking at the SALT conference in Abu Dhabi. Image: ADGM. 

Damac Properties founder and chairman Hussain Sajwani has branded developers greedy and reiterated his belief that new construction should be stopped to address oversupply issues.

Sajwani caused a stir earlier this year when he suggested the real estate market was heading for “disaster” due to the amount of units being built, suggesting a complete halt for two years would go a long way to resolving the problem.

He told the Skybridge Alternatives (SALT) conference in Abu Dhabi this week: “If we stopped today, we are okay. I think there is a demand for at least 15,000 to 25,000 units a year. But if we oversupply more than that there is a problem. I think we have oversupply in ’19, so we need to slow down, and make it either zero or a very small number.”

Sajwani also continued his call for government intervention to tackle “greediness” of some developers looking to make a quick profit from the market.

He added: “You reach a time in the curve where you need to slow down. In the normal competitive markets like the US, UK, or somewhere else, the demand/supply, and all the companies are private, it will balance each other. 

"The UAE is a bit different because the majority of the development comes from large, government or public companies, and that has to be monitored by the government more carefully I think."

Damac Properties reported an 88% slump in net profit for the first nine months of 2019, as sales and revenue also fell amid the downturn in Dubai's real estate market.

Sajwani said the UAE's economy is in a strong position. “You’re talking here about one of the most stable and strongest economies in the Middle East; on the global level we’re among the [top] 10-20 countries."

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