Dubai approves audit firms for real estate checks

Property regulator RERA accredits 18 firms as part of plan to improve transparency
Dubai approves audit firms for real estate checks
A model at Cityscape Global shows a mock-up of Dubais real estate projects
By Andy Sambidge
Mon 14 Nov 2011 06:05 PM

Dubai's real estate regulator said on Monday it has accredited 18 auditing firms to conduct financial check on property projects in the emirate.

The Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), the regulatory arm of the Land Department, said the move was part of a strategy to boost good governance measures in the real estate sector and enhance transparency.

Khalid Obaid Al Mutaiwei, senior director of the Real Estate Development Trust Account Department at RERA said: "We perceive this move as a milestone in implementing the standards of financial auditing to the real estate sector in accordance with best practices in auditing real estate companies and projects."

RERA said in a statement it has inked cooperation agreements with the 18 firms to examine real estate projects exclusively registered with RERA.

"Auditing will significantly facilitate the work of project trustees by preparing solid financial reports on real estate projects sold on the map," added Al Mutaiwei.

Issa Saeed Al Mansouri, head of the Trust Accounts Section at RERA's Trust Account Department, said the auditing firms approved by RERA were "leading local and international institutions".

They will be responsible for examining and assessing the financial standing of companies looking to launch real estate projects in Dubai.

Al Mansouri added: "This system will keep RERA fully informed about real estate companies and projects. Auditing and evaluation of approved real estate projects in Dubai enhances trust and transparency in the real estate sector in addition to catalysing development and growth of Dubai."

Dubai said last month that the world's first governance charter for real estate developers, aimed at improving transparency in the sector, would be implemented by January 2013.

The Dubai Land Department (DLD) said it had launched the draft document with the blessing of ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Over the next three months, real estate companies will be educated about what the charter means, prior to putting the final touches on the final draft.

The charter proposal is part of nine initiatives launched by the Department to spur a recovery in the emirate's battered property market where prices have slumped more than 50 percent from peak levels.

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