Dubai's RERA mulls more real estate cancellations

CEO Marwan Bin Ghalaita says watchdog has new investment criteria for property developments
Dubai's RERA mulls more real estate cancellations
Marwan Bin Ghalaita, CEO of RERA, said real estate transactions in Dubai had picked up pace in Q1
By Jo Anne Bladd
Thu 17 Mar 2011 04:05 PM

Dubai’s real estate watchdog is mulling fresh project cancellations this year under a new scheme to evaluate the financial viability of developments, its CEO has said.

"We are in the process of analysing the data. Project cancellations won't happen just like that - there is a process involved and we are working on that," Marwan Bin Ghalaita told reporters on the sidelines of a property event in Dubai.

"Any project that is not good for Dubai and the investors will not go on. We have a new criteria. All the projects are going through a process which asks if they are fit for investment or not.”

The emirate has 220 ongoing residential real estate projects this year, Ghalaita said.

He declined to specify how many projects have been scrapped to date.

Dubai property prices slumped 62 percent from their peak in mid-2008 after the global credit crisis saw speculative demand wane. More than half of construction projects in the UAE’s trade and tourism hub were scrapped as funding in the emirate dried up.

The head of Dubai’s Land Department said Wednesday the emirate saw AED123bn of ($33.5bn) worth of real estate transactions in 2010.

Ghalaita said the number of real estate deals completed in the first quarter of 2011 had surpassed those seen in the same period a year earlier.

"The number of transactions has gone up in the first few months of this year, and the real estate environment in the UAE is better than last year,” he said.

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