Dubai scrapped 217 real estate projects in two years

Government bond prospectus also says emirate has outstanding debt of $31.4bn as of May 20
Dubai scrapped 217 real estate projects in two years
Dubai office space, buildings
By Staff writer
Sun 12 Jun 2011 09:38 AM

Dubai, the Gulf business hub where property prices continue to decline, cancelled 217 property projects as of May 31 after completing a review of the industry in the past two years.

The Real Estate Regulatory Authority reviewed more than 450 projects and expects 237 of them to be completed “in due course,” according to information contained in the Dubai government’s bond prospectus.

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.

Dubai, whose Emirates airline tapped debt markets this month, has set up a $5bn Euro Medium Term Note Program.

The bond prospectus, posted on the London Stock Exchange website, said Dubai government had direct outstanding debt of AED115.4bn ($31.4bn) as of May 20, including AED22bn at main holding company Investment Corporation of Dubai.

The emirate’s economy expanded 2.4 percent in 2010 after contracting 2.4 percent in the year-earlier statement, the prospectus said. Real gross domestic product was AED293.6bn in 2010.

Residential property prices in Dubai, the worst-performing market in the Middle East for the past three years, haven’t yet benefited from political turmoil in other parts of the region, Deutsche Bank AG said last week.

Home values declined 1.2 percent in May from the previous month and rents fell by 1 percent, according to the bank. Apartment prices dropped 1.3 percent and villas lost 1 percent.

“Despite talks of renewed interest in real estate following regional unrest, there is no visible sign of an improvement,” the analysts wrote. “Even if we believe the worst of the downtrend is now behind, new supply, lack of homebuyers’ appetite and anemic transaction activity point to further weakness.”

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