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Mon 16 Nov 2009 12:15 PM

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Free legal advice move 'too little, too late' - poll

Arabian Business poll reveals 68% are dismissive of new Dubai real estate plan.

Plans by Dubai Land Department to launch a new initiative to bring in a free legal service to support home owners involved in real estate-related court cases has been branded "too little too late" by most in an Arabian Business poll.

About 68 percent of respondents to the online poll said they saw the move as a token gesture and they believed very few people would qualify for the free advice.

The recent announcement by the Land Department followed a meeting between senior officials and representatives of law firms.

Under the agreement, the law firms would become part of a new Legal Care Group bringing together senior lawyers, professional firms and consultants to offer free legal assistance to members of the public with "genuine real estate issues" who might otherwise be dissuaded from taking action because of the prohibitive cost of fees.

But only 11 percent of respondents told us they believed the new initiative would help to improve transparency in Dubai's real estate market.

A further 17 percent of those who took part in our online survey said it was a good move and should redress the imbalance between investors and developers.

Another four percent said they were concerned that by offering free advice, it could encourage people to try to abuse the system.

Mohammed Sultan Thani, assistant director general of the Dubai Land Department, said: "The objective of this initiative is not merely to meet a need but to ensure fairness and justice is available to anyone who might have a concern which involves property, no matter their circumstances.”

In August it was reported that property dispute cases that were originally submitted to the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) and Dubai Courts are now being dealt with by Dubai’s new Property Court.

The new court, which started operations in October, was set up under the First Instance Court to deal exclusively with property-related cases.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

B.Sainani 10 years ago

It is a great news and would create a culture of better treatment of the small investors/ actual users of property who have invested life time savings for having a dream home in Dubai. Very much appreciated with the hope that the action would follow the words and benefit Dubai's name as an example of fairness to all at all levels.

Dubya 10 years ago

so those who hoped to make money for nothing by riding on the back of the real estate boom now expect advice for free. If they'd have taken advice properly at the start then they would have understood the risks. Instead, they chose to gamble and now want free advice to help them out...i am all for charity and pro bono but are these investors really worthy of time from volunteers?

Amir 10 years ago

There are lots of innocent small investors who are feeling the pain every day as there is nobody to answer to them. Waterfront Zero-Five-Zero by Profile Properties is one of these projects which despite the fact the the master developer (Nakheel) has cancelled this project, the Developer is nowhere to be found ! We can't find anyone to even talk to. This is unbelievable.

Paolo C 10 years ago

These measures are like a glass of water against a building in flame.