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Wed 29 Jul 2009 02:35 PM

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Property boss urges greater protection for expat investors

MAG Group CEO says Dubai must be more transparent to drive economy.

Greater protection for investors is needed in Dubai to drive its economy, a property boss said on Wednesday.

Mohammed Nimer, CEO of developer MAG Group Properties, said the emirate must focus on attracting expatriates and forge better relations with foreign companies - as well as increasing transparency.

"The future domestic economy must focus heavily on expatriates and foreign companies and its business relationships with the rest of the world. There must be greater transparency, tougher regulations to protect investors and a basic safety net on provisions for the expatriate community upon which the economy is dependent," he said in a statement on Wednesday.

A large supply of residential and commercial property is yet to be absorbed by the market, he added.

There have been repeated calls by lawyers in Dubai to give investors, particularly in property, greater protection.

Legal tussles between investors and developers in Dubai are common. Lawyers say many investors enter into contracts heavily weighted in favour of developers.

Nimer, whose Mag Group has a portfolio worth AED3bn, also called on Dubai to return to ‘basics' through its tax-free business hub and ability to attract foreign direct investment.

Jebel Ali Baba 10 years ago

First constructive article and statements from a property developer since month. I agree 100% with the proposals and statements in this article. This is going into the right direction.

Ovido 10 years ago

Hydra, Please take note of of this article. UAE please come out with a standard contract format for all freehold and leased properties in all the emitates.

M.R. Ismail 10 years ago

Dubai should introduce back Freehold property with Residence Visa to attract investors.

Iqbal 10 years ago

Agre 100% as some policies formulated in the recent past were not investor friendly and one got the impression that Dubai did not care anymore as they were riding high. The visa rules, regulations and fees need to be revised, including residency & visit visa's as not just the real estate sector is suffering but all other sectors (Malls, Hotels, Gold Souq etc) which were dependent on tourist inflow & spending. It wiull also be wise to remember that the broken investor confidence will not be easy to restore without some radical changes to woo back the high spenders & investors.

Punky Brewster 10 years ago

This is the news that people in the govt should be paying attention to. The developers are asking for transparency, and the investors are mired in legal disputes, and yet, the govt, in all these years of FREEHOLDS has not come up with a SINGLE law that helps the investors first! It has ALWAYS sided with the Developers, and litigation is a joke, considering cases in India get thorough scrutiny, and faster, compared to here.

Serge 10 years ago

At long last someone who speaks some sense in the UAE. The simple basic rule of any business "look after your customer - he is always right!" It is very simple, the world is full of money making opportunities and if your formula is faulty, you will not sell. The property boom in Dubai was actually fuelled by the trust that property investors had in their own countries. More fool them because they did not do their homework - but the homework was also faulty because they were simply lied to and there was no one in Government who stepped in and became a champion of the customer. The market was driven by greed. Buyers are now discovering all the flaws in the system and leaving this market in droves. The trust in the UAE property market is gone.

Tajer 10 years ago

All good ideas are welcome but I think it is a little too late , Dubai has lost the potential it once had to become a Muslim country which attracted muslims from all over the world who took the risk and invested in business and property then all of a sudden it became a real estate story and all laws changed the intial idea of growth & prosperity was lost to fast gains truth was bent ,the traditional hospitality was lost to the modern thinking of imediate and instant gains , Dubai was never London or Newyork and will never be Dubai was better , Dubai was and Inshallah will be the Kingdom of Heven where every one could live and work to create a kingdom which is cherised by all who lived there , not every property buyer was a speculator and the down fall in Dubai has hurt and wiped out famalies who moved to Dubai as a better choice ,The rulers of this kingdom will need to work much harder then before and recognise and remove the evil with in , who have destroyed Dubai , people who sincierly invested have lost substantially and will not return and are not willing to look in making any more investments .

Mart 10 years ago

Can I be the first here to say that if Mr Mohammed Nimer doesn't like the law in the UAE then he should leave? I'm sure if I don't say it someone else will be along soon to do so - its inevitable when one is seen to level criticism at the status quo, especially when there is a suggestion that expats are vital! More seriously, I think he's talking sense, but alas I fear it is too late to attract the expats that he correctly recognises are vital to the UAE... the damage has been done... all over the world people are reading about the horrendous situations that those ripped off in Dubai's property market are going through. People won't be pouring back in any time soon.

AK 10 years ago

enough said...

Paolo L 10 years ago

I don't want to be so pessimistic, therefore I hope I'm wrong, but I agree with most comments. It's far too late to recover those investors. I'm afraid the worst is still to come. Once those, hanging out with hundreds of thousands of Aed on a property which is just blowing sand, will realize that as for today the legal system in Dubai and in the UAE in general is literally useless, inefficient and doing nothing for them, not only they will burst into bad pubblicity worldwide but may even turn violent. Let's add also that any serious company (yes there are some serious companies in the world), and trustable professionals (they exist also) will pack their luggage and say goodbye Dubai, which means an overall downgrade in capacities and quality of services. I really don't understand this lack of action, probably shows the truth behind it all, their money is gone.