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Mon 14 Oct 2019 02:00 PM

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UAE needs real estate masterplan, say experts

Creation of masterplan would increase investor confidence and provide more transparency in industry

UAE needs real estate masterplan, say experts

The UAE should implement a real estate masterplan, for both residential and commercial properties, to not only increase investor confidence but to provide more transparency on investment opportunities for ongoing and future projects.

That was the view of panellists and invited guests during ICAEW’s Corporate Finance Faculty (CFF) roundtable on the future of supply and demand of both commercial and residential properties in the country.

Alexander Gross, senior director of Drooms, who moderated the event, said: “Dubai has seen rapid transformation and significant growth over the last few years, in terms of both population and FDI. As the real estate sector becomes increasingly balanced, the government must focus on improving regulatory and investment procedures to entice even more investors.”

Panellists welcomed Dubai’s creation of the Higher Real Estate Planning Committee, which aims to achieve a more sustainable balance between supply and demand in the emirate.

Since its creation in September, the Dubai Land Department (DLD) has recorded a 134 percent increase in property transactions.

Michael Armstrong, FCA and ICAEW regional director for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), said: “As the UAE real estate market matures, it needs to put in place the necessary measures to regain control over the supply and demand dynamics and restore investor confidence.

“We believe that the government’s newly implemented reforms will help to re-establish the UAE as a preferred property investment destination and contribute to the sector’s recovery post Expo 2020.”

The group also highlighted the threat that e-commerce technology poses for landlords of commercial properties, “who must uphold rent and occupancy levels of their retail spaces”.

And they called for much-needed repurposing of commercial spaces to accommodate more indoor social activities and modern working spaces.

Panellists included Mahmoud El Burai, vice president, International Real Estate Federation - Arabic countries ; Murray Strang, head of Dubai, Savills; Dr. Martin Berlin, global deals real estate leader, PwC; Tara Marlow, head of real estate, hotels and leisure, Al Tamimi & Company; and Racha Al Khawaja, group chief distribution & development officer, Equitativa.

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