RERA chief denies petition from worried investors

Watchdog CEO says he did not receive letter of concern reportedly signed by 300 investors.
RERA chief denies petition from worried investors
By Andy Sambidge
Thu 12 Feb 2009 12:04 PM

Dubai's real estate watchdog on Thursday denied reports it had received a letter signed by 300 real estate investors voicing their concern over the fate of their investment.

It was claimed that the Dubai Property Investors Group, made up of more than 300 local and international investors, lawyers and real estate developers, had delivered a petition to the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA).

It reportedly urged the watchdog to clamp down on "fly-by-night developers" who were unable to deliver projects amid tightening liquidity and project financing, even though they've taken down payments from investors.

But Marwan bin Ghalita, CEO of RERA, branded the petition story, published earlier this week by newswire Zawya Dow Jones, as "absolutely untrue".

"Personally, I did neither receive a letter of this kind nor any call from the said news website or other," he said in comments published by news agency WAM.

He added: "Maintaining a well-regulated market that provides protection to all stakeholders is one of our top priorities."

He claimed that RERA had, since its creation about one year ago, been taking tremendous efforts to regulate the real estate sector by issuing flexible regulations with the highest possible level of transparency.

"Loss of investor's rights is a red line...it has not happened and it will never happen in Dubai real estate market...RERA has completed registration of developers and brokers at its records to preserve their rights," he added.

"We understand the feelings of worry resulted from the impact of the global financial crisis but we are against the unjustifiable panic, exaggeration and hitting under the belt by some for the sake of making illegitimate ends."

He appealed to investors not to hesitate in calling RERA to know the update of any project and stressed that RERA would never allow developers to breach real estate laws, especially the escrow account system.

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