Panel to oversee realty projects

The Dubai Government has formed a high-level committee that will oversee and decide on the launch of future real estate projects in the emirate in view of the global economic slowdown, a top government official said yesterday. The committee, which was formed in October this year, consists of Dubai-based master developers and a few private developers, Nasser Al Shaikh, Director-General of the Dubai Department of Finance, told Emirates Business. “For the first time, a committee has been formed to oversee the real estate development in Dubai and help synchronise projects of various developers with the intention of securing future supply.” The panel will not be looking at projects that have already been launched, Al Shaikh said, adding, “no projects will be called off, and the committee will only decide on anything to be launched in future. “Master developers control 70 per cent of the supply in Dubai’s property market and if all these parties work together then we can strike a balance between the future demand and supply. However, we are not trying to influence or control supply in the market.” He said the committee will not govern private developers and they can continue with their projects. Perceptions that the UAE realty is set for a correction have strengthened recently. Prices are expected to peak in the first half of 2009, but a decline is expected in the second half of the next year. However, developers said analysts have failed to interpret and take note of the sound economic fundamentals of the emirate. Al Shaikh reiterated that infrastructure projects will continue and only the yet-to-be launched real estate developments will be under scrutiny of the committee. Ruling out government plans to inject any funds into the real estate sector, he said: “All the master developers have sufficient cash flow and they do not require funding from the government.” A draft law to settle property disputes is also being drawn up. Judge Abdul Qader Mousa, Head of Dubai property court told our sister publication, Al Emarat Al Youm, that the new law will replace the federal civil procedures law. Parag Deulgaonkar