Property legislation in final approval stage

Dubai: Legislation crucial to the future of Dubai’s real estate sector is in its final stage of approval, say officials at Dubai Land Department. Eagerly-anticipated legislation concerning escrow accounts and a condominium law have passed the final draft stage and are awaiting official approval from the emirate’s rulers. It follows a lengthy period of consultation between the land department and property developers in Dubai. « The draft laws have been finalised and have been submitted for government feedback and approval, » said Mohammad Sultan Thani, director of development and marketing administration at Dubai Land Department. Concern Legal experts say the Strata (Condominium) Law will clarify owner/occupier responsibility for commonhold land, while Trust (Escrow) Accounts will protect buyers’ stage payments in independently-held accounts. According to information obtained by Gulf News, escrow accounts in Dubai will be managed by a number of domestic and international financial institutions, all of which will be supervised and monitored by the land department. « We need to determine which banks are in a position to handle this responsibility, » said Thani. An area of concern for many small developers was the stage that funds will be released. Many argued that payments held in accounts pending full completion of a project would create significant cash flow problems. According to Thani, the funds will be released in stages depending on the stage of project completion. Meanwhile, the release of the Condominium Law will also pave the way for a by-law to be signed on the rights and responsibilities of owners associations. Figures: Transactions double The value of land transactions in Dubai has doubled, according to figures released by Dubai Land Department. Transactions worth Dh8 billion were made In the first quarter of 2006 compared to Dh16 billion in the same quarter this year. – R.D.