In its second recent survey of the Dubai real estate market, Hadef
& Partners assessed issues involving the property registration
process, the levying of charges in respect of registration,
duplication of records between the Dubai Land Department (DLD) and
developers and the issues concerning service charges in Dubai. Over
350 completed responses were received and many respondents took the
time to provide detailed and extensive comments.
Key themes emerging from the survey:
98.6% of respondents believe a single authority should maintain
the property registry in Dubai and the majority of owners want land
records to be open for public inspection of payment of nominal
Many developers in Dubai are still charging fees for the
registration of property interests when this right exists
exclusively with the DLD. This practice may be preventing or
de-motivating owners from registering their interested in the land
registry operated by the DLD. This in turn could have a negative
impact on the Dubai real estate market as it may lead to the DLD
registry being incomplete.
The duplication of records by developers does not add any real
benefit to the real estate market. Furthermore, respondents cited
concerns about the duplication of records and developers continuing
to control personal records long after a property has been
completed and handed over to an owner.
Some developers are not aware of or are willfully ignoring the
current regulations surrounding jointly owned property and the
collection of service charges including administrative circulars
issued by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA).
More than 90% of respondents strongly favoured service charges
being subject to the approval of the interim home owners'
committee appointed and believe RERA should penalise developers who
do not provide owners with annual audited accounts for service
charges for years prior to the home owners' associations being
registered. In addition, respondents felt that owners'
committees should have input into the contractors employed to
provide services within developments.
Hadef & Partners' Real Estate & Commercial practice
head, Michael Lunjevich explained the purpose of the report:
"Hadef & Partners is committed to identifying issues that
may improve the development of the Dubai real estate market. Our
aim is to bring issues to the surface and enable real estate
regulators in Dubai to focus on these issues for the benefit of the
This is the second report on the Dubai real estate market
produced by Hadef & Partners. In November 2010, the firm
results of a 500 plus response survey which highlighted a
series of solutions to enhance the attractiveness of the Dubai real
estate market, some of which have since also been highlighted or
addressed by regulators.
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It is trite that many projects in the UAE are completed late. The issues flowing from late completion are: (i) what was the cause; (ii) who was responsible; and (iii) what compensation is due (if any).