New Dubai legislations on investor protection

More legislations planned, but mediation option is being promoted, says Dubai Land Department's senior legal advisor

The Dubai Land Department (DLD) is planning to introduce new legislations to restore investor confidence in the market, but emphasis is on promoting an efficient alternative dispute resolution such as mediation to mitigate disputes, a senior department official said.

“We are working on more legislations, but emphasis is on promoting an efficient alternative dispute resolution such as mediation,” Emad Eldin Farouq, Senior Legal Advisor, DLD, said during a panel discussion held recently at a real estate conference.

To a question on laws in Dubai that offer protection to investors, Farouq said: “Property investors in Dubai enjoy a satisfactory level of legal protection. Since 2006 a number legislations have been introduced which safeguard investors from unfair practice by developers and agents.”

To name a few, he said all investors have to register their property with the department which in fact is mandatory; buying and selling of properties must be done through registered agents; the Escrow Law mandates developers to open bank accounts designated for the project where monies paid by investors or the project financing parties have to be deposited.

Sultan Butti bin Mijrin, Director-General of DLD, has said recently that the Real Estate Investor Protection Law is likely to be unveiled this year, which will empower investors to seek cancellation of contracts if the developer fails to fulfill his contractual obligations.

In December, Emirates 24|7 reported that the department has set up a six-member mediation committee that will help mitigate disputes between the developer and investor.

On the question of the biggest challenge faced by the department, Farouq said: “The biggest challenge faced during the downturn was how to maintain stability in property market and safeguard it from crash. Another thing of importance was how to keep a balance between developers’ interests and investors’ interests.”

He added the main priority of the department was to conduct more research and analysis on effects and lessons learned during economic downturn and propose action plans to deal with them.

Calling on developers to determine price of the unit through a scientific method based on the rules of supply and demand in the market, Farouq advised investors to consult lawyers before signing any sales contract.

“Restoring investors confident is key issue for property market,” he added.

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