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21 February 2024

Dubai to be headquarter of Arab Appraisal Foundation

Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai. Rera is the regional reference for property regulations. (EB FILE)

By Anjana Kumar

The Arab Appraisal Foundation (AAF) will be headquartered in Dubai, said the CEO of the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera).

Speaking on the sidelines of a photo exhibition organised by the Land Department to mark 50 years of its establishment, Marwan bin Ghalita said going forward the agency will focus on signing more memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with other countries to share information and its experiences.

"In the past 50 years we have been a local organisation, now looking ahead to the next 50 years, the Land Department will be achieving the vision of becoming a global reference for regulation and registration. We are looking at global markets where we can sign more co-operation agreements."

"Our involvement with the AAF is one such initiative where we are putting in place standards that will work in Dubai, the UAE and the GCC."

The AAF is an initiative spearheaded by Rera with the collaboration and support of the Arab League.

In October last year, Emirates Business reported that the AAF would be a self-financed entity with a high probability for the headquarters to be in Dubai. Backed by 22 member countries of the Arab League, the AAF has grounds to be considered the Arab equivalent of international property bodies such as the Appraisal Foundation in the United States and the United Kingdom's Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Ghalita said till date the Land Department has signed more than 18 MoUs with various government bodies.

"We are looking to sign up agreements with GCC and other countries. We have a dedicated department within the Land Department that signs these MoUs.

"Rera is already the regional reference and everybody views it as an established regulator. We are trying to share this experience and information with other authorities around us. We will be sharing our knowledge, sharing our experiences because sharing the success with others will spread the success. We already have a lot of co-operation within the UAE with Ajman and Abu Dhabi."

He said in the past 50 years one of the highest achievement of the Land Department has been to incorporate advanced information technology systems that has helped it to become as paperless as possible. "Our systems have become more advanced in the past 50 years and now we are growing because of the computerised systems we are using," he added

Ghalita said just hiring manpower was not enough to enforce regulations in the real estate market, but adding professionals and experts was essential.

"Enforcing regulations does not need more people, it needs proper policies. This is not about putting more people, but about adding more professionals and experts into the market. It is about implementing the information technology systems that we have incorporated and using the technology we have. This is something we took seriously from the day we established Rera," he said.


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