About 400 real estate developers have been officially licensed by the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera), paving the way for greater transparency and security for property investors in Dubai.
Major developers, including Emaar, Dubai Properties, Aldar, Zabeel Investments and Nakheel and their subsidiaries, are included in the list of licensed companies, the majority of whom have opened escrow accounts. The accounts, which safeguard investors’ cash during the development period, will be supervised by the agency. The licences have been granted under Law Number Eight of 2007 on real estate development escrow accounts.
Rera Chief Executive Marwan Ahmed bin Ghalita said the move underlines the importance of creating greater transparency, a principle adopted by the agency to better regulate the emirate’s real estate sector and urged buyers to beware of unlicensed developers.
“Investors, who deal with any company not licensed by Rera, would be solely responsible,” he said. “Rera studies each case in depth before granting them a licence.” However, he said some companies and projects have been given special permits that exempt them from opening escrow accounts.
“Big companies that enjoy good reputation and have strong guarantees have been exempted,” Rera said.
Bin Ghalita said: “Rera transfers the money received from each company to the [escrow] security account after deducting expenditures. Investors have to forward their cheques to the security account.” Unlicensed companies, he said, will face greater difficulties in selling and marketing their projects through media outlets as 2007 real estate law prohibits media from carrying advertisements for unlicensed real estate projects.
“All developers must obtain approval from the agency before launching marketing campaigns,” he added.
Rera, it said, will work in 2008 to make the real estate market free of unlicensed property developers to guarantee the rights of all parties, whether investors or developers.
The full list of approved companies can be read here.