Industry 'desperate' for Dubai strata regulations

Market could be reinvigorated once law's details are released

Stephen Kelly of Clyde & Co.
Stephen Kelly of Clyde & Co.

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The long-awaited regulations for Dubai’s 2007 strata law could change the emirate’s property market, when finally released.

Although the law has been in place for more than two years, the accompanying regulations are still awaited and have a vital role to play in the market. Stephen Kelly, a senior property lawyer with Clyde & Co’s Dubai office predicts that it is the market that will drive compliance with the regulations, if international experience is anything to go by.

“Elsewhere in the world a strata compliant title has been worth up to 20% more and the bank finance level was higher and that will happen here in five to ten years,” he said.

“Value will be distinguished between strata and non strata and then well managed strata and not well managed. We'll end up in a substantially better position than the one we’re in now.”

However, Kelly points out that there will be much work to be done once the regulations do emerge. When regulations are released there is likely to be a frenzy of activity, as buildings make the journey to compliance.

“A lot of people have underestimated the process of making buildings strata compliant: they want a tick in a box equivalent to a title, but the cost of the tick may have caused them to back off a bit,” he said.

While it’s worth asking if the industry is ready for the regulations, there seems to be no doubt that there introduction will be a good thing for the market.

“Yes we are ready for the regulations,” said Elaine Jones, CEO of Asteco, a property management company. “We a so desperate for the regulations because it will re-invigorate the market and reignite the interest in buying property here. It is so important for the market as a whole.

“Of course there will be challenges, but that's fine - we will work through them and there may need to be adjustments, but they can be addressed. But, we need to be properly regulated and following a consistent system, so that all buyers and all developers know what has to be delivered and what has to be received.”

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