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More cancellations to come

More cancellations to come

RERA says 115 projects have been cancelled, and there are more to come. But panic not – there’s also a new disputes committee coming too. Cue relief all round.

December 8, 2010 12:09 by

Everyone’s favourite real estate regulatory authority, the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), has spoken once again. And though their recent revelations always have a gloomy glumness particular to RERA comments alone, these ones are particularly unsettling.

According to the body, Dubai’s already crippled real estate sector is likely to see more cancellations of property projects in the coming year. Speaking to Arabian Business, RERA chief Marwan Bin Ghalita said, “You will see a lot of cancellations [in 2011] for projects that have no benefit for Dubai or for the investor…. If a project is not feasible for Dubai’s economy, it will be cancelled. And owners will have the right to know it… Yes, there will be cancellations… If a project does not add to Dubai’s economy, it will be cancelled.”

OK, so more to come. But what about the damage thus far? RERA has apparently cancelled 115 projects to date, but out of that lot, less than 10 of them were projects where construction had actually started; the rest existed as mere scribbles upon architects pads (though probably also as thousands of dirhams from unlucky investors).

With property prices dropping by as much as 60 percent, there’s no denying it’s been a tough year for the sector and consequently for the crest-fallen investors who were probably lured into investing during the pre-recession property boom. Fortunately, that fact isn’t lost on RERA chief Marwan Bin Ghalita (who, it would appear, has a penchant of speaking in the third person at times).

Bin Ghalita is quoted on Arabian Business as saying: “Cancelling a project is easy for Marwan. But I always think about the investor, what are they going to do? Imagine yourself as a regulator, in this situation. (…) But I don’t cancel for the sake of cancellation… What do I do, if I cancel. Where I will throw the problem? If I cancel a project that started? Where am I going to throw all the 500 investors? To the court.”

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