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There is no room for carelessness anymore – Tasweek CEO

Tasweek CEO

Masood Al Awar, CEO of Tasweek tells Kipp about the current opportunity for innovation in Real Estate marketing and other industry insights...

October 1, 2012 5:17 by

The real estate market is an important investment industry that requires close monitoring via regulations and legislation that are communicated and easily available to public domains. Both supply and inventory should be accurately reported to control the sustainability and consistency of returns. In my own personal view no innovation has been brought to the marketing of real estate products in the last four years after financial crises. This means that there are a lot of possibilities for new ideas to be adopted and further grow the industry.

From the point of view of a person who knows very little about the Real Estate sector, could you briefly explain what has happened with the UAE’s before the crisis until now?

The UAE started real estate development from 1999 and authorized the freehold scheme from 2000 onwards to commence an industry boom that attracted a pool of talents and investments from all over the world until the financial crises hit in late 2008.  Although local industry was negatively affected as was the case throughout the world, the UAE market has proven to be resilient and has done well compared to other booming markets in the region.

As it has become a rather hot topic, do you have opinion on government employees relocating to Abu Dhabi? Will that have an impact on the residential properties there as well as in Dubai?

In my own personal opinion – which others may disagree with – this trend is a good one that could bring more stability to the UAE industry in the long run.  The reason is that such relocations will stop mass concentration which may affect life styles in the future, and there are many examples of this. Moreover, the UAE is known to be open to things that are new and haven’t been done before.

Plain and simple, is it a good time to buy property in UAE?

Whether the market moves slowly or achieves growth, now is indeed a perfect time to buy property in the Emirates.

Emaar says that the real estate market is recovering. Is this true?

The real estate market never really went away, leaving us to postulate on when it would return. It was, still and will always be a dynamic market. Although returns are not like before, real estate remains a preferred investment option even during the crisis.

Aside from prices and values, there is a lot of tension between landlords, developers, tenants, & agents. It’s always in the media. What should developers be doing in terms of treatment of their landlords and tenants?

Developers and real estate business owners have to be customer-centric not only in words by most especially in actions. This means sharing profits with customers and adopting a flexible model that will enable them to achieve solutions and address customer concerns through the design of products that ensure sustainable, long-term profitability.

The recent infamous property scams, will they discourage investors?

Scams are typical business tricks that can occur in any other market, so I do not believe that they will significantly discourage investors. It would be more productive to ensure that consumers are aware and notified of illegal schemes that tarnish the industry.

Dubai is often described as the most transparent market in the Middle East, but is it transparent enough?

I think that Dubai has achieved several milestones in terms of transparency and real estate regulations compared to the timeframe and development of its various other governmental and private sectors.

Sure, the UAE has benefited from the Arab Spring. But is the benefit temporary or long-term?

The benefit will be felt in the long term because once the UAE’s unique quality life is experienced by visitors then it is difficult to let go. Coming here creates a benchmark that gives us an edge over other neighboring markets.

What role, if any, do you think RERA should be playing in terms of improving the market?

RERA as the industry authority is responsible for restoring the balance between demand and supply and premiums. They should enforce legislation without exceptions to foster a high level of transparency and accountability.

Before the crisis, developers and landlords were taking the liberty of charging insanely high prices for both properties and benefits such as parking spots because they knew that they could. Now that the recovery is still in process, how careful do they need to be?

There is no room for carelessness anymore actually as RERA will ensure that homeowner associations  live up to their responsibilities, take care of owners, and make sure that benefits and facilities are delivered per contracts.

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  1. Smoked on October 2, 2012 4:33 am

    Great questions, great answers but none represent the sad reality of the issues faced by investors in the RE market. Transparency? Owners associations? I don’t know one single project that can show me an seriously audited account or present me a registered owners association. So what are we talking about here?

  2. Muhammad Aldalou on October 2, 2012 8:48 am

    Thank you for your invaluable comment. You may be right, no answers seem to ever truly represent the sad reality of the situation and transparency is still an issue. Being transparent while talking about transparency in fact, is still an issue.

  3. Tarek Aziz on October 5, 2012 6:55 pm

    The real estate boom of yesteryears of Dubai is a different story altogether. Transparency is one aspect of it. Anyway, it is an excellent initiative now by the Central Bank to come forward to help the country’s economy. A quick analysis will indicate that the county’s economy is in a very tight situation indeed as its economy was constricted heavily during the period 2008-09 due to the ongoing global financial crisis coupled with a highly deflated asset prices. In addition, the Dubai real estate crash and the artificial stock market boom and subsequent crash helped to push down the economy further. To counter this, the country increased spending thereby fueling inflation and also pumped in huge amount of liquidity into the banking sector. Being a majority trading center, this was the biggest downward economic fall. What subsequently followed per standard “development economics” theory was that resulted in the now famous “Dubai crisis” as it was very heavily exposed to depressed real estate prices and a cash crunch. The Central Bank have therefore taken a excellent step now to contain the economic crisis going forward by strict application of the above method.


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