As RERA announces a certain Oqood bias, Kipp takes a look at some particularly dreary Q1 developments in the property sector.
April 25, 2011 3:49 by Eva Fernandes
Don’t you just love how rather sporadic business in Dubai really is? We don’t know about you, but ever the connoisseur for inconsistency, Kipp was rather tickled about this report from Emirates 24|7 on the latest from RERA on Oqood.
But first, some background.Launched in 2008, Oqood was a software RERA insisted all real estate companies selling off-plan, opted to register with and use for every transaction. The aim was to “lead to a higher level of transparency” in the property market. Funny that RERA should have used transparency and the Dubai property market in the same sentence merely a year before the Dubai World troubles, thinks Kipp. So anyway about three years ago, the online portal Oqood, which means ‘contracts’ in Arabic, was launched and then we didn’t really hear too much about it. Until today, when, as this article from Emirates 24|7 reports, RERA has announced that investors who are not registered with Oqood will not be getting a notification that their project has been cancelled.
“If the project is cancelled, all investors will know that by an official email sent to them, but they have to ensure that they are registered in Oqood system,” says Real Estate Regulatory Agency CEO,Marwan bin Ghalita.
What has got Kipp a bit confused and amused with this random announcement (that comes three years after the system was launched) is that if the responsibility to register with Oqood lies with the developer, and the fact that no registered property sale or transfer can take place unless it has been registered on Oqood no less, why should investors have to be on Oqood to get an official email confirming the cancellation of their project? Kipp can’t help but feel this latest announcement from RERA is just another attempt to distract spectators of the troubled Dubai property market from the reality.
The reality being, that the market really is in trouble. Take for instance the latest reports from Emaar, which reported this quarter, a 45 per cent fall in Q1 profits. Emaar announced net profits of Dh421 million for the first quarter, but claimed its revenues dipped because of a lower delivery of homes and offices particularly in the world’s tallest tower. This quarter Emaar said it handed over 270 units in the Burj Khalifa and other projects.It’s a pretty paltry number when compared to the 1,300 units they handed over in the first three months of 2010. Emaar posted revenues of Dh1.98 billion, almost a billion less than its revenue of Dh2.88bn in the first quarter of last year.
Though, don’t let cynical old Kipp not make everything seem too bleak in the property industry scene. Nakheel, for one, has announced that it will complete nine projects. These nine projects, amounting to an investment of Dh8billion, were chosen as they were projects for which customers have made large payments and include Al Farjan housing,Jumeirah Village, Jumeirah Park, Jumeirah Heights, Jumeirah Island and Vento.In adition there are two draft Badra and EmaratiBersenks- or so Ali Rashid Lootah, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Nakheel – told ‘Al Ittihad’ newspaper.