Register for our free newsletter

Latest News

No need for rental cap, says Rera head

No need for rental cap, says Rera head

Dubai firms cut housing allowances; UAE police expect thefts and suicide to rise due to crunch; UAE TV audiences to be measured; Two-year license for new drivers

January 13, 2009 6:04 by

No need for rental cap, says Rera head

Dubai residents may despair at the news that Rera has no plans to introduce a rental cap for 2009. According to <a href=””>Gulf News</a>, Rera’s CEO, Marwan bin Ghalita feels the market does not require a rental cap as it is already strained by the financial crisis: “We don’t need a rent cap this year. We need to freeze everything. 2009 is a tough year and we shouldn’t interfere with rents too much,” he said..<p>
<p>Thousands of residents were hoping for the government to reintroduce the five percent cap it imposed during 2008.<p>

Dubai firms cut housing allowances

Companies throughout the emirate are reducing allowances given to expatriate employees for housing allowances, and are employing single employees in a bid to cut relocation costs, reports <a href=”″>The National</a>. “Bringing in families means health insurance, larger accommodation and education allowances. It is easier to bring in a single employee and cut the rest of the cost,” said Barry Stevenson, a senior investment officer at the UK-based Excelet property leasing and mortgage advisory firm in Dubai.

UAE police expect thefts and suicide to rise due to crunch

The UAE police have upped their manpower in a bid to combat what they believe will be an increase in thefts and suicides around the nation due to the pressures caused by the financial crisis, reports <a href=””>Gulf News</a>. The police have dispatched undercover cops to monitor warehouses and to respond to any threats of attempted suicides.<p>
<p> The announcement follows previous media reports claim that over 80 cars were left abandoned at the Dubai International Airport by expatriates who were unable to repay their car loans and fled the nation.<p>

UAE TV audiences to be measured

A randomly selected TV audience in the UAE will be monitored to give advertisers more accurate measures of consumer habits, reports <a href=”″>The National</a>. Although still in the planning stage, the TV Audience Measurement is a nation first. The system is a collaboration between the National Media Council (NMC) and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA).<p>
<p> “Given the current economic climate, accurate information is of increasing value and the NMC and TRA have decided that the time is right for a new layer of TV audience measurement,” said an NMC spokesman. “The NMC and TRA will be inviting commercial companies to make proposals for the installation, management and financing of the people-meter scheme.” <p>

Two-year license for new drivers

The UAE’s Ministry of Interior plans to introduce a new law that limits the validity of driving licenses issued to new drivers to two years, reports <a href=””>Khaleej Times</a>. According to the ministry, new drivers are responsible for most of the road accidents in the nation. “This will allow us to check the behavior of the new drivers on the road. If they collect 24 black points, they will have to undergo a new driving test for the licence,” said Colonel Ghaith Hassan Al Zaabi, director of the ministry’s Traffic Department.


  1. Almas on January 13, 2009 8:06 am

    But have the rents really dropped??? We got a 15% increase on our rent starting Jan 2009. Most of the people I know have got hit with a rent increase.

  2. Saulin Vinit Pratap on January 13, 2009 9:28 am

    With this economic slowdown, many employees are getting laid off or have been asked to take a cut in their pay checks. I am sure there wont be increments this year, forget the bonuses. If survival gets tough the expats may have no choice but to leave the country. For the past few years everyone had to bear the brunt when they were compelled to pay the impossible rent hikes, in many cases upto 200%, till the authorities imposed the annual rent cap to control rents in Dubai. The time has come for the authorities to act again. I wish the same could be reversed now. They should declare a decree to reduce the rents by 10% -15%. By doing this they can control expats leaving the country.

  3. Black Swan on January 13, 2009 9:56 am

    this leaves us again at the mercy of greedy landlords… Thank you Mr. Ghalita!!!

  4. Peter Peter on January 13, 2009 10:45 am

    It is precisely because of 2009 being a tough year that we need a rent cap – to protect small and medium enterprises from the greed of the landlords.

    If Mr. Marwan really means what he says ( and I quote from your report above ) “We need to freeze everything” , then we need to freeze the rents at 2008 levels !!

    Unless the government supports the SMEs many will go out of business this year !!

  5. Ashish on January 13, 2009 11:30 am

    Rents are so high presently that additional increase is surely on line now since Government is removing the rent cap. So Landlords are going to act as the real gaints to earn more money even though there is recession at its peak. This is abosolute madness.

  6. Jack on January 13, 2009 11:40 am

    Landlord has sent all tenants a notice informing increase of rent varying from 67 % to 200% for different office refering RERA’s areawise index (which is not implemented so far) in a commercial building (Computer Depot Building) in Bur Dubai.

    How can the landlord increase rent indescriminately referring a PROPOSED RERA law for 2009 ? They sent notices in the first week of January 2009 for the rent of 2009.

  7. Jim on January 13, 2009 8:56 pm

    One of the greedy landlord’s representative has increased the appartments rent by 100% and the shops upto 200% in Ghusais, Dubai. Including no maintenance atall. With this 300 families are affected. May we request the concencerned authorities how can this be controlled if there is no cap. Either put a cap that the rents be frozen / increase by x % / decrease by y%. See the torture- they have done this on the 5 Jan 09 where as the last contract ended on 31.12.08. The tenants are being harrassed by the landlords and I request the authorities to declare the rule to (freeze the rents to 2008 if that is what they say)

  8. Therese on January 14, 2009 8:45 am

    RERA are the ones who wont suffer from the economic downturn as every crisis just strengthens their position as industry regulator and ability to impose rules that are starting to act as sales prevention not protection tools in an industry already suffering. As they are in no fear of losing thir jobs (a country in crisis loves to regulate) why do they need to fear a rental increase? Perhaps RERA employees dont get rental increases? Landlords will do everthing in their power to increase rent as they need cash just like everyone else so without a restriction – whats to stop them? Perhaps we should all go an live in the thousands of abandoned cars at the airport or would RERA impose a minimum rent and make a rule for that as well?


Leave a Comment