DAMAC Properties welcomes UAE's high ranking on Jones Lang LaSalle Real Estate Transparency Index

July 21, 2012


DAMAC Properties, the Middle East's largest private luxury developer, has welcomed the findings of a recent report released by Jones Lang LaSalle and LaSalle Investment Management, in which the United Arab Emirates was named the most transparent real estate market in the Middle East.

Jones Lang LaSalle's 2012 Global Real Estate Transparency Index ranked Dubai as the most developed real estate market in the MENA region, with a ranking of 47 out of the total 97 markets scored globally, followed by Abu Dhabi.

Among markets in the region, Lebanon made particularly significant progress over the last two years. The country's booming real estate market has overcome the impact of the 2008/2009 financial crisis and is now recording high real estate transparency levels.

Nearly 90 per cent of markets registered advances in real estate transparency in the last two years, driven by improvements in market data and performance measurement, and better governance of listed entities.

Commenting on the findings of the report, Ziad El Chaar, Managing Director, DAMAC Properties, said that Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) of Dubai has developed property ownership legislation which has become the benchmark for other developing markets in the MENA region. RERA has made a series of important changes to the regulatory framework of Dubai's real estate market which have in turn boosted investor confidence.

"The regulatory and legal framework of Dubai's real estate market is in line with international standards," said El Chaar. "RERA is widely recognised as the region's leading real estate regulator, and other countries have sought to emulate RERA through similar initiatives. This achievement is praise worthy."

Commenting on the regulatory framework of Dubai's real estate sector, Niall McLoughlin, Senior Vice President, DAMAC Properties, said: "The Land Department introduced 'Strata Law' No. 27 in 2007 with the objective of regulating properties with multiple ownership. In April of last year, three new directives outlined the requirement for developers to provide full disclosure statements about all of their projects in Dubai, as well as prepare 'Jointly Owned Property Declarations,' which include definitions of internal floor space and share of ownership of common areas. The third directive outlines the framework for establishing Owners Associations."

Jones Lang LaSalle's 2012 Global Real Estate Transparency Index is a unique survey that analyses 83 different factors to quantify real estate sector transparency across 97 markets worldwide. The Index aims to help real estate investors understand and analyse important data when transacting, owning and operating in foreign markets. The Index is also a helpful gauge for governments and industry organisations interested in improving transparency in their home markets.

The United States ranked as the world's most transparent real estate market in 2012, closely followed by the United Kingdom and Australia. Countries that were counted as "Highly Transparent" markets included Netherlands, New Zealand, Canada, France, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland.

The Index reaffirmed the development of markets such as Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea and Turkey, which all featured among the most improved nations. Turkey once again topped the list of most improved countries.

Foreign investors continue to seek investment opportunities in the United Arab Emirates, whose economy is witnessing a steady growth. According to the latest IMF estimates, the UAE economy grew by 4.9 per cent last year and is expected to grow by 2.3 per cent in 2013.

DAMAC Properties is experiencing the strongest demand in three years across its range of premium developments at Dubai Marina, Downtown Dubai and the DIFC. There is a strong flight to quality in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi, as existing residents seek to upgrade, and new buyers aim to take advantage of market conditions which currently offer extraordinary value for money.

DAMAC Properties is an internationally recognised, luxury-focused, high-end developer. With a proven track record for delivering some of the most luxurious residential properties across the Middle East region, the developer is well capitalised and has the vision and momentum to provide solid investment opportunities for customers across all the markets in which it operates.