Foreign investor confidence in UAE property on the rise

Tuesday May 17 2011

Confidence of international investors in the Dubai property market has increased, but steps need to be taken to ensure that contractual provisions negotiated by buyers can ultimately be enforced, says a UK-based law firm.

`Compared to certain other real estate markets, the significant efforts of the Land Department and Real Estate Regulatory Agency have led to increased confidence. Further steps do, however, need to be taken, particularly in regard to confidence that contractual provisions that can now be negotiated by buyers can ultimately be enforced,` says Christian Taylor, Partner, Holman Fenwick Willan.

International investors are looking at completed properties not off-plan in the UAE since the downturn, says the law firm.

`In particular, we are seeing an interest in investment opportunities for commercial (office) premises fully let to strong international tenants. Besides, investors seem to be looking for fairly secure income producing assets`.

Asked if international investors were now seeking legal assistance prior to investing in the UAE, Taylor says: `Most definitely. Investors are looking to limit their risk exposure as much as possible, particularly after experiences suffered as a result of not having taken legal advice on contracts entered into during the boom times.`

In a report, released November, on the legal state of Dubai real estate market, Hadef and Partners said the regulators in Dubai had the added disadvantage of having to rapidly introduce regulation to previously unregulated market to address the real estate boom, and then react.