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Dubai real estate transparency improves but more needed

Dubai real estate transparency improves but more needed

JLL report awards city ‘semi transparent’ status and the most in the Middle East

Dubai property market will see upturn in 2017- KPMG

Dubai needs to introduce a citywide performance index if it is to improve the property market’s transparency, according to JLL MENA.

In its biennial Global Real Estate Transparency Index, JLL ranked Dubai 48th out of 109 markets, placing it in the “semi-transparent” category alongside Brazil, Russia, India and China.

The report noted that the emirate had made improvements through the open data law, which allows more government data to be shared, the added detail to the rental index calculator and through a new system for ranking brokers.

But, a lack of a real estate performance index remains a “major constraint” for institutional investors seeking to benchmark the performance of their assets, the report said.

Though regarded as the most transparent market in the Middle East, Dubai still trails behind international competitors such as Hong Kong (15th), Singapore (11th), the United States (4th) and the UK (1st).


Meanwhile, across the Middle East, Abu Dhabi fell by six places to 59th, but Saudi Arabia jumped by four places to 63rd and Egypt by five places to 67th. They were also in the semi-transparent category, alongside Bahrain (68th).

Kuwait (73rd) and Qatar (74th) were placed in the “low transparency” category, while Oman (89th) was described as “opaque”.

Iran also entered the index at a “low transparency” level with a ranking of 77th, while Lebanon (91st) has deteriorated as a result of recent security, political and economic instability.

Dubai Land Department director general Sultan Buti Bin Mejren said: “While we have certainly made good progress over the past two years, we recognise that further initiatives are required if Dubai is to achieve its goal of delivering a more transparent market. The most significant of these lie in the area of performance measurement, where the current lack of a real estate performance index is a major constraint for institutional investors seeking to benchmark the performance of their assets. The DLD is actively looking to create such an index (possibly in association with a specialist index provider).

“We are confident that such an index will be in place by the time of JLL’s 2018 survey, supporting a further improvement in Dubai’s transparency.”


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