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Property Weekly

Escrow law protection

With the recent flurry of new developments in Dubai, investors and potential owner-occupiers have been asking me how much protection is provided for the funds they are paying developers in advance. The conversation invariably turns to the concept of escrow and how this legally binding arrangement provides substantial protection for investors.

In its simplest form, an escrow can be described as a legally recognised financial instrument held by a third party (typically a bank) on behalf of two other parties (typically a buyer and a seller) who have agreed to conduct a particular transaction in accordance with certain conditions. Funds are provided by the buyer and held by the party (bank) providing the escrow service until it receives formal advice that certain previously agreed obligations of the seller have been fulfilled, upon which time the seller can receive an amount specified in the agreement between the seller and buyer.

The use of escrow accounts by Dubai developers has now been mandated by law for the specific purpose of protecting the prepayments made by buyers for properties that are bought off-plan. This limits developers from gaining access to funds until certain construction milestones are completed, helping ensure developers are not misappropriating funds provided in advance for purposes other than which they are intended for.

Anybody can open an escrow account but a developer must first be registered with the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera), which involves providing an expansive array of documents, ranging from details of its officers and solvency, title deeds proving ownership of the land to be developed, and no-objection certificates (NOCs) from relevant parties such as the master developer, to performance guarantees backed by a financial institution and all planning and details about the project.

Rera requires the land subject to development to be fully paid for and a title deed issued in the name of the owner. Where the owner of the land cannot register as a developer, Rera permits the owner to enter into a property development contract with an existing registered developer to develop the project on behalf of the land owner. The development contract, however, must be approved by the senior legal adviser of the Dubai Land Department to be accepted by Rera. Only when a developer is registered with Rera can it apply to open an escrow account. When selling off-plan, the developer must ensure all proceeds of the sale of the units are deposited into the escrow account and are used solely for the construction of the project. Failure to comply with the escrow law can lead to hefty fines or criminal charges, which may result in prison sentences.

Once a developer has submitted all the required documents to Rera and is granted the authority to sell units off-plan, Rera will issue an NOC to allow the developer to open an escrow account with an authorised UAE bank.

The bank that will be providing the escrow service needs to understand all the details of the underlying agreement to ensure that it acts in accordance with its provisions. In this way, the bank can help protect the buyers’ prepaid funds by referring and strictly adhering to the conditions of the agreement.

But while the introduction of escrow as a legal requirement for developers has helped safeguard the funds of off-plan investors, there are other steps that investors must take to provide additional protection.

Buyers need to make sure they are dealing with a reputable developer, regardless if it is registered with Rera. One positive effect of the global financial crisis was that many suspect developers were exposed and forced out of business. Seek professional guidance, as those in the industry know who the reputable developers are. Ask the opinion of those who have transacted business with the developer.

Ask the developer what measures have been taken to ensure the end product is built to an acceptable standard and inspect buildings already completed by the developer. Warranties and quality assurance policies should be discussed in detail. Have the sales and purchase agreement reviewed by a professional to ensure you have legal recourse should any quality issues arise.

Upon completion you have the right to inspect your apartment and report any legitimate issues to the developer for rectification. Items that can be remedied in the short term should be fixed immediately. Remember: once you have taken possession of the apartment, the developer is obliged to fix any issues that would arise 12 months following the transfer of ownership.

More buyers get lawyers to read the fine print

Article from Emirates Business 24-7

Article from Emirates Business 24-7

Property owners are concerned over growing disputes and investment security.

The number of property dispute cases filed in Q1 2009 increased by 55 per cent compared to Q4 2008. (EB FILE)

Increasing real estate disputes and concerns over security of a property investment are prompting buyers to seek legal advice prior to making a transaction, according to agents.

“Clients have serious concerns over the security of their real estate investments. Further, increase in number of real estate disputes is a result of many prospective buyers seeking legal advice prior to making a transaction,” said Mohanad Alwadiya, Managing Director, Harbor Real Estate.

“This was not the case in previous years which also contributed greatly to the problems that clients were facing as proper due diligence was not conducted prior to the sale and purchase of property,” he said.

Speaking to Emirates Business in a round table, Shilpa Guruswamy, Head of Legal and Sales Coordination, Asteco Property Management; Charles Neil, CEO, Landmark Advisory & Landmark Properties and Liz O’Connor, Director – Residential Sales & Leasing, Better Homes, said they were ensuring all correct steps were followed within their companies and ensuring all documentations were in place before a transaction is completed.

Do you have a law firm that advises you on the authenticity of your real estate transactions?

Guruswamy: Yes, we have a legal department, which oversees our transaction details and is also responsible for the compliance and risk mitigation process.

Neil: We have law firms to draw up all our documentation which protects the rights of our clients. Our accounts are audited by one of the four big auditors in order to ensure there is a clear distinction between our funds and our clients’ funds.

Real estate agencies, however, should be careful using companies claiming to be trust companies as they are not regulated, and if they have doubts they should use a reputed company of lawyers instead.

O’Connor: Yes, we do have a lawyer on board who manages our legal procedures and contractual obligations on transactions. Through our in-house lawyer as well as our managers, we ensure that all correct steps are followed and documentation is in place before a transaction is completed.

Alwadiya: In 2009, we joined forces with Prestige Legal Consultants, an international law company, to provide counselling and representation to all our clients in all legal matters concerning real estate in Dubai.

This partnership was started to keep in line with our vision to evolve our services from traditional real estate brokerage of merely bringing buyers and sellers together to world-class end-to-end real estate services. The holistic real estate legal services will complement our diverse line of services and govern all the activities and transactions of our clients.

The combined real estate experience of our firms enable us to provide clear candid counsel and guidance to our clients at all times to ensure that their rights are always protected.

Is this a new trend due to the downturn in the real estate sector?

Guruswamy: Real estate transactions, whether sales, lease, or appointment of sub-agents, are all essentially structured through legal contracts. Therefore, all these underlying documents need to be verified to ensure compliance to statutes and contract laws.

It is not a new trend but as the market matures there is greater emphasis on regulation and transparency. Therefore, there is increased need to have people with necessary legal background and expertise to scrutinise or draft documents. It is in no way related to the downturn because we had a legal department in place and operational long before the onset of the downturn.

Neil: We feel there should be laws allowing the setting up of trust accounts, but in our case customers trust us as we have strong finances and strong shareholders.

O’Connor: No, for us this is not as a result of the downturn in the real estate sector. We created this position a number of years ago due to volume of transactions and to oversee our international operations.

Alwadiya: Real estate-related enquiries have increased since the 2008 financial downturn. Many of the clients have serious concerns about the security of their real estate investments.

It was estimated that the number of cases filed in the first quarter of 2009 increased by 55 per cent compared to the fourth quarter of 2008. This drastic increase in the number of real estate disputes is a result of many reasons ranging from investors not fulfilling their obligations, sale and purchase agreements containing provisions that contradict the law about developers not delivering projects on time, and many more.

Prospective buyers are also seeking legal advice prior to making a transaction. This was not the case in previous years and also contributed greatly to the problems that clients were facing as proper due diligence was not conducted prior to the sale and purchase of property.

Most of the current legal enquiries that our legal division receives are usually concerned with the real estate regulations and legislations.

The profound perception of the industry and the daily interface with real estate clientele have resulted in the espousal of a fresh innovative legal counselling scheme. According to a recent study conducted by Harbor research division, majority of people perceive legal counseling as an exhorbitant service which leaves them with no alternative other than staying unaided and frustrated.

For that reason, the legal solution introduced by Harbor & Prestige is viewed as a results-driven method. Customers who seek legal counselling will incur minimal fees and no extra charges will be required in case of not winning the case.

Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) recently proposed a free legal advice service for buyers and sellers, an initiative that we applaud. We believe that this innovative policy will assist in boosting the confidence levels in the real estate industry.

Can you specify which particular transactions are scrutinised by your analysts and lawyers?

Guruswamy: The legal department is involved in overseeing all transactions not limited to primary sales, secondary sales, leases, registration at the Land Department verification of power of attorneys etc. Should a party to the transaction be a corporate body, incorporation documents of companies need also to be verified.

Neil: We do use lawyers for more complicated transactions and are working with one firm to do conveyance transactions.

O’Connor: We have standardised processes and procedures that govern every transaction. Our in-house legal advisor oversees all the legalities of these processes to ensure that all parties, wherever possible are secure.

Alwadiya: The legal services introduction is vital as the real estate market matures through the current economic crisis to become a more structured and regulated market. We obtain legal counselling for all our transactional activities in order to ensure providing our clients with a secured transactional experience. Needless to say, the more complex and high-end the transaction is, the more legal involvement we require.

Do you collect a deposit from a client in order to lock-in your clients?

Guruswamy: We generally do not encourage collection of deposits. However, should there be a delay in completion of transaction, a deposit may be collected by the agent to secure buyer’s interest and lock the seller to a commitment. In this case the agent takes up the role of an escrow agent.

In case of default, deposit maybe forfeited and returned to the aggrieved party. On successful closure of the deal, the deposit is adjusted towards the balance sale price of the transaction.

Neil: We only take deposits as part of a transaction and to secure the rights of the parties involved in a transaction, we don’t take it in to lock in a client. If the deal falls through, then the deposit is returned in the manner agreed upon by the parties at the time of signing the agreement. Sellers can no longer demand deposits and hold on to them.

O’Connor: We have now begun to encourage our customers to hold their deposit with a Rera-approved escrow facility, but in the absence of an escrow we take a deposit from the buyer as security for the seller.

Alwadiya: Accepting deposits from potential buyers or tenants is a common practice in the property market which is usually used as a closing technique or a gesture to test the seriousness of the potential client. More sellers and landlords are starting to ask for deposits as well in order to secure their interest in the transaction, especially when the closing date of the transaction is delayed for justified reasons such as releasing a property mortgage or finalising the transaction contracts or obtaining a date to conduct the transfer at the developer’s office or the Land Department.

We try to avoid retaining any deposits at our end as this is an added liability on us and it can place us in a conflict of interest situation as we usually represent only one part in the transaction. Having said that, we usually recommend that deposits are usually handed by a financial or legal third party entity with neutral position in relation to the parties involved in the transaction.

Do you maintain a separate account to receive agents’ commissions?

Guruswamy: Commission fees are payable to the agent by the parties involved and shall not form a part of the purchase consideration.

Normally, the purchase consideration is exchanged between the buyer and seller and the commission is paid to the agent. Therefore, there is no possibility of both of them being booked into the same account. However, should the agent be involved in collecting the booking deposit, it is booked separately into a designated account, which is distinct from all other operational accounts. Such payments are held on behalf of the buyer and seller and do not form part of the operational funds of the agent.

Neil: No comment.

O’Connor: We have an accounts department and we run a series of profit centres, most of which have commissions as the primary revenue source.

Alwadiya: Our company’s bank account is supervised by an independent certified accounting and auditing firm. Our internal accounting and finance resources follow the processes and guidelines set by this consultant/firm in order to ensure complete compliance with the best financial and accounting standards.

Harbor Real Estate’s first Cedre Villas open house generated great demand

Article from Zawya

Article from Zawya

Demand for Villas and Townhouses is still very strong despite the current economic situation

Harbor Real Estate’s first Cedre Villas open house generated great demand

Harbor Real Estate, an integrated Real Estate Service Provider in Dubai, promoted several fully decorated units in the exclusive Cedre Villas in Dubai Silicon Oasis last Saturday. The open house day paraded Twin villas and Townhouses for sale and rent, and welcomed a large number of clients on the premises.

Clients who visited the project were excited about the quality of the finishing, layouts and architecture, the vast spaces, the overall serenity of the community and vigorously the attractive prices.

Mohanad Alwadiya, Managing Director of Harbor Real Estate, said: “Seeing is believing, presenting an open house is a great promotional methodology to attract potential clients, especially that the advantage is for the buyer nowadays. What we are witnessing here is a sign that economy have stabilized and individuals are confident to invest in well established properties that offer them real value for money”

“The project attracted buyers due to its potential when it comes to offering stable capital gains and above average annual rental yields. The attendees of the open house event included a diverse mix of nationalities. Due to the great results and high demand, we have decided to run another open house event on the 30th of January, where we will continue to offer our special added value package to the Harbor Real Estate clients” Added Alwadiya

Open house buyers will enjoy free maintenance for the first year in addition to 90% pre-approved financing up to 25 years and the option of 1 year in-house payment plan which will be offered to owner-occupiers.

The Cedre Villas project provides its residents uncompromised quality and 40% more space than any other villa in Dubai of the same type. The units entertain all tastes with 3 and 4 bedrooms contributing to multi-vibrant lifestyle amenities and smart homes facilities that answer everyone’s wishes.

Harbor Real Estate services have evolved from traditional real estate brokerage of merely bringing buyers and sellers together to innovative world class end-to-end real estate services. The company services include, Real Estate Tailored Research Services, Integrated Marketing Services, Sales, Leasing & Conversion Management Services, Real Estate Investment Portfolio Management Services and, Holistic Real Estate Legal Services.

For more information about Harbor and the special added value offers on Cedre Villas, please contact Harbor on: info@harbordubai.com

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Ask the Experts

Article from Freehold Monthly

Article from Freehold Monthly

Every month we invite you to have your property questions answered by an expert. This month, Mohanad Alwadiya tackles the task.

Q I’ve been looking at a few Union Properties developments, but am unsure about buying leasehold. How does this differ to freehold property in Dubai?

A The choice between freehold and leasehold property depends mainly on your particular needs and the asset type you wish to invest in. If you wish to buy a property for a limited number of years or you are buying a property to benefit from its annual rental yield, leasehold should be your preferable option as the cost would be considerably less compared to freehold. Similarly, the cost of leasehold for 30 years will be less than that for 99 years. Leasehold is common in many established overseas markets for high-rise apartments and integrated communities. This represents a benefit for owners in Dubai particularly as certain owners may visit infrequently and ‘forget’ to pay their maintenance bills. Under leasehold tenure contracts, the landlord could apply for an eviction order after a long period of non-payment, therefore safeguarding the integrity of the whole property or community.

Q Judging from the property classifieds, rents in Dubai Marina haven’t gone down much at all. Some even seem to have risen despite more supply coming on to the market. I’d like to buy an apartment to live in at the Marina; I’m just wondering which towers and areas of the Marina are the best options for long-term appreciation?

A During Q3 2009, Dubai Marina apartments witnessed a noticeable increase in rental rates, fuelled by the increased demand from visitors and tenants from Dubai and Abu Dhabi. This factor provided sellers and landlords with room to reconsider their offered prices with the aim of maximising their return on investment. Estimating long-term capital growth requires some careful thinking. This is where certain considerations such as location, property type, views, quality of structure, fit and finish, amenities, developer reputation and an estimation of future demand are taken into account.

You should seek some professional advice from property consultants. Given your personal objective is to maximise capital appreciation, I would recommend you consider towers in the central part of the Marina next to JBR (e.g. Al Sahab or Marina Promenade towers), and minutes away from The Walk.

Q I’m thinking of leaving my job and setting up a small company in a free zone. I’ve been impressed by some commercial buildings at Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) as I do a lot of work in Abu Dhabi. Should I get a multiple-year lease at a discounted rate, or opt for something more short-term?

A I believe that the recession may be the best time to start a new business as you will be able to generate great savings and benefit from the reduced inflation rates which can impact your start up costs. JLT enjoys a strategic location and has a fantastic master plan. It also has a good balance between office and residential space.

Office tenants have the tendency to relocate less frequently compared to residential tenants due to cost of relocation, interior design and building client familiarity with their location. Since you will be able to obtain a better bargain from a long-term lease, I would suggest you opt for the multiple-year lease contract at a discounted rate which will only help reduce your set up costs and overheads over time.

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Real estate legal advice a growing sector

Article from Freehold Monthly

Article from Freehold Monthly

Dubai – Real estate legal services are becoming more popular among existing investors and prospective buyers in Dubai.

Dr. Ali Al Jarman, legal partner – Harbor Real Estate and founder of Prestige Advocates, says real estate-related enquiries have increased since the 2008 financial downturn. “Many of our clients have serious concerns over the security of their real estate investments,” he says.

Prospective buyers are also seeking out legal advice prior to making transaction. “This was not the case in previous years and also contributed greatly to the problems that clients are facing as proper due diligence was not conducted prior to the sale and purchase of property. Most enquiries are usually concerned with the real estate regulations and legislations such as the date of completion of a project, delay penalties, invalidity of the contract, cancellations and payment commitments.”

RERA (Dubai’s Real Estate and Regulatory Agency) has recently proposed a free legal advice service for buyers and sellers, an initiative that Dr. Ali applauds: “We believe that this innovative policy could also assist in boosting the confidence levels in the real estate industry,” he says.

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Realty brokers get new professional status

Article from Emirates Business 24-7

Article from Emirates Business 24-7

Dubai’s Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) yesterday announced an agreement with the Ministry of Labour (MoL) to have real estate brokers recognised as a new professional category.

Labour cards and residence visas issued to real estate brokers will now include their designation and henceforth not be categorised as “sales staff”.

Marwan bin Ghalita, Chief Executive Officer, Rera, said: “This is the first step towards a complete classification of real estate professions in Dubai.

“The practical objective is to make sure each real estate professional’s designation reflects what he does so buyers and sellers are clear that they are dealing with properly qualified, competent, licensed and registered professionals.”

He said: “The overall effect will be to increase transparency and professionalism across the sector. This in turn will boost confidence in property dealings and in the networks agents and third-party investors depend on to execute their transactions.

“Previously, there were no officially-recognised categories for real estate professionals and none was recognised by the ministry. Rera, as the custodian of these professional services, took the initiative and approached the MoL.”

“The ministry has now approved the first step of officially recognising broker as a professional category and this will be included in all the related professional and operations documents,” said bin Ghalita. “So when firms come to renew their registration and labour permits these will be issued with the new designation.”

Effectively, this step completes the three-stage formal approvals procedure of registration, licensing and now labour permit and residence visa to support the professional qualifications and training of real estate practitioners in Dubai. This compulsory system will take Rera’s campaign to outlaw “rogue practitioners” to its conclusion.

Rera has, as part of its agreement with the MoL, set up an electronic link direct to the ministry, which will allow the exchange of information to speed up processing of labour permits.

Humaid Al Rashid, Head of the Labour Affairs Department in the MoL, said: “We were only too happy to co-operate with Rera and to support it in its aims.”

Mohanad Alwadiya, Managing Director, Harbor Real Estate, said: “While the efforts to protect rights, lift standards of professionalism and establish a transparent framework are to be applauded in Dubai, there is still a long way to go before the industry can be said to be in the final stages of maturation.

“The new agreement between Rera and the Ministry of Labour to have real estate brokers officially recognised as a separate professional category is a step on the right direction.”

Hiba Jaber, Chief Operating Officer, Landmark Properties, said: “We support this initiative as introduced by Rera and MoL. We firmly believe that once professionals are properly categorised in accordance with their qualifications and credentials, investors and end-users will have a clear direction on who to contact when seeking help and advice from the professionals.”

Partho Bhattacharya, Director of HR, Better Homes, said: “This is a good step in the right direction where real estate agents will get recognition as professionals. The MoL must recognise the Rera certificate to grant a work permit. Such real estate professionals should not be asked for any other educational certificate for grant of work permit.”

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New property laws help turn Dubai into global destination

Article from Emirates Business 24-7

Article from Emirates Business 24-7

Laws and regulations introduced under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, have transformed the emirate into a more mature market and global real estate destination.

“The vision and leadership of Sheikh Mohammed has positioned Dubai as a global city and one of the most renowned business hubs in a record time. His Highness focused on attracting international investors and building a world-class infrastructure which made Dubai, as we know it today, the location of choice for residents, businesses and visitors,” said Mohanad Alwadiya, Managing Director, Harbor Real Estate.

When it comes to real estate, Dubai set a new global benchmark and has introduced iconic projects to the world that covered all kinds of asset types and interests including the Dubai Media City, Dubai Internet City, Knowledge Village, Burj Al Arab, Emirates Towers, Dubai Marina, Business Bay, Dubai Festival City, Dubai Silicon Oasis, Downtown Burj Dubai, Emirates Living, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Burj Dubai and the Palm Trilogy.

Sheikh Mohammed’s vision did not start with the real estate developments, he ensured establishing the suitable infrastructure to support the real estate boom and its sustainability. The development of the Dubai Ports Authority, the introduction of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and industrial and specialised business zones have contributed to setting Dubai up to become one of the main trading, tourism and culturally rich cities of the world, he added.

Dubai, under Sheikh Mohammed, became the first city in the Gulf Co-operation Council to introduce a real estate regulatory body under the auspices of the Land Department.

The Land Department has continuously strived to keep up with the development and prosperity of the emirate. Through the leadership of Sheikh Mohammed, who always strives to be the best and definitely world-class in everything he plans, guiding with an extraordinary skill, passion and intelligence, the “vision of Dubai” has become the world’s most incredible reality and yet still, there is even more to come.

Supported by Sheikh Mohammed, the Land Department is planning and implementing services to participate towards making Dubai the leading city of the world, the Department said on its website.

The Government of Dubai instituted new rules, regulations and laws in the emirate to regulate the market, to protect the rights and interests of consumers, and to ensure Dubai property investors are assured the highest possible service standards from real estate agents, brokers and property developers transacting business in Dubai and maintain the integrity of all the developments.

The Department launched a number of laws and regulations that regulate the property sector. Starting with Law No7 concerning land registration in Dubai, Law No3 concerning areas of properties that can be owned by non-UAE nationals in Dubai, Law No8 concerning property trust account in Dubai, Law No 85 concerning real ease agent regulation and the upcoming strata law.

Alwadiya said: “The young Dubai property market has come a long way with regards to regulating the real estate industry. While the efforts to protect rights, lift standards of professionalism and establish a transparent, credible and functional framework are to be applauded, there is still a long way to go before the industry can be said to be in the final stages of maturation.

“Over the past years, the government has adopted numerous legislations and regulations to protect everyone in the real estate sector, and most importantly establish a safe environment for investors. Dubai has proven to be the world’s greatest improver in terms of real estate transparency over the past two years. With the establishment of regulatory bodies such as Rera, investor representative bodies, the establishment of codes of practice for real estate practitioners combined with laws relating to freehold ownership, escrow accounts and strata titling, Dubai has reduced drastically the concerns of expatriate and foreign investors,” he added.

Transparency has also been given a boost with the introduction of the credit information law, a positive step towards transparency and risk mitigation for banks. The law will create a framework of rights and obligations for data providers, information users and individuals alike, Alwadiya said.
Saeed Mirsaeedi, Investment Manager of Sherwoods Real Estate, said: “Introduction of new laws has been a positive development and has helped Dubai’s emergence as a mature and prosperous economy.

“Clear-cut regulations and increasing transparency make Dubai property most attractive to overseas investors,” he said.
Although previously non-Gulf Co-operation Council expatriates were only permitted to rent property, or own property on a 99-year leasehold basis, all changed in 2002 when the Dubai Government took the initiative and permitted the ownership of freehold property to expatriates. This bold initiative changed the perception of the real estate industry in the Middle East and the Gulf.

The Dubai Government began the promotion in 1997 by setting up Emaar Properties. The next year, Emaar began work on Dubai Marina followed by the Emirates Living Community developments such as the Springs, the Meadows, Emirates Hills, etc. However, the major property boom in Dubai occurred in May 2002, when Sheikh Mohammed issued a decree to allow foreigners to buy and own freehold property in selected areas of the city, now referred to as New Dubai.
On March 14, 2006, Dubai’s Government issued a law legalising foreign ownership of properties in designated areas of Dubai.

“It was the adoption of freehold tenure in general, and foreign ownership in particular, that sparked the great real estate boom in the Dubai property market,” said Alwadiya.

The introduction of the freehold law by the Ruler transformed Dubai into a true success story capturing the imagination and admiration of countries worldwide. Many countries followed the Dubai model and benefited greatly from its visionary experience.

Dubai has developed several iconic real estate projects, which have acquired international recognition, marketing the emirate as a destination of choice for business and travel and for investment in real estate.

The Palm trilogy and other iconic projects such as The World have put Dubai in international limelight. Furthermore, prospective developments of creative concepts, which are likely to attract significant visitors in the coming years, continue to take shape. Burj Dubai, the tallest tower in the world, will be opens today. Although Dubai International Financial Centre formally opened as a global financial centre in 2004 with the aim to become the global hub for financial services in the Middle East, it has also emerged as one of the most expensive addresses for real estate in the emirate.

In fact, property prices on residential units in the DIFC are becoming increasingly comparable with the leading capitals of the world. Dubai’s real estate industry dynamics are firmly entrenched in Dubai Strategic Plan, which strives to achieve a medium-long term objective of diversifying the economic base of the emirate in key growth areas, which have been defined as priority sectors within the associated blue print. Of particular significance is the focus of the plan on the real estate development and the construction sector, as well as travel and tourism, with the former providing necessary infrastructure for growth of all other businesses, and the latter ensuring sustained economic buoyancy through continuous and aggressive growth in visitors to the emirate.

The investor-friendly business environment in Dubai has promoted not only businesses but also a demand for office space, and the high real incomes have ensured that the labour force is increasingly imported from abroad, thus catalysing requirements for housing and retail.

Iconic projects

Dubai has introduced some of the most iconic destinations that cater for different lifestyles and asset categories. Some of them in the business and commerce segment are the DIFC, Business Bay, Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, Knowledge Village, Dubai Silicon Oasis, Dubai Maritime City, Tecom, Jebel Ali Free Zone and Dubai Healthcare City.

In entertainment, lifestyle and culture segment falls the Dubai Festival City, Downtown Burj Dubai, Emirates Living, Dubai Mall, Ibn Battuta Mall, Palm Jumeirah, Burj Dubai and Dubai Marina.

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Harbor Real Estate Partners with Prestige Advocates & Legal Consultants

Article from Dubai City Guide

Article from Dubai City Guide

Dubai, December 27, 2009 – Harbor Real Estate, an integrated Real Estate service provider in Dubai, announced the signing of a professional services agreement with Prestige Advocates & Legal Consultants, a leading global law firm, to provide counselling to all Harbor clients and representation in all legal matters concerning real estate in Dubai.

The profound perception of the industry and the daily interface with real estate clientele has resulted in the espousal of a fresh innovative legal counselling scheme. According to a recent study conducted by Harbor research division, the majority of people perceive legal counselling as an exorbitant service which leaves them with no alternative other than staying unaided and frustrated. For that reason, the innovative legal solution introduced by Harbor & Prestige is viewed as a results-driven method; customers who seek legal counselling will incur minimal fees and no extra charges will be required in case of not winning the case.

Mohanad Alwadiya, Managing Director of Harbor Real Estate commented: “Lawyers at Prestige are second to none in terms of knowledge and experience, both locally and internationally. The combined real estate experience of Harbor and Prestige and the comprehensive understanding of the wide array of Real Estate issues in the UAE enable us to provide clear candid counsel and guidance to clients at all times to ensure that their rights are always protected”

“The legal services introduction is vital as the real estate market matures through the current economic crisis to become a more structured and regulated market,” Said Dr, Ali Al Jarman, Legal Partner of Harbor and founder of Prestige. “One of the objectives we aim to achieve through this partnership is to increase the public’s understanding of the law’s procedures and implications which will eventually help reduce the number of cases filed and will boost the overall confidence in the market.”

According to sources from RERA, the number of cases filed in Q1 2009 has increased by 55% compared to Q4 of 2008. The drastic increase in the number of disputes is a result of many reasons ranging from investors not fulfilling their obligations, Sale & Purchase agreements containing provisions that contradict the law about developers not delivering projects on time, and many more.

Harbor Real Estate services have evolved from traditional real estate brokerage of merely bringing buyers and sellers together to innovative world class end-to-end real estate services. The company services include, Real Estate Tailored Research Services, Integrated Marketing Services, Sales, Leasing & Conversion Management Services, Real Estate Investment Portfolio Management Services and, Holistic Real Estate Legal Services.
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About Harbor Real Estate

Harbor Real Estate Brokerage is a fully integrated real estate service provider based in Dubai and part of an established world class group of real estate companies since 2001. With a strong reputation and a veteran team with over 15 years of experience in the industry, Harbor Real Estate provides Real Estate Research Services, Integrated Sales & Marketing Services, Sales and Lead Conversion Management Services and Real Estate Investment Portfolio Management Services.

Having served over 5,000 satisfied customers, Harbor has an extensive clientele base that consists of public and private entities, major developers, private and institutional investors and owner-occupiers..
Harbor Real Estate brokerage has a dedicated team of realtors and consultants who are renowned for their expertise, high level of professionalism and insight into local and international markets. The company is committed to providing its customers world class service and innovative real estate solutions.

In 2009, Harbor Real Estate Brokerage established a quarterly real estate report “The Harbor Report”. This candid report covers the latest news, developments and trends in the real estate industry with an in-depth analysis of the latest topics and current affairs.

The Harbor Services include:
REAL ESTATE RESEARCH SERVICES: Harbor believes that fact-based analysis generated from insights emanating from market research is the prerequisite to recommendations and tailor-made solutions that provide optimum results for its clients. Harbor’s market knowledge, experience, industry research and research auditing expertise are proven.

INTEGRATED SALES & MARKETING SERVICES: Developers will benefit from Harbor’s innovative marketing, communication and consulting services. Developed by Harbor’s dedicated experienced marketing & sales professionals, tailor made strategies are formulated to allow developers to fully capitalize on whatever opportunities exist in the marketplace and drive above benchmark results.

SALES AND LEAD CONVERSION MANAGEMENT SERVICES: Harbor’s Sales and Lead Conversion Management process transforms the normally lengthy and complicated transactional procedure into a systematic and disciplined solution. This unique ground-breaking approach fuels greater returns for our clients.

REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT SERVICES: The Harbor Team consists of highly experienced and culturally diverse Realtors and consultants. The team prides itself in providing world class consultation services to investors of land, commercial and residential Real Estate in the UAE.

HOLISTIC REAL ESTATE LEGAL SERVICES: The Harbor professionally managed and certified legal arm offers the most experienced property legal services in the region. Its main offices are located in Dubai with associate offices in the GCC and Europe.

For further information, please contact:
Mohanad Alwadiya
Managing Director – Harbor Real Estate
Email: mohanad@harbordubai.com

Shatha Al Khatib
PR Account Manager – Harbor Communications
Mobile: +971 50 2908921
Phone: +971 4 325 1616
Email: shatha@harbordubai.com

Harbor Real Estate Partners with Prestige Advocates & Legal Consultants

Article from Eye of Dubai

Article from Ame Info

Dubai, December 27, 2009 – Harbor Real Estate, an integrated Real Estate service provider in Dubai, announced the signing of a professional services agreement with Prestige Advocates & Legal Consultants, a leading global law firm, to provide counselling to all Harbor clients and representation in all legal matters concerning real estate in Dubai.

The profound perception of the industry and the daily interface with real estate clientele has resulted in the espousal of a fresh innovative legal counselling scheme. According to a recent study conducted by Harbor research division, the majority of people perceive legal counselling as an exorbitant service which leaves them with no alternative other than staying unaided and frustrated. For that reason, the innovative legal solution introduced by Harbor & Prestige is viewed as a results-driven method; customers who seek legal counselling will incur minimal fees and no extra charges will be required in case of not winning the case.

Mohanad Alwadiya, Managing Director of Harbor Real Estate commented: “Lawyers at Prestige are second to none in terms of knowledge and experience, both locally and internationally. The combined real estate experience of Harbor and Prestige and the comprehensive understanding of the wide array of Real Estate issues in the UAE enable us to provide clear candid counsel and guidance to clients at all times to ensure that their rights are always protected”
“The legal services introduction is vital as the real estate market matures through the current economic crisis to become a more structured and regulated market,” Said Dr, Ali Al Jarman, Legal Partner of Harbor and founder of Prestige. “One of the objectives we aim to achieve through this partnership is to increase the public’s understanding of the law’s procedures and implications which will eventually help reduce the number of cases filed and will boost the overall confidence in the market.”

According to sources from RERA, the number of cases filed in Q1 2009 has increased by 55% compared to Q4 of 2008. The drastic increase in the number of disputes is a result of many reasons ranging from investors not fulfilling their obligations, Sale & Purchase agreements containing provisions that contradict the law about developers not delivering projects on time, and many more.

Harbor Real Estate services have evolved from traditional real estate brokerage of merely bringing buyers and sellers together to innovative world class end-to-end real estate services. The company services include, Real Estate Tailored Research Services, Integrated Marketing Services, Sales, Leasing & Conversion Management Services, Real Estate Investment Portfolio Management Services and, Holistic Real Estate Legal Services.
—–END—–

About Harbor Real Estate

Harbor Real Estate Brokerage is a fully integrated real estate service provider based in Dubai and part of an established world class group of real estate companies since 2001. With a strong reputation and a veteran team with over 15 years of experience in the industry, Harbor Real Estate provides Real Estate Research Services, Integrated Sales & Marketing Services, Sales and Lead Conversion Management Services and Real Estate Investment Portfolio Management Services.

Having served over 5,000 satisfied customers, Harbor has an extensive clientele base that consists of public and private entities, major developers, private and institutional investors and owner-occupiers..
Harbor Real Estate brokerage has a dedicated team of realtors and consultants who are renowned for their expertise, high level of professionalism and insight into local and international markets. The company is committed to providing its customers world class service and innovative real estate solutions.

In 2009, Harbor Real Estate Brokerage established a quarterly real estate report “The Harbor Report”. This candid report covers the latest news, developments and trends in the real estate industry with an in-depth analysis of the latest topics and current affairs.

The Harbor Services include:
REAL ESTATE RESEARCH SERVICES: Harbor believes that fact-based analysis generated from insights emanating from market research is the prerequisite to recommendations and tailor-made solutions that provide optimum results for its clients. Harbor’s market knowledge, experience, industry research and research auditing expertise are proven.

INTEGRATED SALES & MARKETING SERVICES: Developers will benefit from Harbor’s innovative marketing, communication and consulting services. Developed by Harbor’s dedicated experienced marketing & sales professionals, tailor made strategies are formulated to allow developers to fully capitalize on whatever opportunities exist in the marketplace and drive above benchmark results.

SALES AND LEAD CONVERSION MANAGEMENT SERVICES: Harbor’s Sales and Lead Conversion Management process transforms the normally lengthy and complicated transactional procedure into a systematic and disciplined solution. This unique ground-breaking approach fuels greater returns for our clients.

REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT SERVICES: The Harbor Team consists of highly experienced and culturally diverse Realtors and consultants. The team prides itself in providing world class consultation services to investors of land, commercial and residential Real Estate in the UAE.

HOLISTIC REAL ESTATE LEGAL SERVICES: The Harbor professionally managed and certified legal arm offers the most experienced property legal services in the region. Its main offices are located in Dubai with associate offices in the GCC and Europe.

For further information, please contact:
Mohanad Alwadiya
Managing Director – Harbor Real Estate
Email: mohanad@harbordubai.com

Shatha Al Khatib
PR Account Manager – Harbor Communications
Mobile: +971 50 2908921
Phone: +971 4 325 1616
Email: shatha@harbordubai.com

Or visit:

www.harbordubai.com

Harbor Real Estate Partners with Prestige Advocates & Legal Consultants

Article from Eye of Dubai

Article from Eye of Dubai

Dubai, December 27, 2009 – Harbor Real Estate, an integrated Real Estate service provider in Dubai, announced the signing of a professional services agreement with Prestige Advocates & Legal Consultants, a leading global law firm, to provide counselling to all Harbor clients and representation in all legal matters concerning real estate in Dubai.

The profound perception of the industry and the daily interface with real estate clientele has resulted in the espousal of a fresh innovative legal counselling scheme. According to a recent study conducted by Harbor research division, the majority of people perceive legal counselling as an exorbitant service which leaves them with no alternative other than staying unaided and frustrated. For that reason, the innovative legal solution introduced by Harbor & Prestige is viewed as a results-driven method; customers who seek legal counselling will incur minimal fees and no extra charges will be required in case of not winning the case.

Mohanad Alwadiya, Managing Director of Harbor Real Estate commented: “Lawyers at Prestige are second to none in terms of knowledge and experience, both locally and internationally. The combined real estate experience of Harbor and Prestige and the comprehensive understanding of the wide array of Real Estate issues in the UAE enable us to provide clear candid counsel and guidance to clients at all times to ensure that their rights are always protected”

“The legal services introduction is vital as the real estate market matures through the current economic crisis to become a more structured and regulated market,” Said Dr, Ali Al Jarman, Legal Partner of Harbor and founder of Prestige. “One of the objectives we aim to achieve through this partnership is to increase the public’s understanding of the law’s procedures and implications which will eventually help reduce the number of cases filed and will boost the overall confidence in the market.”

According to sources from RERA, the number of cases filed in Q1 2009 has increased by 55% compared to Q4 of 2008. The drastic increase in the number of disputes is a result of many reasons ranging from investors not fulfilling their obligations, Sale & Purchase agreements containing provisions that contradict the law about developers not delivering projects on time, and many more.

Harbor Real Estate services have evolved from traditional real estate brokerage of merely bringing buyers and sellers together to innovative world class end-to-end real estate services. The company services include, Real Estate Tailored Research Services, Integrated Marketing Services, Sales, Leasing & Conversion Management Services, Real Estate Investment Portfolio Management Services and, Holistic Real Estate Legal Services.
—–END—–

About Harbor Real Estate

Harbor Real Estate Brokerage is a fully integrated real estate service provider based in Dubai and part of an established world class group of real estate companies since 2001. With a strong reputation and a veteran team with over 15 years of experience in the industry, Harbor Real Estate provides Real Estate Research Services, Integrated Sales & Marketing Services, Sales and Lead Conversion Management Services and Real Estate Investment Portfolio Management Services.

Having served over 5,000 satisfied customers, Harbor has an extensive clientele base that consists of public and private entities, major developers, private and institutional investors and owner-occupiers..
Harbor Real Estate brokerage has a dedicated team of realtors and consultants who are renowned for their expertise, high level of professionalism and insight into local and international markets. The company is committed to providing its customers world class service and innovative real estate solutions.

In 2009, Harbor Real Estate Brokerage established a quarterly real estate report “The Harbor Report”. This candid report covers the latest news, developments and trends in the real estate industry with an in-depth analysis of the latest topics and current affairs.

The Harbor Services include:
REAL ESTATE RESEARCH SERVICES: Harbor believes that fact-based analysis generated from insights emanating from market research is the prerequisite to recommendations and tailor-made solutions that provide optimum results for its clients. Harbor’s market knowledge, experience, industry research and research auditing expertise are proven.

INTEGRATED SALES & MARKETING SERVICES: Developers will benefit from Harbor’s innovative marketing, communication and consulting services. Developed by Harbor’s dedicated experienced marketing & sales professionals, tailor made strategies are formulated to allow developers to fully capitalize on whatever opportunities exist in the marketplace and drive above benchmark results.

SALES AND LEAD CONVERSION MANAGEMENT SERVICES: Harbor’s Sales and Lead Conversion Management process transforms the normally lengthy and complicated transactional procedure into a systematic and disciplined solution. This unique ground-breaking approach fuels greater returns for our clients.

REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT SERVICES: The Harbor Team consists of highly experienced and culturally diverse Realtors and consultants. The team prides itself in providing world class consultation services to investors of land, commercial and residential Real Estate in the UAE.

HOLISTIC REAL ESTATE LEGAL SERVICES: The Harbor professionally managed and certified legal arm offers the most experienced property legal services in the region. Its main offices are located in Dubai with associate offices in the GCC and Europe.

For further information, please contact:
Mohanad Alwadiya
Managing Director – Harbor Real Estate
Email: mohanad@harbordubai.com

Shatha Al Khatib
PR Account Manager – Harbor Communications
Mobile: +971 50 2908921
Phone: +971 4 325 1616
Email: shatha@harbordubai.com

Or visit:

www.harbordubai.com