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Dubai’s Real Estate Market Is Getting More Transparent

JLL has singled out Dubai for its improved level of market transparency in its latest JLL Global Real Estate Transparency Index.

The professional services firm, which publishes the index every two years, commended Dubai’s initiatives, such as its building classification project, improved regulatory procedures, new and enhanced online apps for managing contracts and broker information, and unified lease forms. While Dubai wasn’t individually ranked in the report, which looks at countries as a whole, the UAE moved up eight places to 40th out of 100 markets covered in the index.

“Transparency is increasingly important for commercial real estate, where investors are allocating ever more capital,” said Jeremy Kelly, Director, Global Research, JLL. “The availability and quality of information – from prices to ownership – is crucial when trying to make investment decisions, especially in new markets.”

Since the previous report was published in 2016, JLL noted that 85 of the 100 countries surveyed have improved real estate transparency. Technologies such as blockchain, along with brokerage apps and open data initiatives, the company added, could help to continue this positive trend.

Besides the UAE, JLL noted improvements in transparency in other emerging markets. India, it said, has introduced wide-reaching regulations in the last two years, ranging from rules that require brokers to be registered, to mechanisms to resolve disputes with developers.

Foreign investment into India’s real estate sector has risen in parallel with these changes, to USD 6.3 billion in 2017 from USD 2.2 billion in 2014, according to JLL data.

H.E. Sultan Butti bin Mejren, Director General at the Dubai Land Department, pledged to do more to further improve market transparency in Dubai.

“While significant progress has been made in recent years, we recognise that further initiatives are required to enhance the level of market transparency,” he said.