18 December, 2008

Dubai regulator warns "illegal" online property forums

The National:
The Real Estate Regulatory Authority says “illegal groups” are trying to “hurt the sector” by sending mass e-mails to buyers advising them to stop paying financial instalments on certain real estate projects. They are targeting buyers through online property forums in an attempt to induce distressed sales, send property prices spiralling downwards and snap up cheap homes, the authority said in a statement yesterday.

Officials refused to identify which developers had been named and did not release examples of the e-mails.

The issue is complicated, however, by the fact that there appear to be two different types of groups sending the e-mails: speculators hoping to drive down prices and consumer advocates trying to protect property buyers from investing in projects that may never be completed.

The authority said groups were spreading “false information” through the real estate community and “misinterpreting property laws”. The implications of a mass cancellation of payments to the property market could be severe, said Marwan bin Ghalita, the regulator’s chief executive, warning that anyone who does stop payments could lose their whole investment.

Speculating on the motivation behind the e-mails, Mr Ghalita, said: “They want to hurt the sector.”
My emphasis.

Shaikh Mohammad urged journalists to avoid negative reporting, pointing out that “if a journalist betrays his conscious he would be betraying his nation”.


Anonymous said...

A very wll-timed move

As a Dubai wellwisher I am SICK of people trying to damage the real estate market.

Dubai needs ever increasing property prices, and those who say otherwise want Dubai's harm.

If it was upto me, I would ban all negative comments on Dubai, that would mean no blogs, articles etc. predicting a decrease in prices, rents etc.

However the current situation allows too many people to predict a property slowdown, which is harming Dubai.

darko said...

Comedy gold...

Keep paying those installments fool !! Here's the deal, when everyone makes their 30% of total value payment (peak market value mind you, the current prices wont cut it) then they can give the go ahead to cancel the project. That way they can ensure the developer made enough money to pay for all that sand...errr prime real estate.

I'ld be wary of attending any public gatherings to discuss this issue, seems the authorities dont look too kindly on unionization or right of assembly!

Kyle said...


On the topic of negative reporting, I certainly did not appreciate the following line I read in today's Gulf News regarding the recent shoe-acide fiasco in Iraq:

The overwhelming fascination with the incident flows from a feeling of powerlessness that has grown in the Arab world with the US invasion of Iraq.

What really upset me was the word 'powerlessnes'. One thing I've learnt from an old school of thought is that you don't let anybody know you're powerless but simply keep trying to rise from the ashes.

I'm like, the Government here should really overhaul the reporting system, and the sooner they do it the better for them.

Apologies for hijacking your post and for deviating from the issue at hand.

Thanks :)

Brn said...

What if the journalist violate their "conscious" unconsciously? Is it still wrong?

Anonymous said...

“if a journalist betrays his conscious he would be betraying his nation”.

Sounds a bit of a pastiche on something Orwell might have written.

BuJassem said...

I would remove the parenthesis around the word "illegal".

Speculators deserve to be shot. Good work Marwan!

John B. Chilton said...

First Anonymous, if your comment is meant as satire it is very good satire.

It's not about wanting to harm Dubai. It's about transparency, about equal access to information. The irony is, if you shut off information when it's known it's release would hurt you the market will assume the worst.

It would be nice if we all owned property in Dubai and property prices were ever increasing. But unless it's based on fundamentals it's a bubble and bubble pop. And that's not good for Dubai.

As darko suggests, the legitimate property forums are having discussions about projects where building has ground to a standstill and yet the buyers are being required to increase their payments above the original conditions of the contract.

Not sure what to say about the Kyle's comment about the Gulf News' shoe coverage although I did think it's on topic -- press freedom. GN is not an independent newspaper but since it's not merely a government mouthpiece/cheerleader I have to assume Dubai believes that giving the editors some leeway and allowing competing points of view serves its larger interests.

Getting sick of this said...

Isn't the job of the regulator to.. eh... regulate the supply-side of the market, rather than the buyers? RERA seems to see its job as cheer-leading the real estate boom, and - when that fails - closing down any attempts at transparency. Where's the regulation?

Someone once said, in a totalitarian society, the harder times get, the harder the authority squeezes. It's striking that every day now, there's a new law or ruling designed to control more aspects of people's lives.

Dubai Entrepreneur said...

"Shaikh Mohammad urged journalists to avoid negative reporting"

Umm.. this is to Sheikh Mohammed: Wake Up. The whole world is on the 'negative' right now. So, by this, you are urging journalists not to report, period. That, in my humble opinion, is an absurd request.

Or is it a request?

It is unfortunate that as a small business owner, I have very little faith in what is being said or the true agenda behind things being done. I have been forced to learn the hard way, that statements made by authority figures, Sheikh Mohammed included, are not always true or honored.

So, there.

Anonymous said...

why is the internet too slow today ?

John B. Chilton said...


Internet and phone communications between Europe, the Middle East, and Asia have been seriously disrupted after submarine cables were severed.

It is thought the FLAG FEA, SMW4, and SMW3 lines, near the Alexandria cable station in Egypt, have all been cut.

A fault was also reported on the GO submarine cable 130km off Sicily.

Experts warned that it may be days before the fault is fixed and said the knock on effect could have serious repercussions on regional economies.

Lirun said...

i cant even imagine the motives.. there are tall poppy cutters everywhere in the world..

does dubai have any real enemies? who are there? could this be connected to the rumoured acquisition by the UAE of $3.3B worth of missiles very recently?

(okok of course it isnt :) i was just keen for someone to write about this hehe)

Keefieboy said...

Cables cut AGAIN? This is beyond a joke.

MT said...

hmmmm..... show throwing incident.... loads of videos... among most popular videos on youtube... couple of games... extreme popularity.... lots of embarassment for the US PR Machine and american image worldwide... ........SUDDENLY..... ....CABLES GET CUT... net down.... youtube down... fewer shoes thrown in flash games... lesser views of shoe throwing videos... conspiracy theory???? :)

btw to those who said there are other forms of voicing ur opinion than throwing shoes... i think there was no other option left when trying to voice ur opinion with smone who is so oblivious to ground realities that they refuse to realise they screwed up in Iraq...! I guess ppl like Muntazer felt their voices were not being heard by the US President so as a last resort he decided to hurl some... shoes :)

Anonymous said...


You are right about the only way to voice the hurt, humiliation and devastation suffered by the Iraqi ppl. All that the world got to know was from the embeded reporters! Need one say more!


Anonymous said...

Do think that should be conscience rather than conscious

Dubai Property Investment said...

That's the role that the responsible authorities should be taking to ensure that investors are not cheated. Great article and such information should be published regularly so that people are updated on such developments. Thumbs Up to you guys.

Anonymous said...

Posts on Dubai detailing a possible decrease of 60% on property prices is not doing Dubai any harm.As a potential investor I am now watching more closely so that I also can enter the property market.Existing owners need to bite the bullet for a while but their assets will start appreciating again.This is how the free market economy works.Price goes too far up no one buys then economy hits a slump prices go down then more people buy and so prices start going up again.The whole world is in a recession.You ban reporting and you start to interfere with the free market mechanism.And I LOVE Dubai.

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