Dubai Government Moves Into Listings Business
The government of Dubai has launched a real estate portal for both public and private property in an effort to make the market more "transparent and credible."
The eMart site, managed by the Dubai Land Department, is one of the first of its kind operated by a government agency. It will create a "simple and convenient exchange" for the auction, sale, and rental of properties, according to a statement published on the emirates' news agency, WAM.
All interactions on the site will operate under laws and regulations enforced by the Land Department. Transactions will be processed through an e-payment gateway, Noqodi, and buyers have the option of using a credit card or transfers from approved banks. (Noqodi is the financial arm of Emartech Software, which is owned by the Dubai government.)
The site "gives tenants, owners, and brokers full operational efficiency and reliability in a way that we have not had before, a way that will help boost the local real estate market significantly," Sultan Butti Bin Mejren, director general of the Land Department, said in the statement.
The Dubai property industry has been criticized for the inconsistency of the sales transaction process. Buyers have complained about unscrupulous sellers and the lack of legal recourse, especially after the market collapsed in 2008 and home values fell more than 50 percent.
Home prices have rebounded in the last year, and the government has been moving aggressively to assure investors the market won't collapse again. The Central Bank recently imposed new restrictions on mortgages
and transaction fees
were doubled, in an effort to curb speculators.
By offering "multiple channels for listing properties" on the eMart site
, the government hopes to "promote investment opportunities and attract the highest number of local and foreign investors." The site will improve communication between buyers, sellers, landlords and renters, in addition to providing more information on government regulations, according to the Land Department statement.
Sellers will also be able to complete transactions online "without the need for multiple visits to Dubai Land Department."