Dubai to control property developments

The emirate’s government has reportedly formed a high-level committee to oversee future real estate developments, as concerns mount over the region’s property markets. It comes as developer Damac cuts 200 jobs, or 2.5% of its workforce in response to the worsening outlook.

The Dubai Government has reportedly formed a high-level committee to control the launch of future public real estate projects, according to local newspaper Emirates Business.

As concern mount over a downturn in the region’s property markets, Nasser Al Shaikh, director-general of the Dubai Department of Finance, told the newspaper the government was setting up a committee of master developers, and some private operators, to help balance demand and supply in the market.

Master developers, which include Emaar Properties, Nakheel and Dubai Properties, control around 70 percent of the property supply in Dubai, which has seen massive surge in construction over the past few years.

The report said no project would be called off, with the committee only deciding if anything would be launched in the future. Private developments would not be affected.The Department of Finance was unavailable for comment at press time.

Rasmala Investments, a Dubai-based investment firm that operates private equity funds, said in its latest market outlook report that there were mounting concerns Arab markets could experience a “sharp and protracted downtown”, not least owing to fears about inflation, oil price declines and “possible excess in United Arab Emirate real estate markets.”

The news comes as Dubai-based developer Damac Group, one of the largest private real estate developers in the Gulf, said it was cutting 2.5 percent of its workforce, or 200 jobs, across its sales, marketing, recruitment and administration divisions owing to the worsening global outlook.

“As a competitive business, the Damac Group has to ensure that it maintains its staffing levels according to market conditions – both good and bad,” chief executive officer Peter Riddoch said, according to local media reports. Damac was unavailable for comment at press time.