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Dubai property ads need gov't approval from Sunday, says RERA

All property adverts must be signed off by Dubai’s real estate regulatory department before going live, under new rules that come into force on Sunday.

Real estate agents operating across the emirate this week received a circular from Marwan Ahmed Bin Ghalita, CEO of the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) informing them of the changes.

The circular, seen by Arabian Business, says that all brokers must apply to the Dubai Land Department (DLD) for permits either through its website or the new e-service ‘Trakhees’ system.

Permits are needed for “any real estate announcements” – including print and radio ads, as well as those posted on websites and social media such as Facebook and Twitter. 

The new rules are due to come into force from Sunday, the circular states. After that date, any property listing that does not have a corresponding permit number will be “dismissed” and legal action could be brought against firms that fail to comply.

Ali Abdullah Al Ali, director of Rera’s Real Estate Licensing Department, told Arabian Business in a statement that the new permits can be granted immediately if brokers and their listings meet the required terms and conditions.

Approval would otherwise take up to a maximum of two working days, Al Ali said. 

In a separate conversation with The National, Al Ali said that the new requirements are being introduced as part of a crackdown on property fraud and false advertising.

Dubai real estate brokers welcomed the move to increase transparency and professionalism in the market and weed out false, misleading or duplicated advertisements.

However, they warned that the rules could add a layer of time-consuming bureaucracy to the real estate sales and letting process.

Mat Green, head of research at CBRE Middle East and Africa, said: “This is a further step along the way to better regulation of the brokerage environment and ensuring that agents are above board.

“Often, adverts might be listed multiple times, or when a viewer rings up to enquire about one they find that the property does not exist or is not available, or that a listing is literally too good to be true.

“However – and although it all depends on how the new rules are implemented – it does sound a bit onerous at present.”

David Godchaux, CEO Core Savills, added: “[It is a good thing that Rera is] taking care of all of the players in the market.

“But sometimes adding another layer to what is existing may not be as productive as implementing properly what is existing.

“You can create 20 laws, but maybe if you [enforce] existing laws better it could have the same result.”

At present, only registered brokers are allowed to advertise properties in Dubai. The new advertising rules seek to further regulate the industry.

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