-by Michael J. Tolan
he glamour and glitz of Dubai has attracted millions of visitors to see the world’s tallest building, the world’s biggest malls and now the world’s most innovative indoor theme parks.
It is hard to imagine, with the Orlando timeshare model as a benchmark, that Dubai will not become one of the major markets for shared ownership very soon.
Legislation has prevented all but a handful of operators to set up shop in the past 10 years who have managed a mere $50,000,000 USD in combined annual sales and the relationship with the local authority, the Dubai Land Department is on its way to being improved.
A representative of the Dubai Land Department reiterated this during the 3-day Cityscape real estate show attracting developers with the biggest of dream projects.
Dubai is no stranger to importing great ideas from afar, and the Shared Ownership Industry is beginning to take notice.
The obstacles in the past have stemmed from operator practices, something that the US market regulated in the past.
The Dubai Land Department has set the bar of best practices in several categories in order to safeguard consumer protection.
- A Minimum number of Built Units, 50 in total, should be ready for occupancy prior to sales commencement. This is a tall order as Dubai Real Estate prices are often on par with the City of London price index per square meter.
- The Operator must agree to fund a consumer protection deposit, allowing for cancellations within 10 days and supporting an after sales assurance of customer satisfaction, sales promises meeting consumer expectations for an indefinite time.
- Sales and Marketing practices such as Community Marketing are regulated and registered as promotions and free gift giveaways are controlled and monitored.
Some of the few timeshare operators in Dubai have been encouraged to invite key decision makers from the Dubai government Land Department and RERA, (Real Estate Regulatory Authority) to the USA on a ‘Fam Trip’ in hopes to open up the floodgates of opportunities for International Developers and Brands once the delegates have witnessed successful operations.
A Shared Ownership Forum is expected to take place in Dubai, December 2016, to explore the opportunities and pitfalls for the shared ownership industry. This Forum will attract local authorities, legal experts, brand developers from Asia and the US to collaborate on the future of shared ownership opportunities in Dubai.
Dubai will be the host city for Expo 2020, and plans to have 5 theme parks totally operational before the opening.
Considering all that Dubai has to offer, who would not want to have just a little slice of this world-class tourism mecca?
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Michael J. Tolan has been a consultant to the shared ownership industry for over 25 years in Europe and the Middle East. He heads the World Class Institute for Shared Ownership and Real Estate solutions at Sebchem Consultancy House, based in Dubai.
WCI offers bespoke L&D solutions, market research, and turn- key solutions for developer clients and well as providing local representation for overseas companies that desire a footprint in the Dubai market.
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